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About NTEN

We can change the world when we change our approach to technology. NTEN helps you do your job better, so you can make the world a better place. Join our community and you can drive social change by putting technology to use for your mission.

Vision and mission

We are creating a world where missions and movements are successful through the skillful and equitable use of technology.

We build transformative power by connecting people who are putting technology to work for social change. We strengthen their individual and collective capacity for doing good by offering expert trainings, researching effective approaches, and providing places where relationships can flourish. We relentlessly advocate for the redesign of the systems and structures that maintain inequity.

NTEN’s amazing community is made up of nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members, funders, consultants, and vendors from all walks of life.

Values

The change we want to create is rooted in our organizational values. These values are at the heart of all we do, driving the decisions we make, shaping our priorities, and framing how we engage with our members, community, and others in the sector.

Integrity and compassion

We act with courage and operate with transparency. We’re honest with and kind to ourselves, each other, and our community.

Excellence and savvy

As individuals and as a team, we hold ourselves accountable for high-quality work that prioritizes creativity, reflection, intention, and sustainability. We're professionals with valuable expertise that we share abundantly with the community.

Community and humanity

We're accessible and inclusive in our practices and programs, centering our members, our community, and the larger nonprofit sector in our decisions. We value the knowledge of our experienced and diverse community. We find ways to have fun, enjoy life, and celebrate the human side of technology while recognizing the critical impact of our work and the work of the nonprofit sector as a whole.

Equity and liberation

We advance equity in our everyday actions and the systems we create for our work. We are invested in collective liberation because we know our freedoms are tied together.

Beliefs

Our beliefs are the core truths we embrace and defend. They are based on carefully listening to our community and closely examining our collective experiences. We fondly call these beliefs The NTEN 6.

The internet is a powerful and necessary tool.

It is vital that the internet is affordable and accessible to all people.

Technology is an investment central to all programs and services.

Technology is not overhead. It is an essential part of strategic planning and budgeting by organizational leadership.

Every role at a nonprofit requires technology.

Yet many people have limited access to training. If a nonprofit hopes to effect change, it must start with itself by investing in continuous professional development for all employees regardless of job title.

Helping others starts with respecting ourselves.

Nonprofits cannot effect change when it’s acceptable for employees to earn below-market pay, benefits, and training because they chose a career in the social good sector.

Sharing knowledge and experience creates powerful solutions.

Because many of the problems facing our society have overlapping causes, we must stop hoarding resources and explore collaborative opportunities.

Change happens when the entire sector comes together.

Nonprofits can’t do the heavy lifting alone. We are a community of nonprofits, funders, consultants, vendors, and technology providers. Each of us has a role to play in building, sustaining, and powering our community.

Theory of change

We've thought long and hard about how we will achieve our mission and realize our vision.

Our theory of change is one of the important tools we use to make strategic, values-based program decisions while keeping ourselves accountable to our community. It succinctly describes how NTEN's programs increase tech leadership across missions and the sector as we create a better world.

View our theory of change (PDF)

Commitment to equity and liberation

As a team and a community, we work to dismantle systems of white supremacy and oppression in ourselves, organizations, and our world.

We center those who are most impacted personally and generationally to build new systems and structures for equity and liberation. The layers of our identities and experiences make our relationships stronger as our freedoms are connected.

Because our commitment to collective liberation requires a long view, we acknowledge the importance of balancing daily work with rest for ourselves and our communities.

Our commitments in practice

We encourage and invite your feedback and partnership. To support accountability and to be accessible as we continue to do this work, we hope you'll share your ideas, questions, and experiences. Email us.

Our Community Equity Committee and several other committees meet regularly. You're welcome to attend one of these meetings to observe, join the conversation, or even add something to the agenda. Email us for meeting information.

Each year the Community Equity Committee evaluates the policies and practices outlined in our commitment to equity and liberation, in coordination with the board and community equity committees. We share these evaluations on our blog and in places where we listen to our community's feedback.
NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, hiring, orientation, and retention practices to employ diverse staff and create opportunities for every staff member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN.

