Nonprofit Technology News, Tips, Events, and Ideas

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cc_logo_full_horiz_color_600Guest post from Alessandra Madrid, Content Marketing Manager at CommitChange. CommitChange is an innovative fundraising and donor management tool, and  trusted Technology Partner of 501cTECH.

Welcome to the Online Fundraising for Beginners blog series! Over the next couple of weeks we will be covering the most important aspects of creating online fundraising campaigns for your nonprofit. Although today’s tools for fundraising should be making everything easier for nonprofit professionals, there is plenty of planning that needs to happen before you start an online campaign; from defining your fundraising goals, to picking a platform and creating the right messaging. Let’s get started!

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TIA Banner

We are very excited to announce that the submission period for the 2015 Technology Innovation Awards (TIA) has officially begun!

As you may know, since 2003 501cTECH’s Technology Innovation Awards have recognized D.C.-area nonprofits whose innovative uses of technology improved key aspects of their operations and helped advance their missions. It has also served as a reminder that technology is just as important to nonprofits as it is to large corporations.

In planning the 2014 Awards last year, we did some research to see how we might improve the TIA in its eleventh year. We spoke with past applicants and judges and out of that process came some pretty significant changes that added greater overall value to the nonprofits TIA Verticalinvolved.

Most notably, we heard loud and clear that it’s very difficult to secure funding for new projects, so rather than judge applicants who have already implemented a technology project, we asked organizations to submit ideas for NEW technology projects they would like to develop with our help.

The other change was to award three cash prizes of $7,500, whereas before there were only two, and separate the winners into the following three programmatic areas:

  1. PreK-12 and STEM Education
  2. Skills to Succeed and Workforce Development
  3. Veterans and Military Families

Applicants must designate which one they believe most closely aligns with their project idea, but the cause area you select does not need to be the sole focus of the organization. If you can explain how your project applies to one of these categories and advances your nonprofit’s mission, we strongly encourage you to apply.

This is a unique opportunity to turn that great idea you’ve been holding onto into a reality and we would love to help you do it. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 15 at 5 p.m.


If you have any lingering questions about the process, register for one of our free 30-minute webinars.

We look forward to seeing your ideas!

May NTEN Happy Hour

Join NTEN, 501cTECH, and Success Roads Consulting Principal, Duane Capuano, Thursday, May 21 for a FREE happy hour and discussion on finding the right technology partner for your organization!

Outsourcing technology projects is a common and recommended practice for nNTEN and 501cTECHonprofits with limited technical and financial resources. Finding the right technology partner for your organization’s unique operational needs is a hugely important, albeit time-consuming, process.

To help make that process a little easier, Duane will go over some key steps for choosing the right technology partner:

  1. Developing business and technical requirements
  2. Finding potential technology partners
  3. Developing a Request For Proposal (RFP)
  4. Evaluating vendor proposals and selecting technology partners
  5. Negotiating contracts with technology vendors

And we’ll be raffling off a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker so don’t forget your business cards!


The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) is the membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals. Members share the common goal of helping nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively. NTEN connects and educates on issues of technology use in nonprofits, and spearheads groundbreaking research, advocacy, and education on technology issues affecting the community. 501 Tech Club DC is part of NTEN’s 501 Tech Club program.

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Mobile Friendly

Starting April 21, Google began rewarding and punishing websites for their mobile-friendliness. As part of an effort to deliver the most relevant and accessible content, the search engine has added more weight to the way a site displays on mobile devices. Now, your mobile search results will show relevant content that also looks good on your phone. It’s good news overall, but could mean a little work and investment if your site doesn’t make the cut.

There’s a simple test you can run to find out if your site meets Google’s requirements for mobile optimization. All you have to do is enter your URL and Google will let you know. Test your site here.

Didn’t pass? Don’t panic. Use this as the motivation you need to get your site up-to-date. Mobile optimization should be a standard part of your organization’s website design, and this update is all the more evidence to that point.

Note the feedback provided by the mobile friendly test and share it with the person who built your site. If you can’t work with your current developer, or want to explore some new options, take a look at the folks on our partner page, which has a carefully vetted list of some of the best web developers for nonprofits.

Read more about the update on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.

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Kaseya CEO Yogesh Gupta at Kaseya Connect 2015

Kaseya CEO Yogesh Gupta at Kaseya Connect 2015

We were beyond excited to speak last week at Kaseya Connect 2015, the IT cloud management company’s annual technology conference, held this year in Orlando, Florida.

As a nonprofit striving to provide the best technology solutions for other nonprofits in the D.C. area, we meticulously vet any tools we use in our work with other organizations to make sure they’re the most innovative and efficient options. A few years back, that vetting process yielded a new relationship with Kaseya, which we now use exclusively as our Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tool. Kaseya has empowered us to optimize our remote support model in order to broaden our reach and help more nonprofits.

Todd Peterson, 501cTECH’s VP of Client Relations, addressed a packed room of technology providers from around the world and explained how we use Kaseya to help our nonprofit clients manage their IT infrastructure. Todd highlighted some of the important functions of Kaseya that enable 501cTECH to provide first class service. The Info Center module in Kaseya allows us to give our clients an up to the minute workstation inventory. We match this against a warranty database to pinpoint which computers are up to date, versus those which are out of warranty. Extending the warranty by a year or two, is one way to get more out of their hardware, plan for their budget, and minimize their capital expenditure for hardware replacement. Kaseya allows us to give our clients an executive report showing their software patch score, disk space availability, and the overall health of their network.

