Archive for April 8th, 2010
Greetings from Atlanta!
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is attending the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference (NTEN) for the very first time – on the year if the conference’s own 10th birthday!
NTEN is a community of nonprofit organizations committed to using technology to help fulfill our missions. In their own words:
“We believe that technology allows nonprofits to work with greater social impact. We enable our members to strategically use technology to make the world a better, just, and equitable place.”
What that means in practice is a lot of sharing: online workshops to learn about the latest gadgets and tools, local gatherings in cities across the country to swap skills, online and off-line forums for people with similar interests and jobs to trade challenges and solutions, and – drumroll – the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference.
This year, there are about 1350 people in attendance, all buzzing around to learn what’s new and effective. And while there are plenty of people here who do what I do (communications!) there are plenty of other jobs represented here too – IT folk, webmasters, fundraisers, executives, organizers. And there are lots of different kinds of organizations here too – I met Melissa from Free Range Studios, ran into Michaela from Forum One Communications, saw old friend Stacy from See3 and caught a glimpse of the Google kiosk.
It’s been quite whirl – and we haven’t even started workshops yet!
But sitting here – just for a minute to catch my breath – I’m a little-tiny-bit-cheesily-inspired by what brings us all here. Together, we’re a collection of mission-driven organizations, all trying to do our part to make the world a better place. And we’re trying to apply the technology that makes our personal lives just a little bit easier (hello, iPhone!) to create real, substantial social good. It’s an idea that’s still (still!) being debated, but here at the NTEN conference, people really belive it’s possible.
And I totally buy that.
So starting tomorrow, I’m going to workshops to find out how I can do my part to make that happen.
I’ll keep you posted!
At our Annual Awards Ceremony on April 22, we’ll honor Unity of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit organization leading a collaborative of 63 agencies providing housing and services to the homeless in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. In 2009, UNITY provided housing or services to 19,468 homeless children and adults – nearly twice the number of people served annually before Hurricane Katrina.
Executive Director Martha Kegel will accept our Nonprofit Achievement Award on behalf of UNITY. Read on to learn more about Martha’s story and UNITY’s work.
I am happy to share that the Alliance’s Annual Awards Ceremony is two weeks from today! This exciting event, taking place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, will celebrate solutions to ending homelessness and the people that make those solutions a reality.
We are happy to honor the following individuals and organizations for their great work:
Virgin Mobile USA and Virgin Unite for their focus on youth homelessness, introducing ground-breaking initiatives to raise awareness, increase volunteerism, and provide critical resources to local agencies throughout the United States.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) who has been instrumental in securing much-needed funding for homeless programs at the federal level. She has also spearheaded countless efforts to help homeless veterans as well as provide rapid re-housing for families experiencing homelessness.
UNITY of Greater New Orleans for being a leader in the battle to end homelessness in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, the organization has reached into the streets and hurricane-ravaged buildings of the city to find and house thousands of the community’s most vulnerable residents.
Maurice “Mo” Vaughn who is building affordable housing and strengthening communities in New York. The former MLB star is the co-founder of OMNI New York LLC, a development company that has built over 3,000 units of affordable housing.
Other highlights: Senior PBS Correspondent Judy Woodruff will serve as the night’s emcee and Grammy-nominated musician Mighty Sam McClain will provide entertainment.
And aside from the highlights – this is an important event. It brings together so many people – federal lawmakers, local officials, grassroots activists, direct service providers – everyone involved in the grand scheme to bring assistance to our nation’s most vulnerable residents. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the mission that brings us together: to end homelessness for all in our country.
It promises to be an important evening – so mark your calendar and plan on joining us at the Kennedy Center on April 22nd at 7:30pm. For full details and to purchase tickets, check out the event website.
I hope to see you there!