Info For Nonprofits

Next To Silicon Valley, Nonprofits Draw Youth Of Color Into Tech -

AFP Blog -

Next To Silicon Valley, Nonprofits Draw Youth Of Color Into Tech - To counter that, a growing number of nonprofits are popping up in Oakland to help young blacks and Latinos break into the industry.

The Goal Is Exposure

Every afternoon this summer, Armstrong is in the offices of a small nonprofit called Hack the Hood. Her job is to fix websites for clients.

"I'm trying to do an outline," she says, staring at a page on her laptop that has a lot of links. "You click on it, it takes you everywhere in the world. I like short and simple."

Can My Fitbit Data Make Health Care Better?

Beth's Blog -

I first put a fitbit, a digital pedometer that tracks steps, calories burned, food intake, and other personal analytics data,  on my wrist back in October. After some results from routine tests during my annual physical,  my doctor informed me that my cholesterol was high.    ”Start exercising more and stop eating bacon cheese burgers ” were the doctor’s orders and we’ll retest in 6 months.  Otherwise, I would need to go on statins.

As a data nerd, I couldn’t resist the fitbit and its ability to track my every move during this glorious science experiment.   After six months of monitoring my personal health analytics and making better decisions,  I’m happy to report that my cholesterol  is in the normal range and a side benefit of loosing 20 pounds.    I also started living the fitbit life, especially around finding ways to incorporate walking into my work – at client meetings,  trainings, and even keynotes.

Many people are embracing wearable devices and apps that monitor their health and use it to improve their health.  In a recent article in the MIT Technology Review about mobile health care data, making this data actionable can be life saving for the patient.

“Data is changing the role of patients, offering them a chance to play a more central part in their own care. One way is by using mobile technology to monitor sleep patterns, heart rate, activity levels, and so on. In development are even more advanced devices capable of continuously monitoring such key metrics as blood oxygen, glucose levels, and even stress. And companies like Apple are hoping to become repositories for all this information, giving consumers new ways to track and perhaps improve their health.”

Is there the potential for greater good from aggregating and analyzing our collective fitbit and other personal health data?  Are there other benefits? What are the challenges?

These are the questions discussed during the Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C. last month.  According to Information Week, the Health Data Exploration Project, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), announced it was forming a network of academics, scientists, and health IT companies interested in figuring out the logistical, practical, and ethical issues related to mining consumer health data to spot public health trends.

The project published the Personal Data for the Public Good and has recently received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore the issues identified in the report.   They are defining health-related data as the data being collected by wearable devices and smartphone apps as well as ambient social data as people communicate on social networks and leave digital footprints related to personal health tracking, monitoring, and decision-making.

As the report points out,  “personal health data” falls into a bermuda triangle as it is currently mostly outside of the mainstream of traditional health care, public health or health research.  Medical, behavioral, social and public health research still largely rely on traditional sources of health data such as those collected in clinical trials, sifting through electronic medical records, or conducting periodic surveys.

The initial survey and interviews found the following:

  • Individuals were very willing to share their self-tracking data for research, in particular if they knew the data would advance knowledge in the fields related to PHD such as public health, health care, computer science and social and behavioral science. Most expressed an explicit desire to have their information shared anonymously and we discovered a wide range of thoughts and concerns regarding thoughts over privacy.
  • There is a great deal of experimentation taking place.  For example, SmallStepsLab serves as an intermediary between Fitbit, a data rich company, and academic researchers via a “preferred status” API held by the company. Researchers pay SmallStepsLab for this access as well as other enhancements that they might want.
  • There are clearly some obstacles around privacy and access. The report pointed out these:
  • Privacy and Data Ownership: Among individuals surveyed, the dominant condition (57%) for making their PHD available for research was an assurance of privacy for their data, and over 90% of respondents said that it was important that the data be anonymous. Further, while some didn’t care who owned the data they generate, a clear majority wanted to own or at least share owner- ship of the data with the company that collected it.
  • InformedConsent:Researchers are concerned about the privacy of PHD as well as respecting the rights of those who provide it. For most of our researchers, this came down to a straightforward question of whether there is informed consent. Our research found that current methods of informed consent are challenged by the ways PHD are being used and reused in research. A variety of new approaches to informed consent are being evaluated and this area is ripe for guidance to assure optimal outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Data Sharing and Access: Among individuals, there is growing interest in, as well as willingness and opportunity to, share personal health data with others. People now share these data with others with similar medical conditions in online groups like PatientsLikeMe or Crohnology, with the intention to learn as much as possible about mutual health concerns. Looking across our data, we find that individuals’ willingness to share is dependent on what data is shared, how the data will be used, who will have access to the data and when, what regulations and legal protections are in place, and the level of compensation or benefit (both personal and public).
  • Data Quality: Researchers highlighted concerns about the validity of PHD and lack of standardization of devices. While some of this may be addressed as the consumer health device, apps and services market matures, reaching the optimal outcome for researchers might benefit from strategic engagement of important stakeholder groups.

