Aspiration News

Penguin Day Lowell

Event Date(s): 
June 22, 2007

Penguin Day Lowell went down on June 22, 2007 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Check out the Penguin Day Lowell Agenda and the Penguin Day web site. Penguin Day Lowell was co-organized by Organizers Collaborative, Aspiration, and NOSI.

Diversify your nonprofit's funding sources, please!

I learned traditional fundraising methods during my Masters degree and from the many workshops I've attended over the years.  The one thing I remember the most from these seminars is--nonprofits need to diversify their funding sources and not to rely too much on one source of funding. However, my personal experiences in organizations have taught me quite the opposite.

In the first organization I worked for, we relied solely on individual donors.

In another organization, we relied solely on Foundation grants.

iSummit Open Education Track

Event Date(s): 
June 15, 2007 to June 17, 2007

iCommons and The Shuttleworth Foundation invited Aspiration to co-design and lead facilitation of the Open Education Track at the 2007 iSummit. The track was designed as a loosely integrated collection of sessions with a common focus on how to bring the commons model and philosophy into education. Sessions used participatory, interactive methods to support a shared conversation and convergence amongst people with a passion for open education. The sessions provided a space to showcase emerging open education initiatives and to explore ways to better create, share and evolve open educational materials.

PhD Here I come!

I can't contain myself any longer! I am so excited, I must blog about my new adventure.

Many of you saw my blog post a few months ago about my personal struggle with taking the GRE. Well I have some great news! I persevered--retook the GRE, got 100 points higher, then applied to three Universities and actually got accepted to all three!! I decided to attend the University of San Diego in the fall and pursue a PhD in Leadership with a nonprofit management focus.

It is possible to achieve your dreams!

Setting up a Retirement account for my nonprofit

I just set up a 403b retirement account for our employees. It was not easy. Even after 8 months or so of researching for the best option for my nonprofit, I still can't tell you much about retirement plans--that is why I am thankful I found Greg Guardiano, an Ameriprise Financial Advisor to help me.

Agenda - eAdvocacy Jamboree

Aspiration's eAdvocacy Jamboree will bring online campaigners and organizers together with developers of eAdvocacy tools and platforms for a fast-paced and far-reaching peer-to-peer skillsharing event. The participant-driven agenda will feature rich dialog and creative learning sessions.

Types of Insurance for your nonprofit Part 2

The Risk Management Center's most recent eNewsletter provides a great overview of what types of insurance nonprofits should consider.

What do you want your database to do for your nonprofit?

If you could have your database do anything for your nonprofit, what would it do?

I would want my database to do everything--manage and track my donors, foundations and grants, constituents and events, send mass e-mails, manage my staff records, vendor records and store contact information gathered on my website as well as push financial information like donations into QuickBooks so I won't have to re-enter everything twice. Nonprofit Roadmap Summit

Event Date(s): 
June 4, 2007 to June 5, 2007 Foundation invited Aspiration to design and facilitate a summit meeting of developers and users of the Nonprofit Template.

The goals of this convening were to:

  • Take measure of both the successes and outstanding issues with the Nonprofit Template
  • Share perspectives on needs and priorities of the nonprofit community
  • Collectively cast a vision for the future of's nonprofit offerings, and
  • Translate that vision into actionable initiatives, milestones, and roles rendered in the form of a product "roadmap".

New and experienced implementors, developers, users, administrators, and consultants were encouraged to attend and lend their perspective to the proceedings.

Nonprofit Operations Brown Bag Lunch-Fundraising Administration

June 27th, 2007 12-1PM.

Join us for an interactive Nonprofit Operations Brown Bag Lunch discussion about fundraising administration.

We'll be discussing best practices for maintaining a fundraising calendar, grant templates, correspondence with funders, and organizing your fundraising files. We'll also be sharing sample fundraising administration practices. Notes from this discussion can be found on the Nonprofit Operations Wiki.

Wiki Data Sharing Summit

Event Date(s): 
June 1, 2007

Aspiration convened a number of open data platforms to discuss how such technologies could better interoperate. Purple Wiki, Wagn, Wiser Earth, Craigslist Foundation, Radical Designs AMP, and Social Source Commons shared their respective data models and information architectures, and brainstormed use cases for the how the various platforms might share data.

