Info For Nonprofits

The 2014 Rob Stuart Memorial Award: PEAK and PLUK


The Rob Stuart Memorial Award honors the spirit of the man who was so pivotal in creating our community. Rob was a builder - of communities, of ideas, and of movements. Central to all of this work was the idea that technology can accelerate the pace of change, making it possible for movements to grow overnight and for change to be created in new and surprising ways.

The 2014 Award Winner

PEAK & PLUK Parent Centers, Barb Buswell and Roger Holt

Each year, we celebrate Rob by selecting a community that uses technology to disrupt the status quo. This year, we are so thrilled to recognize Barb Buswell and Roger Holt, of PEAK & PLUK Parent Centers, with the Rob Stuart Award. They both have, for many years, brought their passion and dedication to serving parents in their own towns and beyond, staff in other Parent Centers across the US, and even the NTEN community of nonprofit staff from all causes and locations.

Neither Barb nor Roger could be at the NTC this year to receive their awards in person for reasons that perfectly illuminate the reasons they were nominated: With more limited resources than previous years, very few Parent Center staff could attend the NTC this year and though they both love the conference and the chance to see many friends and colleagues in person, they thought it best to allow staff across the country who had never been able to attend to come instead.

Please join us in thanking and celebrating Barb and Roger, and their entire teams at PEAK and PLUK!

PEAK Parent Center provides training, information, and technical assistance to equip families of children birth through age twenty-six including all disability conditions with strategies to advocate successfully for their children. As a result of PEAK's services to families and professionals, children and adults with disabilities will live rich, active lives participating as full members of their schools and communities. Barbara Buswell co-founded PEAK Parent Center, and has been a Director since 1986. Barbara's son, Wilson, introduced her to the world of disability and triggered her commitment to supporting families across the country to develop advocacy skills that enable inclusive and successful lives for people with disabilities.

PLUK Parent Center was formed in 1984 by parents of children with special needs in the state of Montana for the purpose of information, support, training, and assistance to aid their children at home, school, and as adults. PLUK was founded by parents who felt strongly that parents of children with disabilities need to band together to give each other information and support. Roger Holt began a career with PLUK in the fall of 1990 to work with all things technological. Over the years he designed all the data collection/management systems, a statewide computer network for staff, websites, phone systems, and whatever else was needed. He also became one of the first RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Practitioners in the state and assists hundreds of individuals, families, schools, and agencies with technology access issues.

The 2014 NTEN Award: Jason Shim


NTEN isn't an organization, we're a community – a community with a shared set of values, including authenticity, sharing, and of course, laughter.

Each year at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, we get the chance to celebrate one individual – of the many! – who embodies those values and enhances the NTEN community. These individuals, recipients of the annual NTEN Award, are the people working hard to move NTEN's mission forward from within the community: always ready to share a case study, idea, or contact. They support the community by writing articles and presenting sessions and webinars. Oh, and they make us laugh, too. In short, they embody NTEN's Values.

While we're excited to present this award annually to a single individual, we know that a successful community is much more than than one person. So thank you for being a vital part of the NTEN community. As we celebrate the NTEN award winner, we celebrate all of you.

The 2014 Award Winner

We can't count the ways that this year's recipient has helped, contributed to, supported, encouraged, or promoted others in the NTEN community. We tried. We are thrilled to honor Jason's passion and investment in this community as well as his personal spirit and approach to service with this year's NTEN Award.

Jason Shim has spent his career working with youth and technology and understands the challenges of the front line, helping numerous nonprofit organizations develop and deploy effective digital media strategies and policies to better engage community members. Currently, he serves as Digital Media Manager for Pathways to Education Canada leading the organization’s national digital strategy.

In 2013, Jason led Pathways to Education to became the first national Canadian charity to issue tax receipts for Bitcoin donations. Jason also serves as an instructor in Digital Media Marketing at George Brown College, has held positions on several governing boards is also a contributing author to the book, Halos and Avatars.

Jason was a highly engaged member of the Communities of Impact program NTEN piloted in 2013. He participated thoughtfully in video chats, discussion threads, and in-person retreats; contributed valuable original content to the free e-book Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits; stepped up as a COI representative for our Member Appreciation Month online event; and, as a COI alum, developed and co-presented the 14NTC pre-conference workshop "How to Turn the Data Dream Into Reality."

In summer 2013, he made himself available to present a webinar for the Data Analysts for Social Good network run by his fellow COI'er Andrew Means. Before 13NTC, he teamed up with Jason Samuels to set up all of the collaborative note-taking docs for the breakout sessions at the conference. In 2012, he wrote this savvy post about engaging youth through mobile and social media.

