2020 #NPTechClubATX Recap

carolynmappleton's picture

December 8, 2020

Thank you for being a part of NTEN & NetSquared Nonprofit Tech Club Austin! As you know, we are "all volunteer." Our expert guest speakers share their knowledge free of charge as a public service. Our organizing team of volunteers helps identify program topics and speakers and they promote our events online. 

#NPTechClubATX is inclusive. We celebrate multiple approaches, backgrounds and points of view. Our aim is to help nonprofits find cost-effective tech solutions and techniques to make their work easier, more secure and efficient. 

This year-end blog post shares the content of a thank you letter to one of our primary local sponsors this year, H-E-B. It provides a comprehensive review of our activities, and I wanted to share it with you! Our sincere thanks also go to longtime #NPTechClubATX locals Trianon Coffee and Capital Factory (which has continued to be a local tech club sponsor and to share our events on its website, even though we stopped meeting in person there this year).

It is exciting to note we are booking programs well into 2021! Our original group of volunteers worked hard over the past several years to build interest and attendance in #NPTechClubATX, and perhaps surprisingly to some (but not to others), we have done better than ever in 2020 by moving our programs online. If you were not aware, recordings of prior programs and speaker slide decks are accessible on our website. Scroll down the page to find the program in which you are interested, click on the listing, and you will find we have linked YouTube videos and SlideShare decks to each one. Our thanks go to NetSquared for making its YouTube and SlideShare platforms available to our tech club.

Hearty thanks to our co-sponsors, local and national sponsors, and our volunteers! We are truly grateful and we hope you will join us in 2021. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

" ...

Ms. Felicia Pena
Public Affairs Manager
H-E-B Central Texas Region

Dear Felicia and Everyone at H-E-B:

As the lead organizing volunteer for NTEN & NetSquared Nonprofit Tech Club Austin, I wanted to thank H-E-B for its 2020 grant of $2,000 in the form of a $1,000 donation to our founding club sponsor, national nonprofit NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network, and two $500 gift certificates. H-E-B’s support and endorsement have meant a great deal to us this year.

Our tech club is all volunteer. Our expert guest speakers share their knowledge free of charge as a public service. We reside on a platform managed this year by NTEN, and we have availed ourselves of ongoing technical and other support from both NTEN and NetSquared (a division of TechSoup). As you know, because our 2020 meetings transitioned to online presentations given COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, we conveyed the gift cards to two area nonprofit organizations with greater needs, about which I learned from Texas Representative Vikki Goodwin: Meals on Wheels Central Texas and Central Texas Food Bank. 

This year has been among the best yet for our tech club. Moving our programs online increased participation! As you have seen from our website, our programs are listed well in advance. Once complete, video recordings are posted on YouTube and the slide decks on SlideShare, and those links are connected back to the individual event listings. Hence, information seekers may access the talks 24-7 at their convenience and well into the future via the original event listings.

I manage the NTEN & NetSquared Nonprofit Tech Club platform myself (local.nten.org/austin). Our aim has been to distribute email event announcements to constituents weekly (currently 403 people are registered on our NTEN web page), giving each guest speaker normally four emails focusing on their presentation. Once we moved entirely online, we also distributed two emails the day of the program to those who RSVP’d, sharing the secure Zoom link. On each of those emails, H-E-B and other tech club sponsors were listed. H-E-B has also been listed on the main Austin tech club web page throughout the year.

On our Facebook group page (facebook.com/groups/nptechclubatx), we have 438 members. Included are a few members located in other cities and states, and globally. We have posted thanks to H-E-B during the year, and our event listings are also shared there. Our co-sponsor NetSquared has frequently taken our Zoom programs and live broadcast them on their Facebook page, where the live streams are publicly available from anywhere in the world.

We have hosted programs once a month during 2020 on the first Monday of each month. Programs this year included:

  1. Phil Sanger, “Fundraise With HelloFund”
  2. Ashley E. Morris, “Social Media During Emergencies”
  3. Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey, “7 Simple Secrets to Successful Nonprofit Events”
  4. Jennifer Surovy, “Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Non-Profit Career and Organization”
  5. Carolyn M. Appleton, “Prospecting: Reviewing Your Own Database(s) for Hidden Gems”
  6. Carlie Martin, “Outsourcing Your HR So You Can Focus on Your Mission”
  7. Sean Hale, “Maximizing Tech to Save Money”
  8. James Bradley, “Nonprofit Taxes: From Preparing Form 990s to Submitting Them Electronically”
  9. John Bratcher, “5G: What Is It and Why Is It a Game Changer?”
  10. Capital Factory, “Austin Startup Week” (not organized by our tech club but endorsed by it)
  11. Kami Griffiths, “Community Tech Network and Its Work in Austin”
  12. Erika Carley, “Chive Charities: Changing the Giving Paradigm and Finding Growth in 2020”

To our longtime core group of volunteers including me, Stacy Dyer, Susannah Erler and Dale Durant Thompson, this year we were delighted to add Sean Hale, Nevin Kamath, Carlie Martin and Carl Webb.

Best wishes to you and H-E-B, and thank you again for your generous sponsorship this year!

Happy holidays,

Carolyn M. Appleton

#NPTechClubATX Volunteer

Amy Sample Ward, CEO, NTEN
Tristan Penn, Community Engagement and Equity Manager, NTEN
Elijah Van Der Giessen, Community Manager, NetSquared and TechSoup
#NPTechClubATX Volunteer Team
Texas Representative Vikki Goodwin

 ... "