Over the past couple of months we’ve been introducing you to the incredible cast of characters who are helping to shape NTEN’s inaugural Leading Change Summit.
It’s about time we celebrate the dynamic duo behind the Idea Accelerator: Emily Lonigro Boylan and Demetrio Cardona-Maguigad of LimeRed Studio. LimeRed is a creative services firm that works with organizations that inspire positive change.
Emily, who founded LimeRed Studio ten years ago, has a portfolio spanning business development, design, user experience, writing, marketing, and strategy in both online and offline programs for multinational corporations, nonprofits, universities, boutique businesses, and prestigious consumer brands. She is a board member of MOM+BABY, member of Chicago's Small Business Advocacy Council, contributor to The Net Change, and more.
Demetrio serves as LimeRed’s Director of Strategic Design. He is also an Assistant Professor and Researcher at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches the Social Media & Public Relations Strategies courses in the Marketing Communications program, as well as an executive producer and on-air host for Chicago is the World, a weekly radio program with a global following.
Both Emily and Demetrio are committed members of NTEN and #nptech communities; you might recognize them from past talks at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, the 501 Tech Club Chicago meetup, or the Nonprofit Tech Academy faculty.
Learn more about Emily, Demetrio, and the Idea Accelerator:
- Read a Q&A on the LimeRed blog
- Sign up for our free August 14 webinar, How to Make the Most of the #14LCS Idea Accelerator
We can’t wait to see what ideas surface between now and the Summit, and which finalists will take the mainstage at the end of the Idea Accelerator! Huge thanks to Emily and Demetrio for helping to shape and manage what’s sure to be an energizing and inspiring grand finale.
Assistant Manager of Digital Engagement, Rubin Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Associate Director of Communications, World of Children Award (Dublin, CA)
Communications Coordinator, Urban Libraries Council
Communications Manager, Trinity Church Foundation (Boston, MA)
Design Associate, Public Interest GRFX (Philadelphia, PA)
Development/Communications Officer, Countryside Association (Palatine, IL)
Editorial Assistant, Thomas B. Fordham Institute (Washington, DC)
Executive Director, Osterville Village Library (Osterville, MA)
Marketing & Communications Manager, Prospect Park Alliance (Brooklyn, NY)
Marketing Manager, Education Super Highway (San Francisco, CA)
Media Associate, National Abortion Federation (Washington DC)
Outreach Manager, Peninsula Open Space Trust (Bay Area, CA)
Senior Communications Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Princeton, NJ)
Web Producer, Council on Foundations (Arlington, VA)
NTEN Communities of Practice (CoPs) are affinity groups centered on specific topics of interest, from community management to Drupal to nonprofits in the arts. These online groups provide support for your specific needs and interests and offer ongoing opportunities for growth.
But it takes more than a name and a platform to convene a group of thoughtful people; it takes volunteer organizers who are willing to give their time and efforts to build and maintain an online community. We asked NTEN's great CoP organizers to help us understand why they answered the call to nonprofit tech leadership. Following are some highlights from the many answers we received.
Why did you start leading your CoP?
