March 22, 2011

Photos from Nonprofit Technology Conference

Moria Gunn & Donna Edwards
NPR’s Moira Gunn and Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., at the end of their chat at 2011 NTC.

And a wealth of connections made — and introductions sought

JD LasicaHere’s my Flickr photo set from the Nonprofit Technology Conference held Thursday to Saturday in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hilton — 89 photos in all. I got a chance to try out my new Canon 5D Mark II and 70-200mm lens.

It was the biggest (2,008 attendees, founder Holly Ross announced) and best NTC yet.

I’ll be writing several posts over the coming days and weeks about some of the highlights. I snagged video interviews with Mark Horvath of, Jonathan Greenblatt of AllforGood and Ramya Raghavan of YouTube.

Other folks I met or got better acquainted with included:

• Jeanette Russell, Democracy in Action
• Brian Choc, Teaming for Technology Colorado
• Tim Lim & Matt Slutsky,
• Matt Mahan and Susan Gordon of Causes
• Randy Paynter, Care2
• Tatiana Marshall, Oceana Continue reading

March 22, 2011

Using location-based services for your nonprofit

The Feeding America campaign using geolocal.

John HaydonOn Saturday I was on a panel at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C., discussing the use of location-based services to create awareness and raise money for your organization.

The panel included Estrella Rosenberg of Big Love Little Hearts, Joe Waters from Boston Medical Center, and Dan Michel from Feeding America.

Here are five points I took away from the session:

Understanding user motivations

1Understanding user motivations is important in developing your location-based service strategy. For example, Foursquare users love collecting badges and love becoming the mayor of a venue, while Places users are motivated by sharing interesting places and being on stage in front of their friends. Obviously, these are generalities – using them yourself is the best way to know what your constituents’ motivations are.

Use the services as is

2As you may have guessed, services like Foursquare and Gowalla don’t have the bandwidth to focus on special projects, or wish-list feature requests. With that in mind, develop your strategy around these services as they are – both in terms of user base and features.

Use them as one channel among many

3Because of the limited user base, cultural adoption and functional limitations of these tools, they should be used only as a marginal supplement to other channels. You might be wise to use them experimentally with no expectations of Return on Investment (and be pleasantly surprised when you have a win). Continue reading