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(a couple peek out from behind their curtains at their driveway, where a John Cusack-like figure is holding a Say-Anything-like boombox over his head) “Under the circumstances, you really have to admire their commitment to donor engagement.”

The John Cusack model of donor engagement

The John Cusack model of donor engagement published on

Nonprofits are facing some challenges as their supporters, members and donors start to isolate themselves. Face-to-face events are off the table, and a not-insignificant part of the population isn’t willing to touch that direct mail piece until it’s been dunked in bleach and autoclaved.

One great way we could have helped each other to surmount that challenge is the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference, which was slated for this week. But the threat of COVID-19 forced the organizers at the Nonprofit Technology Network, NTEN, to cancel — at a tremendous cost to the organization, which we’ll get into in a sec.

Into the breach stepped the good folks at Keela, who make software for the nonprofit sector. They pulled together an impressive array of presenters (many from the NTC speaking roster, including the mighty Beth Kanter) for Plugged In, a free three-day virtual conference.

And I drew this cartoon for them because they were the first to take me up on an offer to draw a cartoon for ten people who have donated their NTC registration fees back to NTEN. See, NTC is the major source of NTEN’s revenue, and they still have to pay an awful lot of sunk costs for the conference.

So let me restate that offer! There’s still nine free cartoons up for grabs for registered would-be NTC attendees who donated back their registrations. Just hit me up with your donation confirmation, and let me know a topic or two you’d like me to cartoon on. Email me at rob at robcottingham dot ca.

Uncharitable

Sketchnotes from #13ntc: the Nonprofit Technology Conference

Sketchnotes from #13ntc: the Nonprofit Technology Conference published on 1 Comment on Sketchnotes from #13ntc: the Nonprofit Technology Conference

Here are my sketchnotes from the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference. The sessions I drew include panels on:

And then there were the keynotes:

  • Beth Kanter’s panel on Placing Small Bets – which was both a thoughtful exploration of the power and limits of experimentation in the nonprofit world, and a great example of how panels can be more than the sum of their (mighty impressive) parts
  • Dan Pallotta‘s Uncharitable, arguing that nonprofits are trapped in a paradigm of self-sacrifice and calling for charities to throw off the shackles of philanthropy as usual

It’s my favourite conference of the year… even if (see next cartoon) I spent an awful lot of this year’s edition in airports, waiting for the weather to clear.

Notes from a session on digital activism

How nonprofits can protect digital rights (and themselves) post-SOPA: cartoon-blogging at #12ntc

How nonprofits can protect digital rights (and themselves) post-SOPA: cartoon-blogging at #12ntc published on 2 Comments on How nonprofits can protect digital rights (and themselves) post-SOPA: cartoon-blogging at #12ntc

Notes from a session on digital activismOne more session from NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference – this one featuring the EFF’s Rainey Reitman, Craigslist’s Craig Newmark and NTEN’s Holly Ross.

This one works a lot better as a bigger graphic. So if you’d like, here it is.

Awards luncheon: Cartoon-blogging at #12ntc

Awards luncheon: Cartoon-blogging at #12ntc published on No Comments on Awards luncheon: Cartoon-blogging at #12ntc

Oh, sure, NTEN does a great job of recognizing technological innovation, community-building and superlative achievement (huge props to Farra Trompeter, this year’s NTEN Award honoree).

Yet there are so many more kinds of genuine excellence we could be celebrating, and these cartoons represent my modest suggestions for a few new categories.

NTC: Here, let me write you a charitable receipt

NTC: Here, let me write you a charitable receipt published on No Comments on NTC: Here, let me write you a charitable receipt

One of the sessions I toonblogged at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference was Beth Kanter’s I found my free agent. Now what?

In The Networked Nonprofit, the book she and Allison fine wrote about effective nonprofits in the era of the social web, we hear about “fortress organizations”: nonprofits that work assiduously to keep their supporters and members at a distance. Volunteer activity, if it’s tolerated at all, is directed into narrow, well-policed channels.

“Free agents” are people who work outside an organization to communicate, raise funds and mobilize support for it. Their relationship isn’t the traditional get-a-zillion-fundraising-appeals-and-a-nice-annual-calendar relationship that fortresses prefer; free agents are more like peers of the non-profit they support.

Of course, some of their activities may not be the kind of things organizations are used to seeing done on their behalf. (Which gave rise to the suggestion I wound up making: manage your doubts, not your free agents. Maybe this mantra can help: “It’s not like they’re robbing banks.” Unless they are, in which case a word or two with them is probably in order.)

It was a fascinating workshop, and there were several great reports on it:

(Found more? Let me know!)

 

NTC: It’s not you. Or you. Or you. It’s me.

NTC: It’s not you. Or you. Or you. It’s me. published on No Comments on NTC: It’s not you. Or you. Or you. It’s me.

One of the sessions I toonblogged at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference was Beth Kanter’s I found my free agent. Now what?

In The Networked Nonprofit, the book she and Allison fine wrote about effective nonprofits in the era of the social web, we hear about “fortress organizations”: nonprofits that work assiduously to keep their supporters and members at a distance. Volunteer activity, if it’s tolerated at all, is directed into narrow, well-policed channels.

“Free agents” are people who work outside an organization to communicate, raise funds and mobilize support for it. Their relationship isn’t the traditional get-a-zillion-fundraising-appeals-and-a-nice-annual-calendar relationship that fortresses prefer; free agents are more like peers of the non-profit they support.

It was a fascinating workshop, and there were several great reports on it:

(Found more? Let me know!)

 

NTC: Fortress organizations

NTC: Fortress organizations published on No Comments on NTC: Fortress organizations

One of the sessions I toonblogged at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference was Beth Kanter’s I found my free agent. Now what?

In The Networked Nonprofit, the book she and Allison fine wrote about effective nonprofits in the era of the social web, we hear about “fortress organizations”: nonprofits that work assiduously to keep their supporters and members at a distance. Volunteer activity, if it’s tolerated at all, is directed into narrow, well-policed channels.

“Free agents” are people who work outside an organization to communicate, raise funds and mobilize support for it. Their relationship isn’t the traditional get-a-zillion-fundraising-appeals-and-a-nice-annual-calendar relationship that fortresses prefer; free agents are more like peers of the non-profit they support.

It was a fascinating workshop, and there were several great reports on it:

(Found more? Let me know!)

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