Today is my third and final day at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), an annual conference hosted by Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). It’s being hosted in San Francisco this year, and someone recommended that I attend, so the stars were aligned. And let me tell you – it’s awesome!! I signed up for the conference thinking it would be good for me to be connected to the latest and greatest ideas in technology, as I work with my work’s donor database and other online platforms. Little did I know that the conference wouldn’t just show me techie tools, but instead lead me to evaluate the role technology plays in our organization and how it can have a role in furthering our mission… or any nonprofit activity, for that matter!
Beyond the nonprofit organization aspect, these past couple of days have reminded me of the importance of technology in general. We all know that technology is important because of the computers on our desk. But I’m here to bring a different perspective to the table – that of a busy millennial.
Here are a few of the reasons technology is important to me.
- It helps me refine my voice. As I’ve mentioned before, blogging has really helped me develop my thoughts regarding the nonprofit sector, millennial issues, and so much more. But beyond that, having an online presence has given me a new part of my identity to craft. I have spent most of the breakout sessions I’ve participated in at NTC live tweeting the content (check out mytimeline here to read some of the great stuff I’ve been learning). This is reinforcing the ideas I’m learning and helps solidify them in my mind, and gives me ownership of the content I agree on. It’s now a part of me, which I love.
- The things I need are anywhere I need them (with Wifi, of course). Being a busy millennial, I try to minimize my time doing extraneous activities. Organizing is one of those things. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some list making, but that takes time, and I don’t have a lot of that. Technology has allowed for sharing, collaborating, and housing documents in the cloud, so that I don’t have to worry about putting things on a flash drive or – gasp – a CD. It’s all at my fingertips.
- It’s green. Remember the days of paper planners? CDs, tapes, and even DVDs? Address books (OK I still need to transition my old one)? At the NTC there is a QR code for each session’s evaluation. No more stacks of paper and trash. Same for the paperwork I need – I don’t have extra things to keep track of. Technology is doing some amazing things to green our world, and for that, we should be thankful.
I must say that after experiencing the NTC I am hooked and really hope I can continue to go each year. I highly recommend it to you, too! Look into a membership for NTEN – it’s very affordable for students, including Masters students – and join! It’s an amazing resource, and it’s not just for IT staff!