Tag Archives: idealware

Knowledge Management Toolkit is Available

Last winter, I took on a project for the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) and Idealware  developing a toolkit for implementing knowledge management at your organization. This project was funded by a Technology grant by Legal Services Corporation, my erstwhile employer.

While geared somewhat for legal aid programs, the toolkit is fully usable for all sorts of nonprofits and businesses. It focuses primarily on document management, but includes advice on email, social media, and even non-technical information management practices.

The goal of the toolkit is to help orgs capture and easily manage not only the work product that they create, but also the thought processes behind that work. Too often, I’ve been at nonprofits that, after key turnover, knew what they had, like offices in certain cities and various programs and initiatives, but didn’t necessarily retain the reasoning behind the opening of those offices, or the strategy in pursuing some grant. Knowledge Management is about having all of the information that goes into your mission-based work at your fingertips. And this toolkit, hopefully, is a useful roadmap for implementing information management and knowledge capturing systems that will keep you focused on your key objectives. I hope that it will be helpful.

You can download the toolkit (for free!) here.

MAP has released an additional toolkit on securing your organization, and is funded to release two more. Idealware is overseeing the development with the help of subject matter experts like me. More evidence that the nonprofit sector is the BEST sector!

Techcafeteria’s Week Of Added Content

pile-154710_640As promised, I added about 40 of my guest posts here from the NTEN, Idealware, Earthjustice and LSC blogs. I also completely redid my categories and retagged every item, which is something I’d never done properly, so that, if you visit the blog, you can use the new sidebar category and tag cloud displays to find content by topic.

Included is my “Recommended Posts” category, which includes the posts that I think are among the best and the most valuable of what I’ve written. These are mostly nptech-related, with a few of the personal posts thrown in, along with some humor.

The newly-added content that is also in recommended posts includes:

Everything has been published by it’s original date, though, so if you’re really curious, you can find all the new stuff at these links:

I’m not finished — NTEN and Idealware have both given me permission to publish the longer articles that I’ve  written to the site.  So I will do that on a new “Articles” page.  These will include write-ups on document management, major software purchasing, data integration standards, RSS and system architecture.  Look for them this week.

Incoming Content – Apologies In Advance!

wave-357926_1280 RSS subscribers to this blog should take note that I’m apt to flood your feeds this weekend. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gathered 35 to 40 posts that  I’ve written for other blogs  that I’m adding here.  These are primarily posts that I wrote for the NTEN, Idealware, Earthjustice and Legal Services  Corporation blogs, but neglected to cross-post here at the  time. The publish dates run from mid 2006 to a few months ago. I’m also seeking  permission to republish some of my larger articles that are out there, so you’ll be seeing, at  least, my guide on “Architecting Systems to Support  Outcomes Management”, which has only been available as part of NTEN’s ebook “Collected Voices: Data-Informed  Nonprofits“.

Another part of this project is to rewrite my tags from scratch and re-categorize everything on the blog in a more useful fashion. With about 260 blog  posts, this is a size-able  book now,  It just lacks a good table of contents and index.

I’ll follow the flood with a post outlining what’s most worthwhile in the batch.  Look, too, for upcoming posts on the Map for Nonprofits and  Community IT Innovators blogs on Outsourcing IT and RFPs, respectively, which I’ll also cross-post here. Plans for upcoming Techcafeteria posts include the promised one on gender bias in nptech.  I’m also considering doing a personal series on the writers and artists that have most influenced me. Thoughts?

Where I’ll be at 12NTC


We are just under three weeks away from the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference and, as usual, it’s shaping up to be quite an event. It’s almost sold out, so grab your tickets if you haven’t yet! There are a bunch of fellow regular attendees that I missed last year when I had to sit it out, and there are lots of people I’ve met online that will be great to F2A*! So here’s a rundown of the places I know I’ll be if you want to meetup:

Monday, 4/2, pre-conference: #ntcbeer! As detailed in my prior post, the 4th annual get-together will be within walking distance of the hotel this year and it will run a little later, so that everyone with a dinner to go to can consider themselves un-conflicted. Details are on the official Facebook event page, visible to all (even FB haters, whom I often sympathize with).