There are more and more people like me who are tracking their health on their smartphone or on social networks and a growing number of wearable devices that can track data. There are many more on the horizon, for example, even a digital plate that count your calorie intake.  The report identifies a lot of interest from individuals and researchers to make use of this data.  However, privacy, balancing open science with intellectual data, and other issues need to be addressed before personal health data can be maximized for public good.

While social media and social networks were the first wave of connectedness, we are now entering what Geoff Livingston describes as a “post social era.”   This is a world where everything will be connected and generate data, even cows will tweet.   We’re just beginning to look at the implications for the social good sector.

Are you tracking your health with a health app?   Would you be willing to share your personal health information with researchers?



14 Fantastic Nonprofit Marketing Jobs! Take It Forward Tuesday

Getting Attention! -

Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

Communications Associate, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (Princeton, NJ)

Communications & Policy Director, American Forest Foundation (Washington, DC)

Communications Director, Rebuild by Design (New York, NY)

Communications Director, William Mitchell College of Law (Saint Paul, MN)

Communications Specialist, The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (Asheville, NC)

Digital Content & Marketing Manager, National Council on Aging (Washington, DC)

Digital Media Specialist, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (Spartanburg, SC)

Director of Communications, Life Sciences Foundation (Oakland, CA)

Director of Communications, Stuart Foundation (San Francisco, CA)

Director of Communications, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cambridge, MA)

Director of Marketing & Communications, American College of Rheumatology
(Atlanta, GA)

Internal Online Communications Manager, American Board of Internal Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)

Marketing Manager, Just Give (San Francisco, CA)

Social Media Specialist, amFAR (New York, NY)

Recent Opportunities

Nonprofit Marketing Jobs—July 15, 2014

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

Connecting Resources and People: a Journey from Website to Digital Strategy


Reggie Henry Chief Information Officer ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership From website to interactive content space and digital strategy hub: Reggie Henry from ASAE tells all.

Content-rich websites are resplendent with both opportunities and challenges. NTEN staff met up with Reggie Henry, CIO of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, to understand how their membership organization went about meeting the challenge of better connecting ASAE's online resources and information to the members who need and want specific content.

How to Have a Killer Online Donation Page


Leah Merrill Software Analyst Capterra A silky smooth donation page can make the difference between a gift from a new supporter and a missed opportunity.

For many organizations, their primary means of receiving donations is through their donation page.  For this reason, it is really important that you make sure that your page works well and is straightforward for your donors to navigate.  Here are a few tips on how to make your online donation page the best that it can be.

Our Website as Our Home Base


At NTEN, we're all over the Internet: we've got a community platform supporting online discussions and local events; microsites for both the Nonprofit Technology Conference and the Leading Change Summit; monthly email newsletters highlighting guest articles and new research on the blog; and social media profiles where we engage with the community regularly, including on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For all this effort to create content and spark conversations, we won't be successful if our online presence didn't have a home. Our website is that home, and being a home is a difficult but important role.

It's not an easy job being the home for everything you do online. Here's what it means for

Create the content we want.

When you treat your website as the starting place and the central aggregator of all that you do online, you have a go-to publishing platform. Length, style, graphics—you don't have any limitations on your website. You can create the content you want and then share or repurpose on other channels when it makes sense. While it's true that you'll only be able to share a single sentence on Twitter, you can always link to the full story on your site. You may push compelling pictures or infographics to Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, or Tumblr, but you can still link to the story behind those images on your website. 

Connect content and community.

Think about how you use the Web each day. In one moment, you may have a number of windows or tabs going at once, clicking on a link in a news story and then sharing it on a social network. You might then visit a friend's blog where she shares a list of articles she's come across lately. A moment later, you could be checking your email where you're pointed to various websites and social platforms. It can feel scattered. So don't think that your supporters know all the best places to find you and your content. NTEN's website helps us connect content with community so that wherever you found us, you can easily link back to the website and then click back out to the channel of your preference. 

Support diversity and longevity.

