I am now rested after the Nonprofit Technology Conference

Wow! I attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week in DC and I have to say it is the most exhausting conference I attend all year. I think the exhaustion stems from the combination of attending great workshops during the day, then social events in the evening, and preparing for Aspiration's Penguin Day which occurs immediately following the NTC each year.

I commend the bloggers who took the time to post great blurbs during and immediately following the conference. Sonny Cloward provides a great NTC blogging round up. I was just too exhausted to post anything until now.

Here are my thoughts:

Some of the sessions that stand out in my mind are, "Disaster Planning for Nonprofits." So, why do I care so much about disaster planning and preparation? Oh yah, in the last nonprofit I worked for, I came into work one day and part of the ceiling had caved in and water had completely ruined one of our computers. That was a minor disaster but still pretty traumatic for an organization with only 12 staff and we relied heavily on each technological device in the office. I'm still learning about disaster planning each day but here are four take a ways from the session.

  1. Determine how long staff can live without the power and internet--is it 1 day, 1 week, or longer.
  2. Put all usernames and passwords, and staff contact info on an encripted USB stick that you carry with you everywhere. (Some folks may disagree with this process, but it sounds like a good idea if in the event of a disaster you can't access that information on your computer or where ever you keep it).
  3. Disaster planning is not a technology issue, it is an organizational wide issue.
  4. In order to implement a disaster plan, there has to be organizational buy in from the top. 

Here's a link to a recent discussion we had here at the SF Tech Center about Risk Management for nonprofits which included some talk about disaster planning.

I also hosted the Nonprofit Operations Affinity Group discussion about about Nonprofit Operations and all things technology. We attempted to discuss these areas:

  • Gaps in Nonprofit Operations Software
  • Meeting all the Operational demands in the office—especially managing the hardware/software.
  • Nonprofit Operations tools: Nonprofit Financial Management software, HR management software, Customer Relationship Management software (databases), Content Management Systems for websites, and other nonprofit operations tools.

Notes from the discussion can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/2qp6ru

One final thought about the conference. I really liked many of the presentation formats--the dynamic slides and videos presenters incorporated into their presentations. It was awesome how many of these slides provided a 3-D effect. I remember taking a class on Power Point in college and it is awesome to see how much presentation technology has changed since then. (I know many of the presentations I saw were probably not done in Power Point)--I now need to take another class on how to create a snazzy presentation. It would be great if the technologists could teach the other nonprofit folks how to utilize these presentation technologies so we could liven up the other nonprofit conferences! :)