“The previous leader left the nonprofit world, and I wanted this CoP to continue to thrive. It's helped me, and I want more and to help others.” - Richard Wollenberger, Technology Decision Makers CoP
"The CoP used to be only about blogging. I started the group about 8 years ago because I enjoy connecting nonprofit bloggers with each other and wanted to have a place to talk about blogs. I recently expanded the CoP to digital communications to meet the needs of the NTEN community and continue to lead the CoP because I enjoy this role." - Emily Weinberg, Nonprofit Digital Communications CoP
"A couple of us met at NTC 2014. And while each of us came from different parts of the nonprofit arts community, we all wanted to see a stronger presence by arts groups at the conference. There was so much goodness on offer! I’m hoping we can create and sustain a space where arts groups can connect and share what they know (and especially what they don't know)." - Dawn Heinen, Arts Nonprofits CoP
"I have 3 passions: 1) Technology; 2) helping people; and 3) talking. When I heard that the IT Directors CoP (now the Technology Decision Makers CoP) was looking for a cohost for the monthly call, I was excited to step forward. I enjoy working with Richard, and I hope that our efforts mean that other nonprofits don't have to go through the trials that we endure." - Alex N. Speaks, Technology Decision Makers CoP
“I was searching for more meaningful work. As if a light bulb had suddenly gone off, I realized that I wanted to use my 20+ years of database experience for causes that I felt passionate about. Last summer while lying in a hammock, I was contemplating my plan to transition from corporate to nonprofit work. I happened to have my iPad with me, and whatever it was that I searched for lead me to NTEN. I became a member and am now the CoP organizer for Nonprofits & Data. People I have met through NTEN seem to really like what they do. It’s so refreshing to meet people who choose to spend their time to make positive changes in the world.” - Shari Cartun, Nonprofits & Data CoP
“After attending the 2014 NTC I really wanted to connect with more women in leadership and tech and find a common story arc of how we ended up where we are today and where we want to go tomorrow. Also, I wanted to connect with more diverse women in tech and encourage all the women sitting outside during discussions to join and be heard.” - Veda Banerjee, Women in Nonprofit Tech CoP
What advice would you give to a new CoP leader?
“See what other CoPs are doing to get ideas. Try them with your CoP but know what works well for one CoP may not work as well for another. Create a survey for your CoP to see what your community wants.” - Emily Weinberg, Nonprofit Digital Communications CoP
“Co-organizers are invaluable. You need to be able to go on vacation! And if you're an overworked staffer or a scrambling freelancer, sometimes other things have to take priority — be open with your co-organizers about when you can step up, and when you need to take a break.” - Ivan Boothe, Drupal CoP
“If something about your CoP is not working, try something new. Once you find something that seems to work, really commit to it. Schedule it way in advance (for example, we usually have ours on the third Thursday of every month, 1pm ET/10am PT). Have a single URL when possible where notes or resource lists can live. If your CoP is open to people who aren't members of NTEN (ours is), then consider publicizing it in other places outside of the usual NTEN circles. There are lots of nptechies out there who don't yet know about NTEN and would love to connect.” - Johanna Bates, Drupal CoP
“Don't try to impose your ideas on your CoP. Instead, figure out what people are already doing and find ways to enhance that. Change happens best in small moves. I use that advice in lots of places in my career.” - Alex N. Speaks, Technology Decision Makers CoP
“I don't have any advice yet, except to say I don't expect to see much 'community' activity until we get critical mass (normally over 100 people minimum in my experience).” - Maddie Grant, Arts Nonprofits CoP
Describe one big failure you had while working with your CoP and how it made you a stronger leader.
“Firstly, there's no such thing as failure, only adjustment of expectations :) We're too new to have failed yet, but we did realize we need to do more promotion of our calls. We had a ton of people for the first one, so didn't try hard enough for the second and had a lot less people.” - Maddie Grant, Arts Nonprofits CoP
“Our first call was pretty lively and well attended. We were psyched. However, our second monthly call consisted of just the CoP leaders and one other person (a leader of another CoP who was just listening in to see how our two CoPs might intersect). No one else joined the call. The session was being recorded, so I felt more than a little foolish. It underscored the need for me to carve out some more time between calls to build awareness for the next call. - Dawn Heinen, Arts Nonprofits CoP
“One of the biggest struggles has been trying to find candidates for a monthly webinar. A lot of the amazing women that I think our group would like to hear from tend to be booked far in advance or charge for speaking engagements. We haven't really been able to successfully engage in a discussion about what the group members want from the webinar or who specifically they'd like to hear from.” - Michelle Chaplin, Women in Nonprofit Tech CoP
“Since I'm new, I don't have a failure to report! Yet. :)” - Veda Banerjee, Women in Nonprofit Tech CoP
How do you identify and develop emerging CoP leaders in your community?
