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Allyson Kapin 13 min read

Must See NTC Panels

The 11th NTC (Nonprofit Technology Conference), a three-day gathering in Washington, DC starts today. Every year NTC brings together nonprofit professionals from around the world to collaborate, innovate, and discuss nonprofit technology, strategy, leadership, and communications. While the conference is packed with nearly 100 great sessions, the following panels should make the top of your list. And don't forget to carve out time for fun like coming to Charityoke: An NPTech Karaoke Party tonight from 7PM to 10PM at Public Bar - 1214 18th Street, NW sponsored by Care2, Rad Campaign, and Salsa Labs.

What Donors Really Do Online: Nine Years of Fundraising Data from 1.8 Million Donors Uncovered and Interpreted

Nine years’ worth of data encompassing 381 million in donations to 66,470 nonprofits. Never before has the nonprofit sector had such a comprehensive look at donors' behavior online - not only on nonprofits' websites, but also via donation portals and social networks. Join Network for Good and TrueSense Marketing as they share their findings from their hot-off-the-presses study: "The Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships". You will not only sneak a peek into donors' giving behaviors, you'll learn what's working the best for organizations like yours and what your organization can do now to raise more money online.

Time: 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Friday, March 18

Location: International Ballroom West

Panelist: Katya Andresen


Up Close and Personal: How Storytelling Builds Movements

Get up close and personal with passionate changemakers Mark Horvath of invisiblepeople.tv, Stacey Monk of Epic Change, and Estrella Rosenberg of Big Love Little Hearts, who have each harnessed the power of their own stories to successfully advocate for their causes.   

How do their unique experiences enable them to effectively engage grassroots supporters? How have they used their voices and personal stories to build movements in today’s landscape of social communications? What can other changemakers and nonprofits learn from the challenges they have faced and success they have achieved?

Time: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM on Friday, March 18

Location: Du Pont

Panelists: Avi Kaplan, Horvath, Stacey Monk, and Estrella Rosenberg


Tech Track: Hey NP Techie, You’re No Accident!

Are you the "accidental" techie at your organization? Have you had any accidents lately? Or, are you actually the "non-accidental, completely deliberate, utterly competent, misunderstood, misplaced and under-resourced" techie for your nonprofit?  The label Accidental Techie may be popular, but is it permanent?  How and when do you stop being the accident and start being the asset?  This session will be a group discussion about maximizing your professional impact, and take on the notion that there is anything accidental at all about your ability to be a tech professional.  The group will discuss strategies for recognizing and projecting your potential to lead IT strategy that will support and enhance your organization's ability to achieve its mission.  Come with an issue you're facing, a success you've achieved, a personal realization, or any other questions or insights you've had building a path for yourself from the Accidental Techie to the Beneficial Techie at your organization. 

 Time: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM on Friday, March 18

Location: Kalorama

Panelists: Johanna Bates, Michelle Hines, Tracy Kronzak, Barbara Saidel


Building Community and Movements Beyond the Usual Suspects

You built your nonprofit to right injustices, empower communities, and to inspire social change. But does your nonprofit reflect the communities it serves?  Organizations that lack diversity limit their ability to innovate, create change, and build transformative movements.   

Join us for a lively discussion to explore why and how your nonprofit should diversify its technology, communications, and development teams beyond the usual suspects.

Time:  3:30 PM to 5:00 PM on Friday, March 18

Location: Fairchild West

Panelists: Ivan Boothe, Jocelyn Harmon, Allyson Kapin and Shireen Mitchell


Practical HTML5/CSS3 for Nonprofits (or "How to Party Like it's 2011 When it's Really Still 1999")  

More neat stuff is being done with HTML5 and CSS3 every day and we all want to jump on the bandwagon and make Web sites that are really, truly, awesome.  But what does HTML5 really mean? Nonprofits have unique technology requirements, including the need to support visitors to your site who may be browsing on really old browsers over really slow connections, so will HTML5 even be viable? ("This will work in IE6, right?") Will HTML5 make our site work on mobile devices?  Is it the Flash killer that you may have heard it was? (spoiler alert: a REALLY BIG "maybe") Can you start using it right now? ("Please oh please oh please")

In this session, you will get an overview of what HTML5 is, is not, and how CSS3 can help reduce development time while enabling you to do some pretty cool things with a lot less work.  Heck, we'll probably even throw in some jQuery if you're lucky - It'll be fun!!

Time: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM on Friday, March 18

Location: International Terrace

Panelists: Tim Arnold


Mobile Invasion: Which Mobile Strategies are Really Working Today

Mobile technologies are taking over the planet! Well, they seem to be anyway. Today's touchscreen phone interfaces alone allow users to experience, and consequently expect, much more from the web. Mobile device adoption rates leave no doubt that soon more users will access the web using mobile technologies than a desktop or laptop machine.

In this session, we'll look at what's working now in mobile strategies, from custom applications to email/site optimization, and how to best prepare for the eventual integration of mobile communications into your marketing campaigns. We'll look at best practices, success stories, and tips for low-hanging fruit optimizations and integrations. We'll also review donor and constituent survey results regarding mobile communication preferences.

Time: 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 19

Location: International Ballroom West


Don’t Worry, Be h-API: A Gentle Introduction to APIs for Nonprofit Folk

 There is a world of possibilities for fundraising 2.0 using APIs. In this session we will take a look at existing APIs that can help your cause raise more funds. We will also share some of the tips that we have learned in building great products that help expand the world of online giving. If you want to build an application for a nonprofit to accept donations, build community, start appeals, or create fundraising events on any platform, web-based or mobile, we get you going in the right direction. Be it through Facebook, Twitter, social gaming or Foursquare, we'll show you what you can do for nonprofits. If you're from a non-profit, you'll learn how APIs will enable you to raise money in ways you'd never dreamed of and how to quickly make them your own. You'll also understand how to use social media in conjunction with API's in order to create something spectacular. We'll inspire you with superstar application examples, explain requirements unique to the nonprofit market and give you some tools to evaluate APIs going forward.

Time: 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 19

Location: Cardoza

Panelist: Chris Dumas


Theory of Change: Creating Meaningful Action

You've learned the tools of online organizing, but have you convinced your supporters that their efforts matter? That your campaign will make an actual difference in the world? And will it?

A strong Theory of Change, presented transparently to your supporters, is the heart of all organizing. We'll focus on how to craft a solid Theory of Change and clearly express it in your campaigns, actions, and web writing, whether websites, social media, or email. With a meaningful Theory of Change, you will not only run more effective campaigns, but you will engage and retain more committed supporters, and make the most effective use of limited resources.

Time: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM on Saturday, March 19

Location: International Terrace

Panelist: Lola Elfman

Can't make NTC in person? Be sure and check out the online sessions with speakers ranging from Ted Fickes of the Wilderness Society to nonprofit consultant Shayna Englin.


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.