How do you manage your Board of Directors?

Recently I learned about BoardnetWork--a web based tool nonprofits can use to manage their Board of Directors. Each board member logs on to this website and can access key board information, read board meeting minutes, access board training resources, and find out when the next board meeting. This seems very useful, however I wonder how many boards are actually using this type of software?

Aspiration eAdvocacy Training - Email

Email For Advocacy and Community Organizing: Basics, Essentials, and Best Practices

This curriculum is targeted at individuals who understand simple email communications (send & receive), and activists who have little or no email campaigning experience. Learning goals include understanding of fundamental concepts in email campaigning, online strategy, technology, and processes, as well as hands-on exposure to simple email campaigning workflow, and understanding of email composition best practices.

Aspiration eAdvocacy Training - Web Sites

Web Sites For Advocacy and Community Organizing: Basics, Essentials, and Best Practices

This curriculum is targeted at persons in nonprofit organizations who have primary responsibility for their web site content and direction. While there is some technical material, the primary focus is on strategic use of web sites and best practices for web campaigning. The material is modeled to be most relevant to grassroots organizations working in underserved communities.

The two-day training covers the following topic areas:

eCampaigning Best Practices and Emerging Tactics

This advanced eAdvocacy overview is designed for campaigners and organizers who have worked on one or more online campaigns. The training highlights the importance of relationship building in online efforts, and the equally essential aspects of following well-defined processes within and across campaigns.

The one-day "eCampaigning Best Practices and Emerging Tactics" training covers the following topic areas:

Why I am changing my Insurance Carrier

I have made a decision to change my insurance carrier to the Nonprofit Insurance Alliance of California (NIAC).  NIAC is also known as the Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance (ANI) in many other states. For the same price of my General Liability and D & O premium with my current insurance carrier I can receive insurance from NIAC/ANI plus receive many amazing free benefits which will save my organization a lot of money!  NIAC/ANI benefits are:

Practical Nonprofit Operations Tips

I really like reading the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Give and Take blog a daily roundup of blogs about the nonprofit world, however I've noticed the folks who write Give and Take tend to write about general sector wide issues or topics that are hot at the moment. That's ok, and many of the posts are very interesting, however I also like reading blogs that provide practical tips and advice for running my nonprofit.

Dell Backs Open Source Operating System

Allen Gunn is quoted in this article about the Linux Operating System--Ubuntu.

Daniel Zarchy writes, "The phrase “humanity toward others” does not usually inspire images of computer code.However, Ubuntu, the most popular version of the Linux operating system, may provide just that: humanity toward others, without the hefty price tag."


Have you heard of the NP2020 Conference?

I recently learned that the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy will be hosting a conference called NP2020: Issues and Answers from the Next Generation

Basically this conference will be a discussion about how to address the leadership deficit that everyone keeps talking about.

Aspiration Runs Joomla! Core Team Summit and Joomla! Day USA West at Google

Event Date(s): 
May 8, 2007 to May 13, 2007

Aspiration was delighted to collaborate with Google in co-organizing two events focused on the Joomla! open source content management system.

Aspiration facilitated the Joomla! Core Team Summit, which took place May 8-11 and brought together 20 Joomla! Core Team members. The core team is distributed across the globe, and this was the first in-person meeting in over a year. The agenda combined visioning and team-building sessions with working group meetings to move the project forward on a range of fronts, all aimed at delivering Joomla! Version 1.5. The team enjoyed the righteous hospitality of Google, and lots of extracurricular fun was had by all.

Following the Core Team Summit, Joomla! Day USA West brought over 100 users, developers and service providers from across the western US together to share knowledge, meet other Joomla! community members, and collaborate in the Joomlasphere. The convergence followed the Aspiration event format, meaning that the community determined what was discussed, powerpoints were an endangered species, and nary a panel was seated. Joomla! Core Team members stood by to answer questions, offer insights and explain the exciting new Joomla! Version 1.5.

Aspiration thanks Google and Joomla! for inviting us to help out at such great events!


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