Working in the digital space inside a nonprofit can be a lonely and frustrating place. I’ve been there, not just with my clients, but personally. Back when I joined the non-profit world, I started to explore the possibilities around tech and advocacy work and felt totally alone and lost.
The first event I attended was the Nonprofit Technology Conference. NTC is an annual conference that is organized by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. As a noob to the field, I was absolutely floored by the collective wisdom of the speakers and attendees at the event, and was thrilled to discover that the challenges I was facing (wearing multiple hats, selling the idea of social, being strategic about resource investment) were the same problems others in the community had faced as well. Even more enheartening was the discovery that many had found ways to overcome those challenges.
I’ve been going back for years. I’ve been a speaker at the event a couple of times since then, too. When you’ve been doing this advocacy/digital work for more than a few years, a funny thing starts to happen. You forget about being new. Whether a resource is a digital tool, or a listserv, or even a conference like NTC, there comes a point where you don’t even think to tell people about it because surely everyone knows already. I’m always shocked when I mention NTC to a new client, or colleague in the field and they look at me blankly, but it happened three times in the last week alone.
So, I’m going to change my assumptions here and tell you a few reasons why you should go to NTC. For those of you who need to get approval to go, these reasons should help convince your boss that it’s worth it too.
Finally, a protip: when you attend a session, sit up front. The speakers will love you for it, and you'll get more out of it (and less likely to be distracted).
As always and especially because it is in our own back yard, we’ll be there this year. Our own Jesse Littlewood will be presenting on a panel called Navigating the World of Data. Michelle Edwards and I will be making the rounds to hear who is working on what amazing campaign, and where we might be of service, if even just to connect good people. We’re also co-hosting (with our friends Freerange and Advomatic) a happy hour on Thursday night, so hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in an invite to come hang out with us.
Looking forward to seeing you there and collaborating on ideas!
Photo Credit: eyespywithmy