“I cultivate participation by manually inviting members to the calls. When I invite 20-30 people, attendance is up.” - Richard Wollenberger, Technology Decision Makers CoP
“Johanna and I are both involved in the Drupal community generally, so we're always on the lookout for other folks who would be interested in helping present on a monthly call, or folks who might benefit from being able to ask questions on a call.” - Ivan Boothe, Drupal CoP
“With this group, it's mostly about encouraging people to step up and be leaders. Most of the members I've heard from already have great stories to tell and strong leadership qualities. Sometimes they just need to be reminded that they already have what it takes to do this! - Michelle Chaplin, Women in Nonprofit Tech CoP
“The group is so new that we are still trying to find our voice and foundation. Looking for emerging leaders in the community will be the next step.” - Veda Banerjee, Women in Nonprofit Tech CoP
If you were to write a book, what would the title be?
A life lived without blinders - Richard Wollenberger, Technology Decision Makers CoP
Judgy Judge Judger (I actually have this printed on a nameplate on my desk. A birthday gift from my now-husband.) - Dawn Heinen, Arts Nonprofits CoP
Luckily I have written a couple - Open Community and Humanize. Currently working on my next book, and having major trouble honing in on a title, actually. It's about millennial thinking and how all generations need to embrace it to succeed in the new normal - I want to call the book Epic Win but my co-author's not so keen. :) - Maddie Grant, Arts Nonprofits CoP
Old Ivan's Miscellany - Ivan Boothe, Drupal CoP
The Hollow and the Spring - Alex N. Speaks, Technology Decision Makers CoP
Ampersand: Noticing Both and And in an Either/Or World - Johanna Bates, Drupal CoP
What's your favorite YouTube video?
Our hats off to the many amazing volunteers who bring together their local communities of nonprofit tech aficionados to support and further social change. Thank you!
It's easy to join a Community of Practice— just look for the group that strikes your fancy, login to your NTEN account or create an account, fill out your profile, and join the discussion(s). Do you have an idea for a CoP? You can start one! If you'd like to start a group of your own, contact us, and we'll help get your group started!
Crowdfunding in general has raised more than 5.1 billion in 2013 and nonprofit fundraisers using crowdfunding platforms and techniques continues to explode (according to this infographic from Craig Newmark). As nonprofits hone and refine peer to peer fundraising best practices, we are also seeing more more people make philanthropy a part of their everyday personal expression – whether on social networks or in the real world. There is a growing recognition, that personal success is not about solely about making a lot of money, but also giving it to charity as Ariana Huffington points out in Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.
But giving, isn’t just about making a donation or volunteering your time. It’s about engaging, participating, and being part of something bigger than yourself. Perhaps that explains the appeal of community Giving Days or participating in global giving days like GivingTuesday. We are starting to see a rise of crowd funding projects done by and for kids, perhaps as part of the trend of “PhilanthroTeens” or “PhilanthroKids.” These are teens (and pre-teens) with a passion for social change and who grew up not knowing what it was like to not to have a cell phone or be connected to Facebook. The media has dubbed this generation – “Qwerty Monsters” who send hundreds of text messages a day and don’t even like to use their phone for calls (and with two teens in my house, I can attest this is true). But it is more than the technology, it is also their passion to do good in the world.
Here’s a few recent examples that I’ve spotted recently in my Facebook newsfeed, comments on my blog, and other online places. What they all have in common is kids who are combining their passion with philanthropy.
1. A Crowdfunding Campaign To Save A Horse Farm
Meet Charlotte, the teen daughter of one of my colleagues, Tom Subak, who is Chief Information Officer for a national charity and knows a thing or two about engaging young people and fundraising online. Charlotte started riding horses when she was 5 years old. Her first ride was on “Ida” at Flying Change Farm — the farm that is now in danger of being lost by its owner, Diane Schoonmaker. According to Tom, Diane and the other instructors at Flying Change are very special people. They practice what’s known as natural horsemanship, sometimes called horse whispering, where they focus on the connection between the horse and the rider, relying much less on physical domination and more on communication between the two.
