Building a Stronger Civil Society Together

elijah's picture

OMG! NTENy award!I’ve just been awarded an NTENy, a community-nominated award for individuals who enhance the NTEN community. That’s a huge honor and I’m really grateful to my community of peers. The award was given at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference which brings together over 2,000 members of the nonprofit tech community. But what is “community”? Its meaning can be elusive. In the latest NTEN Connect Newsletter Community Manager Bethany Lister struggles with defining community:

“community is defined by the people who are willing to share information, to encourage others, and to build something together”

To me it’s the last part, “building something together”, that resonates most. Collaborating with people and organizations on a project or cause that is bigger than our individual selves is amazingly exciting. It’s why I wake up every morning with a bounce in my step. I’m privileged that my job as TechSoup’s NetSquared Community Manager means that I get to interact with a global network of volunteers dedicated to teaching local nonprofit how to use technology for good. But in non-HR talk, that means I get to support people kicking ass and bulding something around the world.

The thrill of helping make something bigger than myself is also why I’m so proud to work at TechSoup Global. We provide NGOs with the tools and training they need to do their work more effectively, which means we’re one part of the community that comes together to help every nonprofit function. TechSoup and our donor partners (another community!) provide $12,000 in software savings to the typical nonprofit over their lifetime, and that’s before the increase in efficiency and impact that comes from actually using that software. TechSoup is supporting civil society to build a stronger sector that is ready to take on the enormous challenges that define our work. My colleague, Chris Worman, will share tomorrow about how civil society is under threat around the world. What we take for granted – nonprofits having the freedom to promote change – does not exist in many countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt and many more. We at TechSoup and NetSquared are proud to be part of a global network empowering NGO’s and their supporters around the world.

But only 15% of nonprofits are registered for TechSoup, which means that most eligible organizations are missing out on the opportunity to get donated software. They are, in short, throwing their scarce money away and are deprived of the accelerating power of technology. If you know a Nonprofit that isn’t using TechSoup yet ask them to get #TechedUp in 2015. Help a nonprofit save money and get access to the tools necessary to achieve their mission. Do it for the community, because we’re all in this together.

NTEN is another important partner to the #nptech sector, and I’m proud to be a member. Being recognized by my peers is the most meaningful acknowledgement I know. Thanks NTEN for your deep commitment to building self-supporting communities of practice.