Reaching Donors in Real Time – Wherever They Are | Third Sector Today

AFP Blog -

Reaching Donors in Real Time – Wherever They Are | Third Sector Today: While the number of nonprofits ready and eager to change the world is growing steadily, only a few can rely on direct donations and large, active donors every day. The vast majority of organized do-gooders are tucked away in the back pages of the internet, trying their best to make a difference in the world (even if only a handful of people know and share their passion.) Exit the nonprofit realm and enter the world of technology and business… everyone is screaming MOBILE

The 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award


The NTEN community is filled with amazing individuals who change the world every day. Each year, we honor an individual who has been instrumental in shaping the field of nonprofit technology, and paved the way for the rest of us. Past winners have had a hand in creating and funding the biggest organizations in our space, built nonprofit technology communities large and small, and are exploring and sharing some of the most interesting and innovative technology models. 

The 2014 Award Winner

Whenever we talk about the Lifetime Achievement Award, we always remind people that it is not an award signifying the "end" of a career or the close of a legacy of service to this sector. What sets the recipients of this award apart from most of us is that they have made a lifetime's worth of impact usually well before they decide to retire. Lynn has served NTEN in so many ways, but before NTEN was a community and an organization she was working at the intersection of the technology and nonprofit sectors. We are so thankful for Lynn's participation on the NTEN Board of Directors and grateful for her leadership and vision in this community.

Lynn Labieniec has been helping the nonprofit sector apply technology to their business operations since 1980 and is currently the CEO of and a strategy consultant for Beaconfire Consulting. She has developed technology strategies for clients such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research FoundationUnited Way of AmericaPlanned Parenthood, and others.

Before co-founding Beaconfire, Lynn served on Commerce One's Nonprofit Leadership Team, as well as a leader within Commerce One's project management skill track. Previously, Lynn was a founding partner of RivCom Limited, in the United Kingdom, a consultancy firm specializing in applying XML technologies to knowledge and information management problems. She has also held various management positions at Blackbaud Inc. and Riverside Software Inc., with a particular focus on helping corporate and private foundations effectively implement and integrate grants management and employee gift matching software. She started her career at IBM's Corporate Headquarters in Armonk, NY. During her tenure of nearly seven years, she worked on many projects with the corporate philanthropy department, including leading the technology development of IBM's employee matching gift program.

YOUR New Nonprofit Marketing Job?—Movin’ Up Monday

Getting Attention! -

Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

Communications Associate, The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc (New York, NY)

Communications Intern, DesigNYC (New York, NY)

Communications Officer, Baltimore Community Foundation (Baltimore, MD)

Digital Director, EMILY’s List (Washington, DC)

Digital Engagement Director, Graphic Design CoordinatorMarketing DirectorOnline Communications Coordinator and Web Developer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America—IAVA (New York, NY)

Digital Manager, Public Campaign Action Fund (Washington, DC)

Director of Communications-Cure Violence, University of Illinois (Chicago, IL)

Education Communications Specialist, CAMRIS International (Washington, DC)

Executive Assistant,  Digital Production Assistant and Senior Digital Strategist, Anne Lewis Strategies (Washington, DC)

Head of Outreach and Senior Media Relations Specialist, The International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC)

Marketing & Events Coordinator, Chagrin Arts (Chagrin Falls, OH)

Marketing/Communications Coordinator, The Hearing Foundations of Canada
(Toronto, Canada)

Marketing Communications Writer, Merkle Inc. (Columbia, MD)

Online Strategy Writer, Human Rights Campaign (Washington, DC)

Public Affairs Internship, National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington, DC)

Social Media Manager, Hunt Alternatives Fund (Cambridge, MA)

Recent Opportunities

Nonprofit Marketing Jobs—March 31, 2014

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for jobs + nonprofit marketing templates, tools & tips—Getting Attention blog & e-news

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Your Feedback Needed: Crowdfunding Bill of Rights!


David J. Neff Author, Speaker, & Trainer PwC and Lights. Camera. Help. Crowdfunding is a $300 billion industry, but the question remains: “what am I really giving to and what do I get?”

In March, Miriam Kagan, Senior Fundraising Principal from Kimbia, and I made the rounds at industry conferences talking about the explosion in crowdfunding ($300 billion according to industry statistics). One of the outcomes of our talks is the crowdfunding bill of rights for donors.

5 Analytic Tools to Track Your Organization's Metrics

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If your organization is struggling to find the right analytic tools to track your website traffic, social media presence, and how your reports, campaigns, or infographics perform across the web, check out this list of 5 helpful analytic tools. It won't fulfill all of your data analysis needs, but if you use some of these tools together, they will provide a decent baseline.

1. Google Analytics Report with Visually

Looking for a report that combines your Google Analytics stats in a visual format? This is a great tool, especially if you need to produce reports weekly and present them to senior leadership.