The story is about how Diane has run into trouble with the local planning board is described here on her GoFundMe page and has incurred legal fees. She is trying to raise money by selling one of her horses and crowdfunding money to help with her legal fees. Charlotte is helping Diane garner attention for her campaign, by putting in to practice some good tips from her Dad!
2. Crowdfunding Is Fueling A Dream To Be An Astronaut
My colleague, Stacey Monk, founder of Epic Change and one of the pioneers of peer-to-peer fundraising efforts incorporating social media, shared this NPR story about a Kickstarter Campaign by a Gideon, 15 year old boy who is from in Tanzania Africa. At age 7, he knew his passion was space and wanted to be a rocket ship pilot. The fact that he lived in a rural Tanzanian village where school only went up to the 6th grade did not stop him. With help from Stacey Monk and inspiration from the potato salad guy on Kickstarter he has launched a crowd funding campaign to cover his school costs so he can become Tanzania’s first astronaut. (He will also create a special recipe for Tanzanian Potato Salad).
3. Raising Money To Fight Food Insecurity
Braeden Quinn Mannering is passionate about stopping food insecurity for families in need. He created his own nonprofit and program called “”Brae’s Brown Bags” to help fight against hunger, probably making him one of the youngest nonprofit CEOs and founders. He has used the money to purchase and distribute bottled water, fruit and other healthy snacks to those in need in his community. He’s handed out more than 1,200 bags to shelters, soup kitchens or even on the street. Last year March at SXSW, at the Future of Nonprofits, I predicted that in the future we’d have many free agent, teenage do gooders like Mark Horvath that nonprofits will engage with. Well, Braeden is one of them.
Braeden was chosen to represent Delaware at the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge banquet at the White House. His taco bowl creation earned him a seat at dinner with the First Lady, who offered yet another challenge to pay it forward. You can read about his efforts on his blog. I first learned about Braeden’s work because he left a comment on one of my blog posts. He’s established a nonprofit, been invited to the White House, and tirelessly promotes his cause – all at age 10! Look out world!
4. The Next Generation of Cause Marketing for Cystic Fibrosis Research
GivingTuesday is ramping up for its 2014 campaign and it looks like children and teens will be a part of the movement. One example is Emily Barr from Maryland is a clever 5th grader who wants to help her best friend who has Cystic Fibrosis. She is making barrettes, selling them, and donating the proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. What could be better than that? She also takes the time to educate others about the disease and how to host a successful fundraiser.
Teens and preteens are passionate about social causes and fluent with online tools – so it comes as no surprise that we are seeing crowdfunding campaigns that they have created and are championing online, with just a little parental guidance and encouragement. There are many other examples out there.
The question for nonprofits is – how can you leverage and empower teens and preteens to be philanthropists for your organization’s cause?
We’ve been working all year to make the 2014 Leading Change Summit an incredible experience for all of you, so we were excited when the San Francisco Hilton at Union Square presented an opportunity to make it even more spectacular. One lucky attendee will be upgraded to a corner suite with a view for no additional cost!
Now, we know what it’s like to work for a nonprofit. Managing our budgets seldom affords the opportunity to fly first class or stay in four star accommodations. We could never pick a winner at random because in our eyes, you all deserve the fancy room, so we need some form of tiebreaker in the interest of fairness.
How to enter to win a sweet corner suite in three easy steps:
- Register for LCS
- Make your hotel reservations by 8/15
- Post a haiku telling us why you are looking forward to LCS to Twitter using #14LCS
Your haikus will be judged by our team of english majors (who all ended up working in #nptech); one lucky winner will be notified by 8/20.