Before I take you behind the scenes of our NTEN board fundraiser for Giving Tuesday, let me ask you to consider to a donation of any size to support NTEN and the Nonprofit Technology Conference Scholarship campaign. NTEN believes that finances should not be a barrier for small organizations to be able to access the resources and connections that the Nonprofit Technology Conference offers, so every year they offer scholarships to those who might not otherwise be able to attend.
The photo above is from last year’s NTC. Can you spot me? I’m the fourth one from the right. I’m standing on the stage with my fellow board members. We were introduced to the crowd of over 2,000 nonprofit professionals gathered at the conference to network, learn, teach, and well, party too.
What you may not see are the many nonprofit techies who can’t participate because they work for small nonprofits with small budgets that could not handle the cost of travel and registration. Many of the professionals are working on important programs and services, often working for and with disadvantaged communities. A donation to the NTC scholarship fund will help professionals make it to the 2018 Nonprofit Technology in New Orleans.
The NTEN Board Giving Tuesday Campaign
I’ve been on the board over a year and currently chair the Evaluation Committee. I enjoy the experience because my fellow board members are all experienced, smart,and respected professionals in the nonprofit tech field. Our meetings are always a great learning experience and thanks to the leadership of our chair, Farra Trompeter, the meetings are always productive.
The governance committee has done exceptional work and gone much deeper than the typical tasks of by-law wordsmithing or brainstorming lists of potential board members. They have designed and implemented a good on-boarding experience for new members, helped codify and define board roles and tasks, and we even have do an annual assessment of our performance that gives us specific metrics on how we’re doing as a board.
About a year ago, we went through a discussion and process to determined our “Triple A” commitment as a board. This is based on the book by Kay Sprinkel Grace. The A’s stand for: Ambassador, Advocate, and Asker. All board members made a concrete commitment to specific actions that fell into those three areas. This, of course, included our own donations as well as participating in a crowdfunding campaign for the Scholarship Fund.
Even though none of us on the board are millionaires, we still formalized our giving amounts (which include amount raised) to the organization. And while the amount we raise as a group is a relatively small amount compared to other income sources, it demonstrates our commitment to the organization.
As a board, we launched our campaign, today, on GivingTuesday using the crowdfunding platform CauseVox. The platform lets us set up own landing page and reach out to our networks customizing the ask. NTEN staff pulled together the collateral materials and made it very easy for us board members to focus on raising the money and thanking our donors. Our goal is modest, $10,000 by the end of year, and as of this writing we are collectively 25% of our goal.
According to my colleague and former NTEN board member, Steve MacLauglin from Blackbaud, Giving Tuesday, now in its sixth year (great origin story here), is on track to raise more this year, but the trend of donation distribution is skewing towards smaller and mid-size organizations, like NTEN. While many nonprofits leverage the day to fundraise in many creative ways, some also use it for donor stewardship, thank you events, and in-kind donation drives. There is also a Giving Story Contest for donors to share why they give and win a cash prize for the organization of their choice.
How is your organization leveraging Giving Tuesday? Is your board participating?