NetSquared Community Call: How to Respond to COVID-19 (and an Introduction to TechSoup's new Global Director of Community)

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What does the cancelation of live events mean for your NetSquared group?

COVID-19 is forcing NetSquared organizers to be flexible. Join Elijah van der Giessen, the NetSquared Community Manager, and Susan Tenby, TechSoup's new Global Director of Community, for a recorded call about how NetSquared's leaders (that's you!) can best respond to the emerging situation.

We answered your questions like:

  • Should I cancel my upcoming events? And if so, how?
  • I haven't started my group yet... what can I now NOW?
  • Are virtual events an option? How can I use the NetSquared Zoom room?
  • What resources are available to help me and my local community work from home?

Plus, this was your first opportunity to ensure TechSoup's new Global Director of Community learns how we can best support your grassroots community work.


Susan Tenby, Global Director of Community at TechSoup where she oversaw TechSoup’s Social Media, Community Forums and Events, NetSquared program. Susan will develop the overall Community Management strategy for TechSoup


Several important resources were shared during the call:


00:32:51    Carolyn Appleton:    Hello from NTEN & NetSquared Nonprofit Tech Club Austin: Welcome, Susan!
00:32:52    Pauline Roche:    Whre are ppl from?
00:33:03    Pauline Roche:    Birmingham, UK
00:33:20    Susan Tenby:    My mum is from Birmingham UK @pauline!
00:33:27    Jeanne Allen:    Jeanne from Durham Raleigh Chapel Hill NC
00:33:40    Stephanie Barnes:    Berlin, Germany
00:33:50    Pauline Roche:    Susan - cool!
00:33:51    Aissatou Bah:    Aissa from Atlanta, GA
00:33:56    Regina Walton:    Don’t forget that people can also virtually raise their hands in Zoom :)
00:33:58    Shaheen Farjo:    Hi! I'm Shaheen Farjo, Representative of the IGCESE, an Iraqi NGO... Nice to meet you all! ❤️
00:34:03    Regina Walton:    Hi, all.
00:34:33    Pauline Roche:    London is planning this online event
00:34:53    Lethabo Rampya:    Hi everyone. Cape Town, South Africa here. 
00:35:10    TINTIN:    hi NABALOUM Constantin from English is not good
00:35:19    Regina Walton:    Regina Walton of SFTech4Good. I was planning a March event, and it never got posted as we paused planning in late February. I addressed it all in the newsletter I sent out.
00:35:49    Stephanie Shobiye:    WALES & I'm looking for Wales to help the disability community in particular via virtual means. Charities are dealing with very vulnerable individuals, wanna help get them upskilled fast. 
00:36:26    Regina Walton:    Hooray!!! Thanks for this!
00:36:26    Aissatou Bah:    Zoom shared will be nice. 
00:41:28    Stephanie Shobiye:    Hi engagement, hi enthusiasm, good existing relationships - low tech familiarity because the Welsh are VERY keen on face to face 
00:42:00    Regina Walton:    Uh oh. Can you set it to not automatic shared screens upon request? I heard about a Zoom room where someone came in and spammed it with NSFW content.
00:42:02    Carolyn Appleton:    Our next club meeting focuses on LinkedIn for your career and we are getting a strong response to the Zoom/Netsquared presentation. It occurs to me that anyone anywhere in the world could actually join the webinar - just fyi:
00:42:32    Carolyn Appleton:    We have our April and May programs signed up for Zoom/NetSquared - the booking form works great.
00:42:55    Stephanie Shobiye:    I would really appreciate any and ALL info on virtual management of non-profits. UK.
00:43:13    Pauline Roche:    Agree with what Regina said about sharing screens
00:44:09    Susan Tenby:    There are TS courses available to anyone. 

