What I Learned at #19NTC
This year’s Nonprofit Tech Conference put on by NTEN was a superb professional development event. Four days of stunning weather in Portland, Oregon, inspirational nonprofit leaders from around the world, and oh so much amazing food! It’s hard to choose the most meaningful takeaways from such a diverse event.
These videos will make you think, laugh, and/or cry – maybe all three. These were the featured DoGooder Award-Winning nonprofit videos:
One of the best sessions I attended was the first of the week and focused on resilience as a path to organizational sustainability. So many social impact leaders struggle with how to keep themselves (and their teams) focused and meaningfully supported. Hosted by a panel of long-time nonprofit gurus, the inimitable Beth Kanter, the panel discussed the importance of moving your team’s tempo from putting out fires and IDD (Intention Deficit Disorder) to focused, proactive behavior. If you can bake in to your organizational culture things like technology norms and appreciation rituals, your team will be happier, healthier, and more productive. That ultimately yields a stronger organization and more sustainable impact.
Your #1 job as a leader is to support and develop your team. Check out these alarming statistics (the speaker cited Gallup as the source):
The lesson? We all have work to do if we are going to be effective, supportive leaders. Our own professional development is often a first step and should be an ongoing priority. And if your staff is unhappy or disengaged, it’s likely that their manager is the reason why.
There were so many great sessions on using technology to ramp up your marketing efforts. But the one that stuck with me was put on by Whole Whale and one of its nonprofit partners: Effective Social Media Advertising on $100/day. Favorite highlights:
Unfortunately, there was just one session devoted to finance during the conference – one! On the flipside, though, the room was absolutely packed. (Last session before a free happy hour, too, so you know people really wanted to be there!) Focused solely on nonprofit dashboards, the speaker delved into detail on what makes up an effective nonprofit dashboard. From the basics of revenue and expenses to analytical concepts like financial ratios and program or fundraising efficiency snapshots, nearly 100 attendees learned how to frame financial data in a visual, conversation-stimulating manner. The session echoed my favorite nonprofit finance rant: if you’re not presenting your financials in a way that provides actionable insights, STOP. There is a better way. We can help you get there.
About: Our team at Blue Fox provides customized, boutique financial and back office services for social impact organizations. Services range from standard bookkeeping and payroll services, to coaching and consulting, to full-blown virtual CFO services. Our mission is to disrupt the traditional accounting model through technology, innovation, and a radically client-focused approach that truly empowers nonprofits and social enterprises. For more information call (321) 233-3311, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.YourBlueFox.com.
Author: Founder & CEO, the Original Blue Fox, Chantal Sheehan, MS, CFP(r)
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