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
News junkie that I am, I see a lot of headlines. And four came in over the last 30 hours or so that paint an astonishing picture of a tech industry that is in complete denial about the intense misogyny that permeates the industry. Let’s take them in the order that they were received: First, programmer, teacher and game developer Kathy Sierra. In 2007, she became well known enough to attract the attention of some nasty people, who set out to, pretty much, destroy her. On Tuesday, she chronicled the whole sordid history on her blog, and Wired picked it up as well (I’m linking… Read More »It’s Time For A Tech Industry Intervention To Address Misogyny
NTEN‘s annual Nonprofit IT Staffing survey is out, you can go here to download it. It’s free! As with prior years, the report structures it’s findings around the self-reported technology adoption level of the participants, as follows: Stuggling orgs have failing technology and no money to invest in getting it stabilized. They have little or no IT staff. Functioning orgs have a network in place and running, but use tech simply as infrastructure, with little or no strategic input. Operating nonprofits have tech and policies for it’s use in place, and they gather input from tech staff and consultants before making technology purchasing and planning decisions.… Read More »It’s Time To Revamp The NTEN Staffing Survey
If I have a good sense of who reads my blog, you’re likely familiar with Dan Palotta, notable in the nonprofit world for having raised significant amounts of money running the Aids Rides and Breast Cancer walks. More recently, he’s become a outspoken and controversial crusader for reform in the sector. He did a much-viewed Ted talk, and he’s written a few books outlining his case that “The way we think about charity is dead wrong”. And he keynoted the recent NTEN conference in Minneapolis. Palotta’s claim is that nonprofits, in general, are their own worst enemies. By operating from a puritanical, self-sacrificing ethic that… Read More »The Palotta Problem
The Nonprofit Technology Conference was held in snowy Minneapolis this year and, as usual, a good time was had by all, despite some painful plane delays and dramatic turnover in the NTEN staff. The choice of Dan Palotta as keynoter was, in many ways, a great one, not because he had much to say to the nptech community in particular, but because what he has to say is thought-provoking and controversial. At a time when NTEN, itself, is going through a big period of change, it was appropriate to take on the dialogue about the nonprofit sector as a whole. From my less-trendy-social-media,-more-tech perspective, the… Read More »NTEN, NTC And Technology
In 2000, after spending 15 years at corporate law firms, I made a personal choice to start working for organizations that promote social good by reducing poverty and protecting our planet. I understood that this career move would put some serious brakes on what was a fairly spiraling rise in compensation – my salary tripled from 1993 to 2000. And that was fine, because, as I see it, the privilege of being compensated for doing meaningful work is compensation in it’s own right.
A sad, but all too common problem was presented on NTEN‘s main discussion forum yesterday: An IT Director in New York City, working for a large nonprofit (650 people, multiple locations, full IT platform), got approval from his boss to hire in a Systems Administrator (punchline here) at $40,000 annually. Understand, System Administrators rarely make less than $75k a year at similarly sized for profits. The boss pulled that number out of a salary survey, but, given the quality of it, I say he might as well have pulled it out of a hat. Determining what’s fair — or, as we call it “market” —… Read More »Fair Pay
Everybody who enjoys calling tech support, raise your hand. No one? As a long-time IT Director, who came up through the system administration ranks, I dread those situations where the deadline is near, the answer is far, and the only option is to call the company’s support line. Mind you, it’s never my first option – a well-phrased Google query, first sent to the web, then to Google Groups, is far more likely to get an answer quickly. And there are those application manuals, gathering dust – the best ones will have good indexes. Also, decent applications have online support forums, and the best ones… Read More »The $10/hr Dilemma