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As employees in the nonprofit sector, we often rely on the transferrable skills we've gained over time to accomplish our jobs. We don't usually rely on any course of study pursued or a job description of our previous position.
I studied theater and opera performance in college. As part of my current career, I've managed a website redesign or creating and filed a nonprofit's annual tax return. If you'd told me then what I would be doing now as part of my career, I simply would not have believed you.
However, this is where we often find ourselves as mission-driven employees — called to perform tasks that stretch our skills and plunge us headlong into new areas of professional development. People with liberal arts degrees can inadvertently find themselves in tech support and/or management roles in an organization. The good news is that we are not alone! There are entire communities of marvelous people ready to help us get hands on and mindful about nonprofit technology. Following are just a few words of advice from the NTEN Community.
Have you found yourself wishing that you had a grasp on coding fundamentals, if only to be able to talk to others who are helping you with your organization's website? Hour of Code is a global movement that's reached 190 million people so far. Students from the age of 4 to 104 have learned about code using hands-on tutorials offered in more than 40 languages. The event is so popular that 200,000 events have been held!
Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are the backbone of any nonprofit. If you have recently taken on the responsibility of an admin, or if this position is in your future, you may wonder if you have what it takes. Here are six ways to strengthen your abilities in order to take on the admin helm.
While I'm sure your organization has never made a major tech purchase decision because you "have a volunteer/consultant who knows it," it's possible that a sticker price of free ("Free!") swayed your tech decisions away from the most useful, sustainable long-term choice. Robert, Dahna, Tracy, and Marc have created this guide to help cure Shiny Object Syndrome.
Remember back in the day when you could get away with just hiring someone who knew how to use Excel or Photoshop for your digital tool needs? Now, it seems that every out-of-the-box software is a starting point that requires customization. Chris and Sam have some advice for gathering a product development team from the beginning, which can alleviate headaches down the road.
These pearls of wisdom and more are going to be shared at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC). Here at NTEN Headquarters, we look forward to the 16NTC the way an eager, precocious four-year-old looks forward to her birthday. We are never done stretching our skills, and learning from others is exciting.
Steph Routh is content manager at NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network. You can find NTEN on Twitter @NTENorg, and Steph @stephrouth.