2. Simply Measured

This tool monitors your organization’s social media presence and gives you the ability to produce reports that can be exported to Excel, Powerpoint, and HTML.

3. Link Tally

Do you have a big report or infographic that was recently released and are looking to track how much it was shared on social media? Check out Link Tally. Just enter the URL and it will count up how many times it was shared across the social sharing sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. Here's an example of the data Link Tally compiled for an infographic around voter supression my firm Rad Campaign designed and researched for Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects.

4. Keyhole

Use this tool to track hashtags and data associated with them such as impressions, which users on Twitter had the most retweets, what domains mentioned the hashtag, etc. In the example below I searched for the hashtag #fundraising.

 5. SocialMention

Looking for an alternative to Google Alerts? Check out SocialMention, which searches the web to identify mentions of a topic, hashtag or person. It also tracks sentiment, but since it’s based on an algorithm rather than an actual real person, take that data with a grain of salt. Case in point. As millions of viewers await the Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere, SocialMention says that the majority of the sentiment is neutral. There is very little positive sentiment. #OhReally


Mobile 101: How your nonprofit can harness the power of mobile


Darian Rodriguez Heyman Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer BetterWorld Wireless Mobile is a critical tool for social change: How can nonprofits harness its potential to meet their mission?

According to statistics, there are 3.5 billion toothbrushes on the planet, but 4 billion cell phones.  And we’re addicted to these devices: 58% of smartphone users can’t go an hour without checking their phone, and 91% have it within arms reach 24/7. How can nonprofits harness the potential of the most popular tool in history for social change?

Another Big Gift for Big�Data - Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence - Inside Philanthropy

AFP Blog -

Another Big Gift for Big�Data - Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence - Inside Philanthropy: A  New York State university’s $100 million commitment to expand its work in data science—the emerging field that studies how we use the vast amounts of information currently being collected—just got a boost from a local grocery store chain’s family foundation. It’s the second multi-million-dollar grant to such an initiative in recent months.

The University of Rochester announced that the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation made two large donations totaling $17 million, including $10 million to benefit its Institute for Data Science and the remainder for its children’s hospital. The university is in the middle of a $1.2 billion-dollar fundraising campaign, and both centers are flagship selling points.

New Web Giving Site RaisedBy.Us Targets Tech Workers – Philanthropy Today - Blogs - The Chronicle of Philanthropy

AFP Blog -

New Web Giving Site RaisedBy.Us Targets Tech Workers – Philanthropy Today - Blogs - The Chronicle of Philanthropy: A new online donation platform aims to increase giving in the tech industry by providing a fast and easy mechanism for IT workers to devote a portion of their paycheck to the charity of their choice, writes The New York Times.

Five Best Practices in Nonprofit Crowdfunding

Beth's Blog -

Flickr Photo by Lendingmemo


Note from Beth: Last year, 30% of the $5 billion crowdfunded went to social causes according the “Cracking the Crowd Funding Code“.  Nonprofit’s use of crowdfunding is growing at an exponential rate with many nonprofits jumping on the crowfunding bandwagon attracted by the potential of finding new supporters.   Robert Wu offers a great set of best practices in this guest post below.   As crowdfunding practices mature and become an valuable part of the nonprofit fundraising toolkit, there is a need to set standards and expectations.  David Neff and colleagues have launched a “Crowdfunding Bill of Rights” to get the discussion going.  You can help create the Bill of Rights here.

Five Best Practices in Nonprofit Crowdfunding by Robert Wu

At CauseVox, We’ve helped thousands of people and nonprofits all over the world crowdfund for nonprofits and social good projects. In the early crowdfunding days, I helped launch a crowdfunding campaign with the American Red Cross and SXSW that raised $120,000 in 10 days.

Nonprofit crowdfunding is changing the landscape in online fundraising. As more and more donors are being exposed to crowdfunding for products and services, they’ll expect your fundraising to shift towards those approaches as well.

Here are five best practices that I’ve learned along the way that you need to follow in order to crowdfund successfully for your nonprofit.

1.  Start with a measurable goal

Your goal aligns your team and supporters with your crowdfunding campaign. You have to find a balance between what is within reach and what is an aspiration. If you’ve fundraised online before, ask yourself a few questions to get a baseline of what is achievable.

  • How much have we raised online in the past year?

  • What is the average amount that we have raised in a campaign or event?

  • What is the average donation amount online for us? (it’s $88 for in crowdfunding)

If this is your first time with crowdfunding, you can ask yourself:

  • How much do I need to make an impact?

  • How much does the product or service that I want to create cost?

  • How much did similar crowdfunding campaigns raise?

