WHO IS AMY SAMPLE WARD?
“If you’re coming with just a specific tool, you’re probably not going to feel you’re getting the answers you want. But if you’re coming with an outcome in mind, with a goal, a strategy of why you want that, I think you’re going to be open to many more connections, more resources, a lot more learning.“
Amy Sample Ward is the CEO of NTEN – a membership community that seeks to create a world where all nonprofit organizations use technology skillfully and confidently to meet community needs and fulfill their missions.
Amy is dedicated to educating and supporting organizations in using technology to create meaningful community engagement and make lasting change. Whether it is by connecting individuals, organizations, campaigns, or possibilities, Amy hopes to facilitate the nonprofit technology sector transitioning into a movement-based force for positive change.
In addition to serving as NTEN’s CEO, she is a speaker, author, and trainer having worked with groups and spoken at events around the world. In 2013, she co-authored Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to implement online multichannel strategies to spark advocacy, raise money, and engage your community with Allyson Kapin. She previously co-authored Social by Social, a handbook in using social technologies for social impact, and has contributed to various other publications about social change and technology.
You can connect with Amy here:
IN TOR 083 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Amy’s vision for tech in the nonprofit.
- The consensus-driven origin and organizational model of NTEN.
- How even in the most committed and motivated communities it’s important to promote engagement and keep building.
- How social media, analytics and upcoming trends will keep shaping nonprofit communities, and Amy’s ideas on how to prepare for them.
- Dealing with team and career development in small organizations.
- The origin and outcomes of NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference – NTC.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- The AOL Foundation
- The Nonprofit Technology Conference
- Technology in development, nonprofits
- Community engagement
- Performance measurement, accountability, transparency, reporting
- Team development, empowerment
- Social media in development, nonprofits
- Portland, OR
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Nonprofit Technology Network.
Ensure every NGO uses tech effectively: staff, decision, accountability.
A community, 70k people have participated in some way, recognize importance of tech.
NTEN originated spontaneously by ongoing interactions. “It was created on a vote.”
Representatives from NGOs but also founders involved before the origin, even tech providers (Microsoft, The AOL Foundation).
First Membership Director, to plan for value, engagement, support.
How to keep a global community engaged
Creating cohorts, different, yet invested groups.
“Someone else has done it before.” People see things done, come to the community to learn how to do it themselves.
How Amy wants to see change in the world
Is our neighborhood improving? Are the neighborhoods around every NGO?
Issues cannot be separated, as Amy learned in public education.
“I need to work for people in different parts of the network, all at once.“
When a collaboration space is created, synergy arises.
From Membership Director to first-time CEO
“I applied.” Very traditional process.
NTEN is small, risk people feel they “outgrow” their roles. But we invest in teams, so it’s important to make people feel valuable, empowered, with authority; over hierarchies.
Transitions are inevitable, the key in that case is to make it as friendly as possible.
Never saw myself in any other place
I had an emphasis on services, social justices, individuals affecting change.
Volunteered in civil service early on.
“I organized communities in Facebook since it only allowed educational emails, it involved telling people what it is.”
Less about roles in organizations, more about action, community organization.
NTEN Measures of success
Their internal set of metrics, and macro contributions to global outcomes.
She knows tech is and will be even more critical.
People need to know how to use it, what to look for in it.
The Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)
2,000 people, 125 sessions.
Last September launched a smaller, with only a couple hundred people, facilitated workshops.
Space for nonprofit professionals to obtain specific input to actual problems they are dealing with.
People leave with ideas they can put into work.
It was interesting to see open people ending up with ideas and tangible courses of action, even funding partners.
The future of a connected nonprofit community
Social Media is affecting the NTEN community quickly.
Funders and high level leaders have bigger need to show results everyone can verify.
Drones in development? Partly a joke, but it’s important to keep an open mind, it works both ways (see quote).
Tech changes every day, we don’t have answers for technology, our focus is to maintain engagement through constant evolution. Tools will always change.
“You always want to build the best house you possibly can, not because you get to use the same hammer.“
Amy’s guide has always been “Who do I want to work with, who I want to work for?“
Work with people that inspire you. Don’t let yourself think “a job is a job is a job.”
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Amy, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me directly, head on over to the Ask Stephen section. Don’t be shy! Every question is important and I answer every single one.
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