Tuesday, 4/3: as always, I’ll be participating in the Day of Service, helping out some TBD nonprofit with some technical advice. In the afternoon I’ll be manning the Idealware table at the Science Fair. This is a great place to catch me and schedule a meetup.


Either 4/3 or 4/4, I’ll be presenting my “Doctor Who in A Tale Of Two NTCs” ignite, featuring many infamous NTENners in Lego format and a an exciting Sci-Fi story about daleks, time travel and technology.

Wednesday, 4/4: I’m participating in three sessions on Wednesday. First up, at 10:30, Tips and Tools for Technology Planning, with Carlos Bergfeld and Ariel Gilbert-Knight of Techsoup and Karl Robillard of the St. Anthony Foundation. At 1:30 I’ll co present on Only You Can Prevent Security Breaches with Legal Tech Expert Kate Bladow. And at 3:30 I’ll join common co-conspirators Matt Eshleman of CITIDC and Judi Sohn of Convio to talk about VOIP.

Thursday 4/5: My one session today, again with Matt from CitiDC,will be an oldie but goodie – the Virtualization Salon. Whether you’re about to dive in to the world of virtualized servers, or you’re an old hand with advanced questions or wisdom to share, this will cover the gambit in #ntctech style, with Powerpoint only on hand as an instructional aid and round the room wisdom sharing.

Thursday is also awards day, and as the honored recipient of last year’s NTEN Award, I get to present it to this year’s winner (no spoilers here!).

Sleep will wait until post-NTC. The best nonprofit tech party is almost here — see you there?

* Face to Avatar

My Idealware Campaign

Regular readers know that I’m an active contributor, board member and supporter of Idealware, an org that works full-time practicing the mission of this website: to help nonprofits use technology effectively. Please join me in contributing to their work in 2012 by donating to my campaign, using the unsightly widget to your right. I’m matching donations up to the first $375 contributed. idealware does great work, no question. Your support is appreciated.

Donate to Idealware

Where I’ll Be At The 10 NTC

NTEN LogoIt’s T-9 days to the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference, put on with style and aplomb by the amazing crew at NTEN, all of whom I’m proud to call my friends and associates in the scheme to make nonprofits start using technology strategically.  This year we’re gathering at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

I fly in Wednesday  night, where I’m planning to shamefully miss (again) the annual pre-Day of Service dinner and eat with friends at Ted’s Montana Grill. After that, I’m hosting what looks like an annual brewpub gathering at the Porter Beer Bar — come and join us!

On Thursday, I’ll start the day at the annual Day of Service, where I’ll be lending what expertise I have to the Feminist Women’s Health Center.  Length of consult pending, I’ll then pop over to the unconference on open data standards, hosted by Netsquared.  The easiest way to find me on Wednesday, though, will be to head over to the Science Fair and locate booth 63, where I’ll be manning the Idealware table, and talking about our new web site, the revitalized blog, and our first book, among other things.

For the main conference on Friday and Saturday, I’m leading a five session sub-track that we’ve named the Tech Track.  This is in service of my standard rant about our nonprofit community’s need to support the front-line tech staff — accidental or otherwise — who struggle through the hassles of crashed servers, mis-routed routers, cloud versus closet computing, so-small-you-can’t-see-em budgets, and the challenge of communicating technology strategy to peers and higher-ups who don’t consider technology as much more than fancy typewriters.

The Tech Track operates on a few principle tenets:

  1. The best NTEN Sessions are driven by peer discussion, not endless presentations.
  2. The outcome of this track should be the creation of an ongoing nptech community, in addition to whatever wisdom is shared during the conference.
  3. Every time a PowerPoint Presentation is created, a kitten dies.

Tag for the track is #ntctech. Joining me are Johanna Bates, Matt Eschelman, Tracy Kronzak, John Merritt,  Michelle Murrain, Michael Sola, and Thomas Taylor. Note that John or Matt will be subbing for Tracy on Session one.

I leave town on Sunday morning, so let me know if you’re looking to hang out Saturday night.  If you’re looking to hook up, and this isn’t enough info to find me, hop on the Twitter and dial me up at @peterscampbell there.