Logo_ConnectTodd spoke about how we implemented a variety of 3rd party tools that work in conjunction with Kaseya, including Malwarebytes, a great malware solution that we adopted last year. Malware is one of the biggest challenges to computer networks today and one of the leading cause of network outages. Our client wide deployment of the professional version of the Malwarebytes solution has dramatically reduced the collective downtime of nonprofits we work with. Todd answered a round of questions from the audience and shared tips and tricks on how we work with our unique client base to provide the best possible service.

As always, we left Kaseya Connect with useful information and a new-found confidence in our choice of an RMM tool. We’re grateful for the wonderful opportunity we had to share how the tools that we use enable us to execute our mission, and were inspired by the ways othes were using the tool.

Free Webinar on Strategies for Success With Online Petitions

How Global Fund for Women engaged more than 20,000 people for women and girls

Online petitions can be powerful tools to rally support for a campaign and spark change – all while building excitement for your mission, boosting donations, and dramatically growing your supporter list!

Attend this valuable, free webinar on May 6, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET to learn how Global Fund for Women rallied the support of more than 20,000 individuals across the globe through its IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology campaign to create more equitable access to tech for women and girls worldwide.

Laura Shapiro, Director of Digital Engagement, will peel back the curtain on the campaign to share strategy and insights that can help make your online petition a rousing success.

How Global Fund for Women Engaged More Than 20,000 People for Women and Girls

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

1:00 – 2:00 pm ET


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Charge UpWe are excited to announce the official launch of Charge Up Collaborative’s website, a resource designed to help the Washington D.C. region’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities access high quality capacity building services tailored to specific organizational needs.

What is Capacity Building?

“Capacity building” is defined as the provision of organizational development assistance to improve the performance of a nonprofit organization on specific indicators.  Such assistance can encompass a broad range of activities such as face-to-face and online training; technical assistance in person, by telephone, and online; and peer-to-peer or expert consultation, coaching, and mentoring; as well as other efforts to increase organizational infrastructure.

“This effort connects for the first time major capacity building organizations working to improve the nonprofit sector in the Washington, D.C. region,” said Maria Nagorski, Director of the Charge Up Collaborative. “ is a site, rich with opportunity, knowledge and connections. Nonprofits interested in building a sustainable organization and fulfilling their potential can find information about accessing pro bono and low cost services from a diverse group of capacity building organizations united in their commitment to excellence and social good.”

One Stop Shop. Simple Navigation. is a one stop shop.  A simple navigation tool that allows an organization to input basic information about its needs and be directed to the organizations with appropriate services. The site directs users to a wide array of services available to nonprofits, including organizational and leadership development, nonprofit management, board development, marketing and communications, financial planning, fundraising, strategic planning and technology.

“It’s wonderful to be a part of this amazing group of capacity building organizations,” said Nagorski. “The Charge Up Collaborative we’re launching today is a testament to the power of working together and pooling resources, talents and skills. Keep in touch and see how by working together we’ll provide nonprofits throughout the region with increased opportunities for capacity building support and access to high quality services to meet their organizational needs.”

About the Charge Up Collaborative

The Charge Up Collaborative is a partnership of leading capacity building organizations in the Greater Washington area. Members work to strengthen and build high performing nonprofit organizations by identifying their needs, assessing their readiness and providing them access to appropriate high quality services.  Through the sharing of resources and expertise, Charge Up partners strive to improve the sustainability, quality, and impact of the nonprofit sector. Working together they are modeling collaboration and the greater good that can be achieved through collective action.  Charge Up is grateful for the support of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz and Eugene and Agnes E Meyer Foundations as well as the contributions of each of the partner organizations.

Charge Up Partners


Catalogue for Philanthropy

Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Charter Board Partners


Fair Chance

Foundation Center

Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County

The Leadership Sanctuary

Maryland Nonprofits

Nonprofit Village

Standards for Excellence

Stone Soup Films

Taproot Foundation

Volunteer Fairfax

For more information:

Contact: Maria Nagorski at

Go to:

You can follow our activity on Twitter through #chargeupdc

April NTEN Happy Hour

Join NTEN, 501cTECH, and Magnify It Thursday, April 23 for a FREE happy hour and discussion on mobile and email fundraising!

Neel Patel, CEO and Founder of Magnify It, will talk about some best practices for email design, mobile donation checkout, and more! There will be plenty of time before and after his presentation to chat with the other attendees and enjoy the free food and beverages.

And don’t forget your business cards because we’ll be raffling off a Google Chromecast!

Get your free ticket HERE.

Hope to see you there!


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What could be possibly more exciting than the best teams in college basketball facing off in a March Madness Final Four showdown? Oh, I don’t know, maybe four of the leading cloud storage platforms battling it out on this blog post!

501cTECH’s Cloud Storage Final Four

In the Northwest Region, we have OneDrive! Also in the Northwest Region, we have DropBoxGoogle Drive, and Box (there aren’t very many companies in the cloud business based outside of the Pacific Northwest). We’ll judge each platform on their respective strengths and weaknesses, keeping in mind that all of them are worthwhile solutions.


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