This  course is currently free:
00:44:28    Aissatou Bah:    Can we use the Zoom shared room for non technology items?
00:44:44    Susan Tenby:    @stephanie - to your point about virtual manaegement and virtual working with NPOs
00:45:06    Stephanie Shobiye:    thank you so much!
00:46:39    Stephanie Shobiye:    Regina - keeping people safe is a valid point. 
00:48:08    Stephanie Shobiye:    I've been going thru those this past week and swotting lie a loon
00:48:10    Regina Walton:    Great resource. I’ll share it on SFTech4Good’s social threads
00:50:49    Susan Tenby:    Me mum is from Birmingham, UK!
00:52:50    Regina Walton:    The incident I mentioned: Beware of ‘ZoomBombing:’ screen sharing filth to video calls -
00:53:47    Karen Borchgrevink:    CONGRATS, SUSAN!!!
00:54:03    Pauline Roche:    Thanks Regina
00:54:22    Aissatou Bah:    Welcome Susan!
00:55:14    Shaheen Farjo:    Looking forward to working with you, Susan! 
00:55:53    Eli van der Giessen:
00:56:35    Carolyn Appleton:    Eli is The Best!
00:56:41    Eli van der Giessen:    Awww, thanks Susan!!!
00:56:45    Jeanne Allen:    Go Eli!
00:57:43    Eli van der Giessen:    Susan’s goals: 1. renew the brand.
00:57:46    Aissatou Bah:    Awesome sauce Eli
00:57:51    Jeanne Allen:    soundg doo
00:57:53    Jeanne Allen:    good
00:57:53    Eli van der Giessen:    2. Consistency in messaging.
00:58:37    Karen Borchgrevink:    the free TechSOup courses are super exciting! Thank you!!!
00:59:35    Carolyn Appleton:    Thanks, Susan!
01:00:56    Peter Kiogothi:    Yes
01:01:11    Carolyn Appleton:    New, more modern logo might be an idea - just a thought.
01:01:38    Pauline Roche:    Branding is a bit meh for 2020
01:02:45    Shaheen Farjo:    So, what about a Branding Guidelines booklet?
01:02:51    David Plant:    VPN Virtual Public Non-Profit
01:03:01    Ulisses:    agree
01:03:36    Antonia Jimenez:    I have a question about the zoom platform
01:03:38    Karen Borchgrevink:    Question to Susan: can you speak more to why these changes?
01:03:54    Jeanne Allen:    ideal attendee has definitely changed as so many people have such higher levels and intense specific jobs
01:04:40    Ulisses:    I think we should focus on gen x that is facing troubles to understand Digital transformation
01:04:47    Eli van der Giessen:    Next - Regina
01:05:35    Eli van der Giessen:    Next: Shaheen
01:05:47    Carolyn Appleton:    From Carolyn about club attendees: we get new nonprofit directors/founders seeking to do more with technology, as they can't yet afford to hire lots of staff. We also have small business owners who find the warm, friendly nature of nonprofits a "safe" place to learn about technologies. And of course, we have nonprofit staff from accountants to fundraisers.
01:07:31    Susan Tenby:    I think we need to come up with framework that will apply to all groups
01:08:05    Regina Walton:    Good to know, Susan. Thanks!
01:08:08    Stephanie Shobiye:    Gen X are coming into their own as leaders of non-profits on all scales right now but are often not as tech savvy as the Millenials. 
01:08:20    Regina Walton:    Welcome, Shaheen!
01:09:58    Elizabeth Kountze:    Thank you Shaheen! 
01:10:10    Regina Walton:    I can tell you
01:10:34    Elizabeth Kountze:    Thanks regina :) 
01:10:50    Regina Walton:    Tech dorks unite! ;)
01:10:54    Regina Walton:    You’re welcome!
01:12:06    Regina Walton:    Email list support for sure.
01:13:18    Regina Walton:    Also, Shaheen - I think an international session would be GREAT. The only blocker would be coordinating across timezones!
01:14:22    Shaheen Farjo:    Yeah, but maybe we can have different sessions for different timezones?
01:15:14    Eli van der Giessen: - list
