Aspiration News

Online Communications Trainings in January & February

Kicking off 2011, Aspiration is offering some free trainings around online communications support. The seminars on the slate are:

Aspiration Manifesto

Aspiration is a values-driven nonprofit technology organization. Our work, our passion, and our focus derive from a set of philosophies that come down to a single unassailable conviction: technology and technologists should be in service to nonprofits and their missions, not the other way around.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, or at least readily verifiable via grizzled veterans of nonprofit technology struggles:

Aspiration Events - History

Aspiration is the global leader in the design and delivery of innovative technology, strategy and implementation gatherings for nonprofit and nongovernmental audiences. Our event philosophy and facilitation focus on maximizing collaboration and peer sharing, while making sparing use of one-to-many and several-to-many session formats such as presentations and panels.

RFP Coaching and Training

Over the past 5 years, we have worked with dozens of nonprofits and foundations on researching, specifying, and delivering a range of technology solutions, from basic web sites to larger software applications.

A critical component of any nonprofit technology project requiring the services of an implementation partner is the generation of a complete and accurate Request for Proposal (RFP) document that specifies exactly what the needed solution should do and support, and how the nonprofit desires to engage the implementor.

TechCamp Santiago

Event Date(s): 
November 20, 2010

We happily answered a call from the amazing folks at Personal Democracy Forum to partner on some work for The Man in Chile.

In collaboration with PDF and the Tech@State team, we led design of the Spanish-language agenda for TechCamp Santiago, trained the facilitation team, and oversaw the proceedings. En Espanol, no less!

The goals of the event were two-fold. First, to bring together techies and NGO stakeholders from across South America for discussion on how technology could better support NGO and community needs in the region. And second, to generate some problem statements for hacking on at the December 4th Random Hacks of Kindness events taking place around the world. Check out press coverage in Fast Company.

We heartily thank PDF for getting us involved in this first-of-its-kind event, and to all our Aspiration allies across Latin America, including EducaLibre, Nunklaki Comunicações and Chile Ayuda for their amazing help lighting up participants and keeping the event facilitation real.

2010 Nonprofit Software Development Summit

Event Date(s): 
November 15, 2010 to November 17, 2010

The 2010 Nonprofit Software Development Summit in Oakland, California was a smashing, sold-out success!

Check out:

A big love bomb of thanks to all who joined us for this high-spirited, fully-interactive festival of folks who are passionate about developing software tools to support the work of social change organizations and community activists.

You can also check out the proceedings from the 2009, 2008, and 2007 Nonprofit Software Development Summits.

Mozilla Drumbeat Festival - Freedom, Learning, and the Web

Event Date(s): 
November 3, 2010 to November 5, 2010

We were excited to continue our collaboration with Mozilla and the Drumbeat initiative at the first-ever Drumbeat Festival - Freedom, Learning and the Web in Barcelona.

Aspiration helped with interactive facilitation and agenda design in the tents and spaces that made up the event venue. We also bottom-lining social media efforts at the event, and worked to keep things as unpredictably collaborative as we could.

Among other things, we partnered with Peer 2 Peer University on the Badge Lab and co-conspired to create cool code with WebMadeMovies.

Other fun activities on the agenda included:

  • Learn how to organize a Peer 2 Peer University course
  • Help build a 'digital backpack' to track credentials for online learners
  • Convert a public square into a learning lab with the Hackbus
  • Trade ideas about teaching the open web
  • Share best practices for open web hackers
  • Integrate Wikipedia into your learning project

We got to see lots of Aspiration friends and allies there, and we look forward to working more with Mozilla in 2011!

Aspiration's eNewsletter Template


Sample Aspiration eNewsletter, October 2010All externally-delivered bulk email messages, including eNewsletters, action alerts and event announcements, should be based on reusable email templates. Such templates are beneficial because they:

Aspiration's Workflow Inventory Template

The Aspiration Workflow Inventory Template is provided to support enumeration of tasks that nonprofit and foundation staff members repeat in their ongoing duties. This is done with an eye toward improving the way that technology supports organizational processes and operations.

The workflow inventory is usually performed for multiple reasons:

Aspiration's RFP Template


Too many nonprofit organizations go looking for technology solutions without first articulating what they are looking for. A properly completed Request for Proposal (RFP) is a critical component in acquiring properly specified technology.

Aspiration's RFP philosophy is one of "essential coverage", as opposed to "verbose completeness). The template provided here is designed to generate a 5-7 page RFP document that can be used to solicit proposals and lead to follow-on discussions with prospective implementors.

eAdvocacy and Social Media Training Materials

Over the past 6 years, Aspiration has been developing a set of training materials to help organizations apply sustainable best practices when advocating, organizing and communicating online.

Aspiration distributes all our training materials under a Creative Commons license, and we encourage re-use, modification, and re-distribution in any situation where they may be useful.

The materials are linked below, grouped by the associated courses.

Aspiration's Online Communications Publishing Matrix

Aspiration recommends that nonprofit organizations create a "Publishing Matrix" to help drive online communications process.

A publishing matrix enumerates two essential sets of information required for effective online publishing:

eAdvocacy Resources

Aspiration provides a range of open-licensed resources related to eAdvocacy, online communications and best practices in nonprofit technology. These include interactive tools, reusable templates, downloadable training materials, and interactive knowledge aggregation resources.

P2PU Community Workshop

Event Date(s): 
October 27, 2010 to October 30, 2010

Fresh off the fun of the Peer 2 Peer University Open Assessment Workshop, we were delighted to partner with P2PU again to design and run their annual global community workshop.

Taking place before the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival and Open Ed 2010 conference, the workshop provided a venue for the P2PU community leadership to take stock of growth and successes of the past year, while also addressing issues of governance, community, sustainability and of course learning.

The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU provides the social environment necessary for meaningful learning and mechanisms for validation of achieved learning. P2PU is teaching and learning by peers for peers and it is run and governed by volunteers. We are grateful to work with them as they rethink education in the online context.

Berkeley Labor Center 2010 eAdvocacy Trainings - Materials

The following are the materials used during the Berkeley Labor Center Fall 2010 eAdvocacy Trainings in Berkeley.

Note that not all materials were used during the live training, but the full set is included for the learning benefit of the participants.

These materials are distributed under a Creative Commons license, and we encourage re-use, modification, and re-distribution in any situation where they may be useful.

Guest Registration form

Please fill out the form below to register as a guest of Aspiration for the 2010 Nonprofit Software Development Summit.

Sessions - 2010 Nonprofit Software Development Summit

This page has moved to the Dev Summit Wiki.

JUST POSTED: Full agenda and schedule!

Also check out the latest Session Slate!

We WELCOME additional session proposals and requests, simply email us at

Joomla! Day West 2010

Event Date(s): 
October 2, 2010 to October 3, 2010

We continued our collaborative love affair with the Joomla! Project at Joomla! Day West 2010, held at eBay Town Hall.

The event focused on building knowledge about Joomla!, a GPL-licensed content management system which is proving increasingly popular for publishing nonprofit web sites.

The event brought together members of the Joomla! Leadership Teams, and board members from Open Source Matters, along with over 150 members of the Joomla! community to talk about all things Joomla!, including the upcoming 1.6 release, template and extension design, business models, and plenty of participant-driven sessions. Aspiration employed our collaborative event methodology to drive a fast-paced agenda focused on knowledge sharing, interactivity and community building.

We also had the pleasure of facilitating Product Leadership Team meetings before and after the event. Thanks to the whole amazing Joomla! posse for inviting us along for the fun.


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