After you think through these questions, create a well defined goal that follows the SMART framework: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

2.  Rethink Rewards and Donation Tiers

Rewards are items, recognition, or a service that you’ll get for contributing a crowdfunding campaign. They are also known as perks or gifts, and are used as incentives to motivate people to support a campaign.

But studies have shown that rewards for donations may actually reduce giving.

The Yale researchers George Newman and Jeremy Shen, found that contrary to expectations, rewarding donors cut donations in most situations. In a nutshell, donors that received a gift, felt selfish, which in turn reduced the motivation for giving.

Instead, you should focus on impact-focused rewards.

An example of impact-driven fundraising gifts are hand-sewn scarves from a family who started a local business as a result of your donor’s micro-finance loan or a personal letter from a child who you sponsored for her education.

Impact-driven fundraising gifts are an all-around win-win because it matches both the donor’s motivations to give and the tangible impact on the one who received it.

3. Create a sexy story

You know that compelling stories get you donations, sharing, and publicity, but you’re probably thinking — “I don’t have a sexy story” or “I don’t know how to tell a compelling story”. It’s actually easier than you think to create one that works.

You have all the ingredients for a sexy story, but how do you get the recipe? Just look at Hollywood, and think back to all those movies and TV shows you’ve watched.

There are four classic storylines that perform really well with nonprofit crowdfunding:

  • Overcoming the monster – Similar to James Bond, Batman, or the Avengers, you can show your organization overcoming a villain or some form of adversity. For example, Earthrights International fights against corporate human rights abuse. They raised $20,000 with this storyline.

  • Rags to riches - Like Chris Gardner in Pursuit of Happiness, showcase your organization or individual(s) transitioning from a low to a much better place. For example, Project Renewal helps homeless people get off the streets. They showed Harry Dickerson reclaim his life from homelessness on their Giving Tuesday campaign and  raised over $70,000 with this storyline.

  • Quest - Like Lord of the Rings, tales of a dedicated group of people who encounter perils along the way to reach an ambitious goal can be highly engaging! This storyline is best used as a part of peer-to-peer fundraising, where the individual can share their story. For example, a group of friends shared stories of their beard-growing journey to raise funds for breast cancer research. They raised $28,000.

  • Tragedy - In Breaking Bad, Walter White dives into the world of making meth. He falls into something bad and gets more and more evil each day. You can focus on the negative as part of your storyline. For example, I raised $120,000 for Japan disaster relief by showing how the tsunami destroyed cities and displaced communities.

You can use these storylines to frame your story and get your crowdfunding campaign the attention it deserves. At the end of your story, put in a call-to-action so that the reader/viewer can know how to help.

4.  Build a tribe of champions

Contrary to what you may assume, you can’t launch a crowdfunding campaign by relying on the crowd. You’ll need to cultivate a tribe. Start with a list of 100 people that you know and would be willing to take action and put them in three buckets:

  • Promoters - People that will share your campaign and updates via email, social media, etc. They’ll amplify your reach. Think of them as your own publicity team.

  • Fundraisers - People that will help solicit for donations via peer-to-peer fundraising. They’ll create a mini-crowdfunding campaign through personal fundraising pages. On average, we see about 50% of crowdfunding campaign funds come in this way.

  • Donors – People that will contribute to your campaign.

Give each bucket a role and goal so that they know how and when to help. Some people can take on multiple roles if they’re high up on the engagement ladder.

In my crowdfunding campaign at SXSW, we were able to get the campaign into CNN, WSJ, NYTimes, and dozens of other press and media outlets.


Even though this drove an incredible amount of traffic and donations, not all crowdfunding campaigns should invest their time in trying to find press coverage. Here’s why:


  • Finding the right journalists can be hard. If you don’t have a relationship with them already, then the chances of them writing about you are lower.

  • Your campaign or cause has to be newsworthy. Journalists look for stories that follow a broader trend or that are in their beat.

  • Getting publicity may not yield significant donations. Even though you can get tons of awareness and traffic, they may not be the right audience that will fund your campaign.

Now, if you do decide to go the publicity route, here are the three steps to getting press.

  1. Target - Use free tools like Twitter Search to find journalists that have an interest in your area. Jot down their contact info (Twitter handle and email address).

  2. Prepare – Ask yourself, why is this newsworthy? Why would the journalist want to write about me? Why would her audience want to read the article? Come up with a press release and pitch materials based on your newsworthy story.

  3. Pitch - Contact the journalists that you’ve identified, tell them your story, and give them more info about your campaign.

Additional Best Practices

Getting started with crowdfunding is easy, but doing it right can be a challenge. You can learn more details on how to launch a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. Download our free ebook on planning a crowdfunding campaign today!

Rob Wu is the CEO of CauseVox, a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform for nonprofits.





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