We expect all staff to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online, in the office and beyond, with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community. This includes not speaking on panels or at events where the speaker lineup is not diverse and ensuring that written pieces they author include a diversity of voices and perspectives.
NTEN's board of directors both fulfills the fiduciary duty required of a 501(c)(3) organization and is an important part of our community-centered approach. Board members have diverse lived experiences and perspectives and come from a range of professional backgrounds and NTEN participation.

In partnership with our board, NTEN regularly reviews and improves our board recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage people in our community from a diversity of backgrounds and create opportunities for every board member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN. We don't require a minimum donation to be part of our board and we provide travel support as appropriate for in-person meetings.

We expect all board members to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community.
NTEN values the inclusion and participation of people in our community across our programs and events. We frequently organize committees, both short and long-term, to include diverse perspectives, abilities, and time commitment levels in our planning and evaluation processes. We review, analyze, and improve our volunteer committee processes for recruitment, selection, orientation, and support to reflect NTEN’s commitment. Volunteer committee participants are expected to uphold, advocate for, and abide by NTEN’s commitment to equity and liberation.
NTEN creates volunteer organizer roles to increase the number of leadership positions available in the community and actively works to support people in our community from a diversity of backgrounds in those roles. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, orientation, and retention practices to support diverse organizers. We support organizers with regular opportunities to learn together.

We expect all organizers to recognize that they represent NTEN when operating in their role and as such are guided by this commitment, including but not limited to the co-organizers they recruit, venues where they hold events, speakers they invite to present, format of and non-presentation content of events, and their use of accessible and respectful language.
NTEN’s members support our values and beliefs, vision and mission, and this equity commitment. Membership revenue is also an important part of NTEN’s financial sustainability. However, since we are not an association, we don't require people to be members to participate in or access NTEN programs or content.

NTEN regularly evaluates and improves member benefits, NTEN programs, and our engagement opportunities to be inclusive of diverse individuals and organizations. NTEN evaluates and analyzes member communications and opportunities to ensure that NTEN’s member experience is inclusive, collaborative, and equitable. Additionally, we review member recruitment, retention, and orientation to ensure that we are prioritizing historically marginalized communities.

NTEN creates opportunities for members to expand and improve their commitment to equity and liberation through our community, programs, and other resources.
NTEN believes that the knowledge and experience of those from diverse backgrounds, organizations, and sectors should be elevated through our programs. As such, course faculty, Nonprofit Technology Conference speakers, and other program partners are part of our community and are practitioners. NTEN uses our commitment to equity and liberation to help us ask who is not included and identify what barriers we have created or continue to maintain that may exclude or decrease participation. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage diverse speakers and create an inclusive opportunity for new practitioners and leaders.

We expect all course faculty and NTC speakers to be guided by this commitment to equity and liberation, including but not limited to the presentation materials they use, the examples they include in presentations, the participation expectations they set for attendees, their recruitment of co-presenters, and their use of accessible and respectful language.
NTEN provides opportunities to be a partner, sponsor, exhibitor, and supporter of our programs and events. We do this in recognition that the investment by foundations, corporations, technology vendors, service providers, and others makes it possible for NTEN’s programs and events to be available to beneficiaries at the lowest cost possible, and that these same organizations value the exposure to and participation in our community. We use pricing options that make partnership, sponsorship, exhibiting, and other support opportunities are accessible to many types of organizations with different budgets and goals.

We expect all partners, sponsors, exhibitors, and other supporters to operate with their own commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. NTEN expects those funding programs with direct access to people in our community to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.
NTEN knows that working with a wide range of professionals, suppliers, and consultants strengthens the communities we serve. This is why we prioritize hiring diverse vendors and service providers. We employ open processes for selecting contractors such as public requests for proposals, outreach to niche and alternative networks, and reviewing our RFPs (and other requests) for inclusive policies, language, and expectations.

We expect all organizations and individuals with whom we contract, whether for facilities, catering, decorating, or other services, to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.
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NTEN is creating a world where missions and movements are successful through the skillful and equitable use of technology.

NTEN™
P.O. Box 86308
Portland, OR 97286-0308
+1 503-272-8800

© 2022 NTEN