NTC 24: Insights from a First-Time Nonprofit Tech Conference Attendee

Posted in: Blog
By: Keddi-Anne Sherbino

As I step back from the whirlwind that was the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) 24, I’m bursting with excitement to share my newfound insights with you. Picture this: a rookie explorer navigating the vast terrain of nonprofit tech, eager to absorb every nugget of wisdom and innovation. Join me as we embark on this journey together, delving into the key takeaways from NTC 24 and exploring the possibilities that lie ahead.

Embracing the Journey

As a first-time attendee, NTC 24 was a revelation—a vibrant tapestry of ideas, innovations, and networking opportunities. From the moment I set foot in the conference hall, I was greeted with a sense of excitement and anticipation, eager to immerse myself in the world of nonprofit tech. With over 1500 fellow explorers by my side, the energy was electric as we set out to uncover the secrets of the trade.

One of the highlights of the conference was the chance to connect with both new and familiar faces. It was particularly exciting to meet industry stalwarts like Watt Hamlett, whose longstanding support for the nonprofit consulting ecosystem is widely recognized and appreciated. Additionally, encountering fellow Canadian Brittany Neale was a pleasant surprise—a serendipitous connection that added a delightful touch of familiarity to the event. As we exchanged insights and experiences, I realized the true value of such gatherings lies not only in the sessions themselves but also in the meaningful connections forged along the way. As these connections blossomed, they provided a valuable foundation for the insightful sessions that followed, enriching my experience and further deepening my understanding of the nonprofit tech landscape.

Session 1: Big Budget Tech Transformations

In this session, we delved deep into the world of large-scale tech transformations within the nonprofit sector. As seasoned Salesforce implementation partners, we understand the intricacies and challenges of these endeavors like no other. The discussion centered around the critical importance of trust and collaboration in driving successful tech transformations. We explored how open communication channels and seamless teamwork lay the foundation for success in these complex projects.

Key Takeaways:

  • Trust and collaboration are paramount in the realm of successful tech transformations. Open communication channels and teamwork are the secret ingredients to success.
  • Resilience is essential when navigating the complexities of large-scale projects. Adaptability and perseverance are crucial for overcoming challenges along the way.

As I reflected on the session, it became evident that building strong relationships and addressing stakeholders’ concerns proactively is paramount. Trust emerged as the linchpin holding these transformative projects together, emphasizing the importance of fostering an environment built on trust, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Session 2: Building Capacity via Cohort Programs

The next session I attended dove into the realm of capacity-building through cohort-based programs. I found myself captivated by the diverse approaches and collaborative opportunities these initiatives offer. From fostering inclusivity to establishing clear expectations, I gleaned invaluable insights into their potential to drive meaningful impact.

Key Takeaways:

  • Respect for the adult learner and the nonprofit professional lays the foundation for effective cohort-based programs.
  • Shared knowledge and varied learning modalities enrich the learning experience and promote inclusivity.
  • Grounding the experience in real-world contexts and evaluating the process post-completion is essential for maximizing impact.

From unclear expectations to poor completion rates, it became clear that breaking down barriers and fostering a safe space for collaboration is crucial for the success of these initiatives. With these lessons in mind, let us continue our journey toward building a more inclusive and impactful nonprofit sector.

Session 3: Avoid Technical Debt from Killing Your Nonprofit

Tech debt—a formidable adversary lurking in the shadows—captured our attention in our third session. From AI-powered solutions to robust cybersecurity measures, we explored strategies for mitigating tech debt and future-proofing our organizations. Immersed in this discussion, I was inspired by the spirit of innovation and resilience that permeated the room—a reminder of the boundless potential of the nonprofit sector.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proactive measures, such as AI-powered solutions, can help mitigate tech debt and streamline documentation processes.
  • Investing in robust cybersecurity measures is crucial for future-proofing nonprofit organizations and safeguarding sensitive data.

Reflecting on these insights, it’s clear that proactive planning and investment are essential for tackling tech debt head-on. At Exponent Partners, we’re committed to helping nonprofits navigate these challenges by providing tailored solutions and expertise. From implementing AI-powered tools to enhancing cybersecurity protocols, we empower organizations to build sustainable and resilient tech infrastructures.

Session 4: Artificial Intelligence is Here: Are You Using It?

Our final session delved into the ethical considerations and practical applications of artificial intelligence in the nonprofit sector. As we grappled with questions of responsibility and impact, I was struck by the immense potential of AI to drive positive change. From navigating the ethical minefield to harnessing the transformative power of AI for social good, I left the session feeling energized and inspired.

Key Takeaways:

  • Responsible AI use can lead to a significant positive impact on nonprofits, but it requires careful consideration and ethical guidelines.
  • Navigating the ethical considerations of AI is essential, especially in sensitive areas such as image generation and data analysis.

From concerns about AI abuse to the importance of responsible AI policies, it’s clear that the nonprofit sector is at a crucial juncture in embracing AI technology. At Exponent Partners, we’re committed to guiding nonprofits through this transition, ensuring responsible AI implementation and maximizing its potential for positive impact. With our expertise and dedication, we empower nonprofits to leverage AI ethically and effectively, all on the Salesforce platform. 

Charting a Course for the Future

As I bid farewell to NTC 24 and reflect on my journey as a first-time conference-goer, I am filled with a sense of optimism and possibility. NTEN facilitated a collaborative platform that brought partners and nonprofits together, aligning them on a shared page. This initiative emphasized the mutual need for both perspectives and knowledge exchange to mutually strengthen and enhance the work they do individually and together. Armed with newfound knowledge and insights, I am excited to continue exploring the ever-evolving landscape of nonprofit tech and to play my part in driving positive change. Together, let us chart a course for a future where technology empowers nonprofits to unlock their full potential and drive meaningful social impact. Contact us to schedule a chat.