NPO Connect - isn't that what you've wanted all along? (To connect with nonprofit organizations?)

Please join us at the next Ethos Roundtable session, in which the topic will be NPO Connect, the online tool that assists in matching nonprofit professionals with peer mentors. It is currently being piloted by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Boston and the Metrowest Nonprofit Network.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Charles Hotel
1 Bennett Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Featured guests: Kenny Weill and Gavin Murphy (developers of NPO Connect), and Marc Baizman (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Boston)

Here's how the NPO team describes the project:

The mission of NPO Connect is to build the capacity of the non-profit sector by enabling individuals working in the sector to connect, to learn from one another, and to build their skills as non-profit professionals. At NPO Connect, we envision a non-profit sector where individuals can more easily:
  • Share best practices (or just what works) in particular operational areas by mentoring peers seeking to improve in those areas;

  • Gain the tools and knowledge to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet the needs of their constituents;

  • Strengthen the capacity of the sector as a whole by honing their skills and adding more value to their non-profit organizations.
NPO Connect facilitates skill transfer between professionals in the non-profit sector by allowing professionals to connect with one another through a web-based platform. Once connected through this site, the peer mentorship is developed and carried out primarily offline - in face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and/or email communications.

A six-month pilot with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network-Boston was launched February 2010 (in parallel with a pilot launched November 2009 with the Metrowest Nonprofit Network). Quantitative and qualitative feedback from pilot users will enable the NPO Connect Team to further shape the platform to serve as an effective tool for non-profit professionals. After the pilot period is complete (summer 2010), the goal is to expand NPO Connect over time to provide additional functionality and serve a larger geographic area.

This is really an important initiative for the local nonprofit sector, because there are a thousand things about our organizational culture that you can't learn in an academic program or from books. NPO Connect is also an important working prototype for online tools that match resources and needs for nonprofits, philanthropies, community groups, and other mission-based organizations.

Here's a little background on our featured guests:
  • Kenny Weill brings more than a dozen years experience in the non-profit sector to his consulting work. Since launching K. Weill Consulting in 2002, Kenny's grant development work has helped his diverse clients raise on average $1.5 million each year. He delivers additional services to help build his non-profit clients’ capacity, including program development, research, and other writing and editing services such as web and newsletter content. Kenny has held management, research and direct care positions in community-based, academic, health care and government settings. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nonprofit Consultants Network, MA Public Health Association, and Third Sector New England's Consultant Pool. Kenny received an M.S. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University School of Public Health and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

  • Gavin Murphy founded Annkissam in the summer of 2007 with the goal of bringing innovative technology solutions to the nonprofit sector. Mr. Murphy has been a technology consultant to a wide range of clients since graduating from Duke University with a double major in Economics and Computer Science. He volunteers 10% or more of the workweek to being President of the Duke Club of Boston.

  • Marc Baizman, a Board member for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network-Boston, has been involved with nonprofits and technology for the past ten years. Currently, Marc is consulting for nonprofits in and around Boston, helping with Google Apps and Salesforce implementations. Up until the end of 2009, Marc was Technology Director at Root Cause, a nonprofit in Cambridge, MA that helps social innovators and educates social impact investors. As the first and only technology staff person, he was responsible for all things tech, from debugging network cables to disaster recovery planning. Before joining Root Cause, Marc was working at NPower New York as a Senior Project Manager in Consulting Services, specializing in helping nonprofits customize and building Drupal-based websites. He has a passion for the nonprofit sector and connecting organizations with technology in a positive way. Marc has an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a TESOL Certificate from Columbia Teacher's College in New York City.
At the conclusion of our Ethos Roundtable session, we will stroll down the hall to enjoy the good company, charming venue, and free food at the 501 Tech Club, which is generously underwritten by TechFoundation. The 501 Tech Club is the monthly gathering of technology professionals who work with nonprofit organizations.

All Ethos Roundtable attendees are welcome at the Boston 501 Tech Club, and vice versa.

Please remember that there's never any need to make a reservation to attend Ethos Roundtable events. Just come if you can, and feel free to invite others! However, if you're planning to attend the Boston 501 Tech Club event at 6:00 pm, we ask that you send an email to Kathleen Sherwin of TechFoundation (ksherwin AT techfoundation DOT org). Since TechFoundation is providing the free food, it's both courteous and prudent to let them know how much to order.

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