Dear reader, you know me. I like to talk. When I talk to people I get ideas. Mostly they are other people’s ideas that I simply steal. But I do have my pride: I only steal the best ideas.
I want to share a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea that I think could make a difference for the nonprofit sector, and for the vulnerable people we are committed to support: teaching nonprofit leaders to be tech innovators.
As a special bonus, read all the way to the end for a special Man About Town discount code to the TechBoost for Nonprofits conference on April 23rd!
Everybody knows that if you want to restore integrity to your downtown business corridor or your local industrial park, if you want to create jobs and point your community towards the future of the workforce, or if you want to capture the hearts and minds of DIYmakers and social entrepreneurs, you had better have a plan to lure tech related businesses into your community. Who wouldn’t want the many benefits that a thriving digital workforce can bring? Growing wages, agile thinking, jeans and ping pong in the office! Oh, but wait, you say, isn’t that the same industry that’s driving up real estate costs, sucking up huge amounts of power, and mining my personal privacy for profit? And, hey, don’t they have a little problem with diversity in the workforce? Well… yes.
So I was talking to a friend of mine at a very large nonprofit organization – as in over $100 million in annual revenues. They serve thousands of clients every year with job development, alcohol and other drug abuse treatment, affordable housing, psychological counseling and a variety of other supports. As a result of the many contracts and grants they have to do this work, they operate in excess of 15 databases to track operations, case management, finance, etc. They have a full time IT staff, desktops, laptops, and handheld devices out the yingyang. So naturally I said, what are you doing with all that data? “Actually,” my friend said, “we don’t do anything with the data.” #OMG. Continue reading →