The NPTech Lineup

NPTech LogosIt’s time for another quick note on upcoming events and happenings in my nonprofit-focused life. These are spare on details, but I’ll be making noise as they finalize.

First, you’re looking at the newest Idealware board member. There’s still some paperwork to fill out, but this is a done enough deal that it’s worth mentioning here. I join at an exciting time, with our first book on the way; a new website about to be unleashed,  and the successful rollout of the Idealware Research Fund (which met it’s initial goal!).

Coming up in February is the Green IT Consortium/NTEN virtual conference on Greening your Technology. Matt Eshleman of CITIDC and I will be reprising the Server Virtualization session that we did at NTC last year. Mark down the date of February 10th, and look for details very soon, including after-conference get-togethers in SF and DC..

Also in February, but as yet not fully scheduled, I’ll be participating on an NTEN-sponsored panel with representatives of Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and the NPTech/Philanthropy community to discuss the upcoming changes in how these organizations assess nonprofits. I’ve been blogging about this potentially dramatic change in the way NPOs are assessed, along with the associated concerns, here and here.

April brings the big event: NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference, 4/8 to 10, in Atlanta, Georgia this year.  I have a lot going on — I’m assembling a group of NTEN’s more technical presenters to lead the technology track, five sessions that will focus on the less trendy, but eternally critical tasks that nonprofit techs face daily: keeping the servers running (and virtualizing them); installing wireless; supporting computer use and planning and purchasing with little budget.  Our hope is that this track will not only impart a lot of useful information, but also serve as the introduction of a peer community for the front line NP techs. And I’ll be flying down early enough to participate in Day of Service and this year’s experimental unconference, where we’ll, among many other things, discuss how we standardize on shared outcome measurements and what that might look like.

The biggest challenge? Doing all this without breaking the stride on my work at Earthjustice, where I’m busy developing a case management system, installing email archiving software, deploying videoconferencing systems and prepping for Office 2007 and Document Management roll-outs, among other things; blogging weekly for the aforementioned Idealware; and spending as much quality time as I can get with my wonderful wife and kid. If you have any extra hours in the day to donate, send them here!

The Idealware Research Fund

Idealware LogoFans of this blog are likely fans of the other site I blog at, Idealware.  So you already know that Idealware offers a rich, valuable service to the nonprofit community with it’s reports, webinars, trainings and programs that help nonprofits make smart decisions about software.  One of the big challenges that Idealware faces is to maintain a high level of independence for their reporting.  If your goal is to be the Consumer Reports of nonprofit software, and you need funding in order to do that, you also need to be very careful about how you receive that funding, in order to make sure that no bias creeps through to your reporting. Laura Quinn, Idealware’s founder and primary force, has come up with a few clever models for eliminating such bias, but today she unleashed a more sustainable approach to funding that will greatly simplify the process.

The Idealware Research Fund will provide basic, pooled funding for the great work that Idealware does, keeping it independent, unbiased, and resourced to provide the critical insight that smooths the stormy waters when we embark on big and small technology projects. The fund was kicked off today with a goal of raising $15,000 by December 31st.  Please let people know about Idealware’s work and this opportunity to support them, and consider supporting them yourself, if you can afford to.

Note that my self-interest is minimal here.  I’m an unpaid, volunteer blogger at Idealware and will remain such.  I have been paid (via Techsoup) for a couple of articles I’ve written.  But my support and pitch here is based solely on my belief that Idealware does great, effective work and needs our support.

My Full NPTech Dance Card

Congress can take a vote and change the time that the sun goes down.  So why can’t they give me the 10 additional hours in each day that I keep lobbying for?

