Guest blog post by Greenlights’ summer 2014 Consulting intern, Katelyn Walbridge.
As a graduate student, I’ve had the opportunity to take a variety of interesting classes related to nonprofits. One of the best classes I’ve taken has been Information Systems and Technology in Social Work through the UT School of Social Work. In this class, I learned about the ever-changing world of technology for nonprofits and the importance of being aware of what is going on in the nonprofit tech community. Most people agree that staying engaged and informed about nonprofit technology is necessary, yet many nonprofits may not be sure how to do this. Technology is important for nonprofits simply because it helps us improve the quality of our services and be more effective in our jobs.
As I am preparing to graduate and enter the nonprofit world, I can’t help but be excited about the potential technological resources available to support and improve nonprofits, and yet, I find myself overwhelmed with identifying what resources will work best for me and my organization. I know that many of you in the nonprofit community can identify with these feelings. My hope is that I can help shed some light on how to stay engaged with the technological changes and resources available to the nonprofit community. (continue reading…)
Workshops are in full swing here at Greenlights, I love seeing all the eager nonprofit professionals coming in to take advantage of our workshops, like the Volunteir series and Board Essentials. But as most Central Texas nonprofits can identify with, budgets are sometimes pretty tight and time limited. So how does a nonprofiteer increase their skills on a limited budget? Here are 3 uncommon resources you can use to increase your knowledge and skills. (continue reading…)
As 2013 is getting ramped up, one of my goals (again) is to take full advantage of the time I have and be intentional in how I spend/invest it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this pursuit and want to share several cool tools I’ve found that help me make the most of my time.
Imagine you’re sitting in traffic and using that time to catch up on the latest nonprofit blog post or New York Times article. I know what you’re thinking – don’t check your phone while driving. Exactly my point… May I introduce SoundGecko. It’s a web based service that will convert any website, RSS feed, or pdf document into an mp3 format you can listen to. (continue reading…)
Are you looking for a way to spice up your presentations and reports? Perhaps you just want some fun ways to collaborate with colleagues or clients? If so, you might enjoy my favorite free (or low-cost) data visualization tools. First of all, big thanks to Susan Kistler, Executive Director of the American Evaluation Association, for sharing these with a wall-to-wall, standing room only crowd Eval 2012. It was my favorite session by far! Her list was even more expansive; these are just my top ten.
I don’t know about you, but to me the word “benchmarking” brings thoughts of enormous quantities of data, indecipherable graphs, and 50-page reports. Even with my background in math and science, and a love for excel spreadsheets… there’s only so many numbers a girl can take.
Looking at reports and gathering/comparing data can be difficult and time consuming. And to what end? For many small- and medium-sized nonprofits, these benchmarking reports aren’t even an accurate reflection of what we do each day.
Do I believe that if you can’t track it, graph it and benchmark it you shouldn’t do it? No.
Do I believe that you should blindly go about your day not thinking about what’s behind all your hard work? No.
There must be somewhere in the middle. (continue reading…)