01:15:21    David Plant:    Susan - many small organizations are grappling with moving from web-based operations to mobile. What can Caravan Studios offer to small groups who want to create mobile apps to provide services? Is there training to help us move our operations to mobile-friendly versions? 
01:16:40    Pauline Roche:    David - in UK, we are saying "Don't build something new! Use the existing tech!" 
01:17:03    Eli van der Giessen:    Final question: what do you think of Meetup?
01:17:26    Eli van der Giessen:    @pauline ??
01:17:53    Eli van der Giessen:    For now there’s a standard set of slides and text about TechSoup at
01:18:04    Pauline Roche:    For small groups, make sure your website/Facebook page is kept up to date - it's where community members go
01:18:15    Elizabeth Kountze:
01:18:36    Shaheen Farjo:    So, we actually knew about Meetup through GDG (Google Developer Groups) which we are also planning to implementation here... It's really good, but we still haven't used it as organizers...
01:18:40    Susan Tenby:    Thanks @lizzie for posting that link
01:18:55    Shaheen Farjo:    implement, sorry :)
01:19:05    Regina Walton:    I think David Siegel is pushing it to develop. I went rogue and there are technically two email lists. The one Meetup won’t let me have and the one I’ve built
01:19:13    Carolyn Appleton:    We actually got off Meetup just over a year ago and onto NTEN's Bevy Labs platform:
01:20:08    Matteo Sisto:    Hi guys, here is Matteo. I am quite a newcomer too. This convo its great. Thanks Eli and Susa. I loved all the material available to us as organiser but I thought it could be useful to have also a Troll or Asana board with all steps to organise an event
01:20:28    Pauline Roche:    Good idea Matteo
01:20:34    Regina Walton:    Bevy is great. I know the founder and love them so much.
01:21:08    Eli van der Giessen:
01:21:33    Regina Walton:    Not suggesting it. Just making the observation that they’re awesome.
01:21:51    Susan Tenby:    agree with you @regina
01:21:52    Stephanie Shobiye:    I'm really happy for other organisers to have my deets but not the "general public" Desire Seyram.
01:22:09    Susan Tenby:    The email addresses are hidden, as you all know
01:22:17    Jaideep:    in India meetup is quite popular
01:22:25    Pauline Roche:    Can you tell us what your budget is Eli and Susan so we can make some affordable suggestions of what we'd like?
01:22:30    Regina Walton:    I say David Siegel, the new Meetup CEO, is trying to change things. They’re not looking to lose.
01:23:21    Susan Tenby:    interesting, @regina - I would be interested in hearing more about that
01:24:48    Susan Tenby:    Pauline - that is a more of a complex question - feel free to email me a list
01:24:52    Susan Tenby:
01:25:08    Carolyn Appleton:    Thanks everyone! 
01:25:16    Peter Kiogothi:    Thanks everyone 
01:25:18    Susan Tenby:    thanks all - great to see you
01:25:22    Susan Tenby:    and meet you
01:25:30    Jeanne Allen:    thanks Susan
01:25:31    alejandra Jimenez:    Thanks
01:25:42    Funmi Omisope:    Very informative 
01:25:47    Funmi Omisope:    Thanks so much
01:25:48    Daniel Secareanu:    thanks
01:25:55    Jeanne Allen:    great to hear the ideas
01:26:04    Aissatou Bah:    Thank you
01:26:05    Shaheen Farjo:    Thank you all very much! We are very honored to join the family!
01:26:09    Peter Kiogothi:    Thanks Eli
01:26:27    Stephanie Shobiye:    Thank you all for taking the time. Tis appreciated. 
01:37:54    Eli van der Giessen:
01:39:02    Eli van der Giessen: - only for NGOs
01:40:15    Eli van der Giessen:
01:43:58    Peter Kiogothi:
01:44:13    Eli van der Giessen:
01:44:43    Funmi Omisope:    kindly send here too
01:44:47    Funmi Omisope: