Nonprofit Technology News, Tips, Events, and Ideas


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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We are very excited to announce our new partnership with E*TRADE, the online financial services leader. Their investment will help 501cTECH build the technology capacity of up to ten of their grantees in a yearlong pilot beginning later this spring.

Equally important, is E*TRADE’s support of 501cTECH’s mission and their vote of confidence in our work. Helping to build the capacity of nonprofits through technology isn’t a particularly sexy mission and it is an area too often neglected by philanthropy. We in the nonprofit community know just how transformative the right technology can be, and how detrimental the wrong one can be. As a company that has built its considerable success on the innovative use of technology in the financial services industry, E*TRADE understands our mission and has demonstrated its commitment to enhancing the nonprofit community through this new partnership.

We applaud E*TRADE’s ongoing dialogue with the nonprofits they support and their efforts to incorporate the nonprofit perspective into their grant making.

“When we met with our grantees last year, we asked them where they saw the biggest gaps and how we could best help them to succeed. Their answer was very clear– fund technology capacity building,” said E*TRADE Senior Manager Olive Idehen. “E*TRADE believes that the right technology has the power to impact community change, and 501cTECH as a nonprofit technology provider is uniquely positioned to help us in this initiative.”

Our work with E*TRADE builds upon our work with nonprofits across the region, both our mission driven programs such as our Small Nonprofit Transformation Initiative and our ongoing tech support of nonprofits in a wide range of mission areas.

Stay tuned! We look forward to sharing all the success stories that this grant will make possible. And thank you, E*TRADE, for helping us make a difference and continue supporting our community.

NTEN March Happy Hour

Join 501cTECH and Anybill Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 PM for the next NTEN FREE happy hour!

Meaghan MacIntire, Senior Account Executive at Anybill, will discuss some innovative SAAS-based ways for nonprofits to manage their accounts payable, and answer any and all of your questions related to that topic.

501cTECH will be raffling off a Google Chromecast and Anybill will provide some great door prizes. And, of course, food and drinks are on us!

Hope to see you there!

Register HERE before space fills up. The event will be held at the 501cTECH’s office located just north of DuPont Circle.

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0This is the third and final post from a series by Gratzer Graphics LLC Principal/Designer, Colleen Gratzer.

Since 2010, Gratzer Graphics LLC has provided design services to 501cTECH, including for the Celebration of Technology. Like 501cTECH, Gratzer Graphics is committed to serving nonprofits and understands their needs and budget. Gratzer has almost 20 years of experience serving nonprofits in the areas of branding, marketing collateral, online presence, events, and publication design and layout. Her expertise has resulted in increased fundraising and attendance at events, increased fundraising through direct mail and heightened awareness about a nonprofit’s mission. Below is the first part of a blog series written by Gratzer that details how to get the most bang for your buck when working with a graphic designer.

Submitting Revisions

pencilThis segment is all about conveying edits to your designer. Follow these guidelines and you will help yourself and your designer.

It is always more efficient for the designer to make changes when they are shown in the layout, in the design proof. There are a few ways to submit alterations in this manner, but the first two below also minimize the possibility for errors because they allow the designer to copy and paste (as opposed to retype) any replacement text:

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The awardees for the third cycle of 501cTECH’s Small Nonprofit Transformation Initiative (SNTI) have been announced!

Congratulations to Teens Run DC, Project Createand Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED).

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Though they improve our community in countless ways, local nonprofits like these face a challenge when it comes to technology. Even a small investment in improving their technology can be transformative as we have seen through our own work in the community.

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Guest post from iMyne, a fundraising tool that allows online shoppers to support their favorite charities. Read our AmazonSmile post for an example of a similar service. 

What do causes like Special Olympics, ArtsQuest, D.A.R.E., Folds of Honor, Ole Miss and other prominent colleges and universities have in common?  They use iMyne as a sustainable fundraising tool for their organizations and are earning automatic donations each time their supporters shop online at retailers they love.

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NTEN February Happy Hour

Join 501cTECH and Rad Campaign Thursday, February 26 at 6 PM for the next NTEN FREE happy hour! With NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference right around the corner, we’re dedicating this month’s gathering to gearing up for the big event.