You've probably seen many different blog posts, infographics, and reports that show the various demographic make-ups of specific communities within the vast expanse of the internet. At NTEN, our online content is primarily created by and for our community: guest articles each month, features and case studies in the quarterly journal, and webinars and conference sessions designed and led by members. It doesn't make sense to think we'd be reaching the entire community if we only shared content or engaged with people on Twitter. Or LinkedIn. Or only on our blog. By using the website as the home base for all content—publishing in full there first—we are able to support and highlight the most diverse voices and ensure their content is searchable and findable much longer than a tweet.  

Content overdose.

Of course, there's always going to be thorns with the roses. In this case, creating and posting so much content means your home can get a bit messy. Or, hoarder-like, actually. You may have seen some of our recent posts talking about our website redesign and overhaul. A huge contributing factor and influence to our process is our website's role as our home base. We know we are a content-heavy organization, and the website has suffered because of our lack of features to ensure we are updating the content that should be updated while getting rid of or archiving content so it stops confusing visitors looking for the best resources they can find. We need to ensure that, while the website is the home base, we enforce some rules to keep it clean and welcoming for friends and new visitors. 

What role does your website serve for your organization? What other tips would you add to the list?

The Future of the Nonprofit Workplace: Introducing the Mobile Office | GuideStar Blog

AFP Blog -

The Future of the Nonprofit Workplace: Introducing the Mobile Office | GuideStar Blog: From GenMobile to telecommuting, the nature of work and the office are fast changing: nonprofits, are you ready to cut the cord?

“In the near future the term ‘office’ will be obsolete and the drab surroundings we associate with the executive life will be erased as a new model for work emerges. This emerging vision of the workplace will facilitate flexible working patterns in a society in which nine-to-five working is increasingly the exception rather than the rule.” This opening statement from a new report by Aruba Networks, Workplace Futures, sets the table for an amazing opportunity confronting nonprofits and organizations: How to harness new mobile and cloud technologies to both make how and where they work more productive, efficient, and cost effective.

Stop the Glorification of Busy and Thrive

Beth's Blog -

I just returned last week from vacation with my husband and children at the Jersey Shore where I grew up.   It was great to sit on the beach and do nothing, get lots of walking in, and hang out with family.    Above all, it is a great escape from your never ending to do list.   I did take along a few books, including Ariana Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

The book is about how to reframe success away from money and power to a third metric.  She identifies this as “thriving,” where you get enough sleep, take care of yourself, and work isn’t your whole life.    Over the past year,  I’ve been trying to incorporate thriving into my life – most recently with integrating “walking” into work and embracing the personal analytics movement to pay attention to health.

When I got back online, I discovered Guy Kawasaki’s excellent visual review of the book on SlideShare created with Canva.   I thought he captured the essence of the book’s important message.   The first point – redefine success as making a difference in the world – is something that people like us who  work in the social change sector have already done.  We think about that every day and try to live it.     But, unfortunately, sometimes we are so driven by passion and compassion that we don’t follow Ariana’s other tips and end up burning out or a working and living with a high functioning depression.

She talks a lot about self-care and nurturing yourself.    Whether this is taking time to meditate, walking, take breaks from the screen, eat healthy foods that don’t promote stress, get enough sleep, spend time with family, or whatever that is besides grinding away at work.    The biggest challenge is making this part of your life is doing it before you reach a crisis stage – and not feeling “guilty” or “selfish” for taking care of yourself.

Thriving requires taking a digital detox – going offline and focusing on the other people you are with.   I’ve written a lot about mindfulness and managing your attention in an age of distraction, including the use of “conscious computing tools.”   But it is also important to just turn off the damn computer and mobile phone and spend time with your loved ones or your own thoughts.

I love the takeaway around “Keep on Learning,”  this is what has fueled me over the span of my work.  However,  after you’ve been working in your field for decades or you are overworking yourself, you can be in danger of reaching a place of ennui – where nothing excites or interests you.    I’ve found that one way to avoid this is to find a new perspective on a topic or dip your toes in a completely new topic area.    Often, that’s where I discover something that can inspires a whole new wave of learning.

Thriving is about being intuitive and being able t listen to your inner voice and not be so busy that you can’t hear it.  Recently,  I listened to a Radio Lab episode where they were discussing an experiment where they found a way to take away a human’s understanding of language and making connections by having them shadow or repeat another person’s speech.  The experiment subjects could not make good choices.  I think the drone of a constant to do list and social chatter, and distraction can take away our ability to listen to our own hunches – and then we get trapped because we’re not making good choices.

Thriving is about finding solitude.   More and more in a connected world where the collective is the norm,  that is harder to find and make the space.    I think that we need to learn the skill of balancing solitude with social connection in order to thrive.

There are many great ideas and takeaways in the book – and well worth reading.

How are you taking care of yourself so you can avoid burnout, be successful, and change the world?




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