Getting Started

The Nonprofit Technology Journal You Need, NTEN: Change

1 Comment 30 March 2011

(Disclosure: I am a member of the NTEN: Change editorial board and have an article in the first edition.)

I’m pretty excited about NTEN: Change, a new quarterly digital journal for nonprofit leaders and staff launched by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) on March 18. NTEN: Change fills a needed void in the nonprofit sector. Currently, in order to educate oneself about the wide variety of nonprofit tech issues, one would have to subscribe to a wide variety of nonprofit technology blogs…and probably not be able to keep up with all of them. According to NTEN, “each issue includes case studies, in-depth articles, practical tips for applying tools and strategies, leader profiles, and community feedback.  Contributors to the journal include experts in the nonprofit and technology sectors and members of the NTEN community (who are also experts!).” Think of the Journal as a survey course of interesting and potentially valuable nonprofit technology information for your nonprofit, every quarter.

The inaugural issue delivers value. Over 52 digital pages long, the issue offers about 15 articles (some short, many multi-page) on everything from managing your social media brand, to web analytics, to a case study on year-end fundraising, to an overview of software that supports a board, to what to do when you’ve been hacked…and even more. Each article is well-researched, thoughtful, and timely. I did have issues jumping between large-format and normal-sized viewing on my laptop (I found it jarring) but otherwise enjoyed the experience reading digitally. (Readers can access the Journal across various platforms, such as Kindle, iPad, Droid, iPhone, etc.)

The Journal was created by the NTEN community, for the community. I can attest to the fact that it was created collaboratively with the editorial board, and most of the articles were contributed by NTEN members.  NTEN offered the direction, but the editorial board brainstormed, discussed, and even disagreed about what articles we thought the nonprofit community would want to read about related to nonprofit technology.  NTEN is republishing some sections of the Journal in its blog, Facebook Page, and Linkedin Group, and will look for feedback and comments in those spaces as well. Currently, NTEN: Change has 500 subscribers, but NTEN hopes to have 10,000 subscribers by this time next year.

I asked Holly Ross, NTEN Executive Director, and Annaliese Hoehling, Editor of NTEN: Change, if they would answer a few questions about the Journal.

Q: Why did NTEN decide to launch a journal and what knowledge gap it will fill?

Holly: We launched the journal to help reach nonprofit leaders and give them ideas, tools, and strategies to create and maintain an organization where technology is embraced as central to meeting mission. Although there are lots of ways that leaders can get technology information, this is the only comprehensive publication just for nonprofit leaders.

Q: Why do you think NTEN is the right organization to launch the Journal?

Holly: This is a collaborative effort led by our members, and in concert with many other organizations in the broader field of nonprofit assistance. Together, we bring a breadth of experience and diversity of ideas that make the content richer.

Q: What level of technical knowledge does the reader have to know ahead of time?

Annaliese: The journal is geared toward non-technical leaders at small to mid-sized nonprofits, so little-to-no technical knowledge is required.  We want to provide both inspiration and practical starting steps that encourage and even equip nonprofit leaders to engage their boards and their staff in effective technology planning and strategy.  I want Executive Directors of small organizations to walk away from this piece thinking “Yes, I can do this.”  And the “I” in that statement is important: we want to move the concept of technology in the nonprofit organization from the administrative expense line item or the “back room” IT department to the leadership and strategy discussion tables.

Q: What areas of nonprofit technology will the Journal cover?

Annaliese: Our goal is to both highlight and give practical guidance for the integration of technology in all aspects of a nonprofit organization’s work — from fundraising to program delivery to internal efficiency and innovation.  From communications technology to data and infrastructure technologies, we hope to provide a balanced and comprehensive orientation to nonprofit technology for non-technical leaders.

Q: What can NTEN: Change readers look forward to in the coming year?

Annaliese: We will be addressing topics such as Facebook for volunteer management, the role of video in a nonprofit’s communications and fundraising strategies, how so-called “Green IT” can benefit both the organizational budget and the mission, how to measure the impact of various technology projects, such as a social media campaign or a website re-design, and how to evaluate in terms of mission.  We’ll continue to have a mix of feature articles and case-studies along with smaller pieces that highlight the application of technology across all aspects of nonprofit work.  We’ll also continue to hear from nonprofit leaders going through the Technology Leadership Academy, as well as from readers and NTEN community members who respond to questions and content from the journal.


To subscribe, visit As a member of the NTEN: Change editorial board, I’d also like to know what you think about this issue, and what you’d like to see from the Journal in the future.




Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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