This is a chance for NTC newcomers to plan, meet other attendees and hear tips from NTC veterans.

Avi Kaplan, Director of Online Strategy at Rad Campaign, and Peter Campbell, CIO at Legal Services Corporation will share their Top Ten Things to See at NTC, and answer all of your NTC-related questions.

Already an NTC veteran? Come share your expertise. If nothing else, come for the free food and drinks courtesy of NTEN and Rad Campaign.

Register HERE before space fills up. The event will be held at the Rad Campaign Offices located just north of DuPont Circle.

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0This is the second in a series of guest posts by Gratzer Graphics LLC Principal/Designer, Colleen Gratzer.

Since 2010, Gratzer Graphics LLC has provided design services to 501cTECH, including for the Celebration of Technology. Like 501cTECH, Gratzer Graphics is committed to serving nonprofits and understands their needs and budget. Gratzer has almost 20 years of experience serving nonprofits in the areas of branding, marketing collateral, online presence, events, and publication design and layout. Her expertise has resulted in increased fundraising and attendance at events, increased fundraising through direct mail and heightened awareness about a nonprofit’s mission. Below is the first part of a blog series written by Gratzer that details how to get the most bang for your buck when working with a graphic designer.

 

Help Your Designer, Help Yourself, Pt 2

Obtaining Images

In this installment of Help Your Designer, Help Yourself, we’ll cover everything you need to know about images. Follow these guidelines and you will help yourself and your designer.

  • Resolution: For print work, photos and other types of raster (pixel-based) images should beHYDHYS a minimum of 300 ppi at the actual size at which they will be printed. You may not know how large a photo will be used and you may not be able to check the resolution yourself. That’s OK! If you plan to send photos to your designer, obtain from your photographer the highest resolution photos possible. Your designer will let you know if there is an issue with the resolution. A photo can always be made smaller, while enlarging the photo only results in poor quality. If you plan to send a logo file, the best format is vector EPS (a resolution-independent file type), which is able to be scaled to any size without sacrificing resolution.
  • Permission for use: If you are providing an image to your designer, be sure you have gotten any necessary permission to use it—unless it is your own or not protected by copyright, such as one from the public domain. You may also need to procure written consent from people, especially minors, who appear in the photograph. A credit to the photographer or source may or may not be required to appear with the image. Always convey this information to your designer.
  • File types: Do not copy and paste images into a Word document. Send individual image files: PSD, TIFF, JPEG, AI or EPS. For web work or slide presentations, any format may be sent for images. If you have graphs or charts, these work best in their native format of Excel or Illustrator, or a PDF saved from Excel.
  • File names: Clearly name any images you make reference to in your text document in order to make it easy for the designer to identify each one.

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chapman-Columbia 2Like our friends at Exponent Philanthropy, a group that connects small foundations with philanthropic leaders, we hope that the new OMB Uniform Guidance, which requires government grant makers to reimburse indirect costs, really makes a difference in the way people across every sector view nonprofit spending.

Despite the encouraging progress this community has made in areas like innovation and technology, overhead—or, more appropriately, the lack of funds and support to cover overhead—continues to be an issue for far too many nonprofits. We encounter this everyday in our work helping organizations build their technology capacity. IT is one of those areas that is often sacrificed in a budget crunch, and that almost always stands in the way of an organization fully delivering on their mission. At the same time, technology has become ubiquitous in our personal lives, and our nonprofit client and staff are clamoring for more tech-based solutions.

We heard it again yesterday in a call with a wonderful early childhood education program located in Northern Virginia. They had some great ideas about how technology could help them to do their jobs better, and they were frustrated with erratic email service, an outdated development database, and an unstable website. But, alas, they had a very small annual technology budget and had made no provisions for ongoing support. Like many nonprofits, they wanted to put the lion share of their money and resources into running their programs, leaving very little for overhead, because that aligns with the traditional narrative of how a good nonprofit operates.

Now, I am not arguing that nonprofits should be free spending, but failing to invest in necessary technology infrastructure is not good management and counter to your goals as an organization. I am hoping that the changes in the OMB regulations will make it easier for funders and non profits to do the right thing.