Career update! I’ve moved my CIO services and tech consulting practice to a new home. As of February 4th, 2019 I’m the CIO for Hire at Raffa, Marcum’s Social Sector and Nonprofit Group. This doesn’t change what I do for a living, it just gives me a team to work with and a steadier paycheck. As always, my focus is on helping nonprofits use technology to further their missions, not frustrate them, and I believe that one way to do that is to keep technology expertise at the table, even if you can’t afford to hire it in full-time. You can find me at Raffa,… Read More »New Gig, Same Job
Photo: NTEN I’m back from NTEN’s annual conference, the biggest one ever with 2300 attendees here in DC. NTEN’s signature NPTech event continues to pull off the hat trick of continual growth, consistent high quality content, and a level of intimacy that is surprising for an event this large. It’s a big, packed tech conference, but it’s also a few days with our welcoming, engaging community. Here’s my recap. I attended three quality sessions on Thursday: I learned much about the challenges in offering shared IT services to nonprofits, with an in-depth look at the work of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, who offer discounted, centralized IT… Read More »My 17NTC Report
Last week, the house held hearings on the new overtime rules that double the base salary requirement for exempt employees. With these changes, if you make $47,476 a year or less, you can not be granted exempt status and, therefore, must be paid overtime when you work extra hours (per your state regulations). The hearings were dramatically one-sided, with testimony from a stream of nonprofits and small businesses that oppose the increase. My hope is that the politicians that staged this play had to look pretty far and wide to find nonprofits willing to participate, but I doubt that they did. We can’t change the rest of… Read More »It’s Past Time For The Overtime Change
For the past 21 years, I’ve been working for 501(c)(3) corporations, commonly referred to as nonprofits. I’ve also become active in what we call the “nptech” community — “nptech” being shorthand for “nonprofit technology”. But nonprofits, which comprise about 10% of all US businesses, have wildly diverse business models. To suggest that there is a particular type of technology for nonprofits is akin to saying that all of the businesses in downtown Manhattan have similar technology needs. So what is nonprofit technology? Less of a platform and more of a philosophy. Snowflakes? No flakes. It’s often said that each nonprofit is unique, like a snowflake,… Read More »What Is Nonprofit Technology
Early next week, I’m going to publish the “director’s cut” of my recent NTEN.ORG article, “What Is Nonprofit Technology“. But I wanted to talk about it a little first. The story behind this article is that, late in 2014, I was approached by some online tech e-mag to write an article for them. I thought, why not tell all of the for-profit techies what it’s really like working in our sector? And I wrote a solid first draft. Then I started researching the magazine, and couldn’t find much. There was little in the way of a FAQ, so I couldn’t ascertain things like, “who owns the content… Read More »Pre-Post On What Is Nonprofit Technology
If you believe that your current job is your last job — the one that you will retire from — raise your hand. You can stop reading. Now that those two people are gone, let’s talk about managing our careers. Because its a whole new discipline these days. Gone are the days when submitting a resume was sufficient. Good jobs go to people who are referred in, not to those with no one to vouch for them. Per the ERE recruiter network, between 28% and 40% of all positions in 2012 were given to candidates that were referred in, but only 7% of all candidates were… Read More »Career Management In The Social Media Era
Last week I attended two events sponsored by my new employer, Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The first was a two day Technology Summit, where a group of 50 thought leaders gathered to develop a plan for addressing the demand for legal aid more dramatically by making strategic use of technology. That was followed by the three day Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) conference.
I’m still knocking on wood a bit, but I think it’s now safe to rep0ort that I’ll be joining Legal Services Corporation as their Chief Information Officer in January. Those of you who read my Looking For A New Job post in August know that I had some pretty strict requirements for that gig, and this one meets or exceeds them. LSC is the nonprofit that allocates federal funding to legal aid societies across the country.
Not every NPO needs a full-time IT Director, and outsourced services can provide some guidance, but there aren’t a lot of them that get the particular needs of nonprofits. I’ve had considerable experience running IT Departments, consulting and advising NPOs, and developing strategies for maximizing the impact of technology in resource-constrained environments. This gives me a unique skill set for providing mission-focused guidance on these types of questions:
Friday is my last day at Earthjustice, coinciding almost exactly with my first day at the job five years ago. Some of you might ask why I would leave one of the best orgs on earth, and I’ll discuss that below. But, right up front, I want to tell you about the two things I’m looking for and ask you to be on the lookout for me.