In addition to my fulfilling work at Earthjustice and the quality time at home with my lovely wife and Lego-obsessed 10 year old, here are some of the things that are keeping me busy that might interest you as well:

  • Blogging weekly at Idealware, as usual. This is one of those rare entries that shows up here at Techcafeteria, but not there.  And I’m joined at Idealware by a great group of fellow bloggers, so, if you only read me here, you might get more out of reading me there.
  • I recently joined the GreenIT Consortium, a group of nonprofit professionals committed to spreading environmental technology practices throughout our sector.  I blog about this topic at Earthjustice.  Planned (but no dates set) is a webinar on Server Virtualization; technology that can reduce electrical use dramatically while making networks more manageable.  This will be similar to the session I did at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in April, and I’ll be joined again by Matt Eshleman of CITIDC. I’m also helping Ann Yoders, a consultant at Informatics Studio, with an article on green technology for Idealware.
  • On September 9th, I’ll be recording another episode of Blackbaud‘s Baudcast with other friends, including Holly Ross of NTEN. The topic this time is technology management, a subject I don’t ever shut up about.
  • Saving the big ones for last, NTEN’s first Online Conference is themed around the book, Managing Technology To Meet Your Mission. This one takes place September 16th and 17th, and I’ll be leading the discussion on my chapter: How to Decide: Planning and Prioritizing.
  • In early 2010, Aspiration will bring my pitch to life when we hold a two day conference that is truly on nonprofit technology, geared towards those of us who manage and support it. I’ve been known to rant about the fact that the big nptech shindigs — NTEN’s NTC and Techsoup’s Netsquared — focus heavily on social media and web technologies, with few sessions geared toward the day to day work that most nptechs are immersed in.  The goal of the event is to not only share knowledge, but also to build the community.  With so many nptech staff bred in the “accidental” vein, we think that fostering mentoring and community for this crowd is a no-brainer.
  • Further out, at the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference, I’ll be putting together a similar tech-focused sub-track.  Since the Aspiration event will be local (in the SF Bay), this will be a chance to take what we learn and make it global.
  • My nptech friends will forgive me for declaring my extra-curricular dance card otherwise closed — this is enough work to drop on top of my full-time commitments!

Where I’ll Be at NTC

Five days from now, the Nonprofit Technology Conference starts here on my home turf, in San Francisco, and I’m hoping to catch a few seconds or more of quality time with at least 200 of the 1400 people attending. Mind you, that’s in addition to meeting as many new people as possible, since making connections is a lot of what NTC is about. So, in case you’re trying to track me down, here’s how to find me at NTC.

Saturday — I’ll be home prepping, on email and Twitter, and then off to Jupiter in Berkeley (2181 Shattuck, right at Downtown Berkeley BART) at 6:00 pm for the Pre-NTC Brewpub Meetup I’m hosting. We have a slew of people signed up at NTConnect for the event. If you’re coming, get there promptly so you can help me reserve adequate space!

Sunday morning is Day of Service. I’ll be advising a local education nonprofit on low cost options for enhanced voice and video. NTC kicks off with the Member Reception, and I suspect that there will be lots of talk about our book at that event – if we’ve never met, this will be a good chance to figure out which of the 1400 attendees I am.

The Science Fair – NTEN’s unique take on the vendor show – is always a blast. If you’re at a booth, I’ll be coming by, but I’ll also be spending some time manning the Idealware booth, so that’s another good place to catch up. Dinner Sunday? I haven’t made plans. What are you doing?

Monday I keep busy hosting two sessions:

At 3:30, I’m at a loss, with excellent sessions by Peter Deitz, Allen (Gunner) Gunn, David Geilhufe, Dahna Goldstein, Jeff Patrick, Robert Weiner and Steve Wright all competing equally for my attention. If Hermione Granger is reading this, perhaps she can help me out.

On Tuesday, my tentative plan includes these breakouts: Google Operations: Apps and Analytics; Evolution of Online Communities : Social Networking for Good; and Measuring the Return on Investment of Technology. I caught a preview of the last one, led by Beth Kanter, at a Pre-NTC get together we did at Techsoup last month; it’s going to be awesome.

As a local co-host of the 501 Tech Club and a member of this year’s planning committee, I consider myself one of your hosts and am happy to answer any questions I have about what there is to do in the Bay Area, where I’ve lived since 1986. The best way to reach me is always on Twitter – if you’re attending the conference, following me, and I don’t figure that out and follow you right back, then send me a quick tweet letting me know you’re at NTC and I will (although, disclaimer required, I will quickly block people who use Twitter as a means to market products to my org). If you haven’t already gotten this hint, Twitter is an awesome way to keep connected during an event like this.