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
Photo: birgerking Tech support, as many of you know, can be a grueling job. There are a huge variety of problems, from frozen screens to document formatting issues to malware infestations to video display madness. There are days when you are swamped with tickets. And there are customers that continually broaden the scale from tech-averse to think-they-know-it-all. I’ve done tech support and I’ve managed tech support for most of my career, and providing good support isn’t the biggest challenge. Rather, it’s keeping the tech support staff from going over the edge. In our nptech circles, it would be natural to assume that having good metrics… Read More »Why I Hate Help Desk Metrics
Yesterday I received a letter from the State of California alerting me that my Census form is due next week and that I should be sure to fill it out and return it, as is decidedly my intention. That form will include the page that drives many Americans crazy — the one that offers you a bunch of ethnic backgrounds that you can identify yourself on. As my spouse of African-Cherokee-Jamaican-German and who knows what else decent says, this is not a multiple choice question for many of us.
Last week, I reported that Nonprofit assessors like Charity Navigator and Guidestar will be moving to a model of judging effectiveness (as opposed to thriftiness). The title of my post drew some criticism. People far more knowledgeable than I am on these topics questioned my description of this as a “sea change”, and I certainly get their point. Sure, the intention to do a fair job of judging Nonprofits is sincere; but the task is daunting. As with many such efforts, we might well wind up with something that isn’t a sea change at all, but, rather, a modified version of what we have today that includes some info about mission effectiveness, but still boils down to a financial assessment.
Last week, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and three other nonprofit assessment and reporting organizations made a huge announcement: the metrics that they track are about to change. Instead of scoring organizations on an “overhead bad!” scale, they will scrap the traditional metrics and replace them with ones that measure an organization’s effectiveness.
I recently wrote about the potential for shared outcome reporting among nonprofits and the formidable challenges to getting there. This topic hits a chord for those of us who believe strongly that proper collection, sharing and analysis of the data that represents our work can significantly improve our performance and impact.
Shared outcome reporting allows an organization to both benchmark their effectiveness with peers, and learn from each others’ successful and failed strategies.
At the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference, I attended a somewhat misleadingly titled session called “Cloud Computing: More than just IT plumbing in the sky”. The cloud computing issues discussed were nothing like the things we blog about here (see Michelle’s and my recent “SaaS Smackdown” posts). Instead, this session was really a dive into the challenges and benefits of publishing aggregated nonprofit metrics. Steve Wright of the Salesforce Foundation led the panel, along with Lucy Bernholz and Lalitha Vaidyanathan. The session was video-recorded; you can watch it here.
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