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The Digital Nonprofit 2015

May 22: The Digital Nonprofit Conference

It’s 2015 already – and you’re online! But is anything coming from your investment in going digital?

Join us for the second annual The Digital Nonprofit to hear from leaders and experts on:

  • How to structure our organizations to make them more effective online
  • How to embed the power of the internet into our daily operations
  • How to use data to make better decisions and be more effective in executing our missions

We’ll mix big-picture thinking with practical, hands-on sessions during an inspiring day at the beautiful Creekside Community Centre. We’ve got an amazing menu booked with meals from the Vij’s and TacoFino food trucks and a complimentary espresso cart onsite.

When: Friday, May 22. 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $75.00 early bird before April 1

Tickets: https://register.canbook.me/digital-nonprofit

Who should attend?

  • Nonprofit leaders responsible for their organization’s strategy
  • Digital staff and fundraisers who execute online campaigns
  • Program and support staff who want to more effectively engage their stakeholders


Here’s the initial lineup of experts.

Alexandra Samuel, VP Social Media, Vision Critical

“Telling Stories with Data”

The advent of big data has challenged organizations to gather and analyze tremendous volumes of data on the people and communities they serve, as well as on the members and donors that support that work. But whether we’re dealing with big data or “little data” — smaller, more manageable datasets that can nonetheless provide deep insight — we need to develop the capacity to not only understand and learn from it, but to tell effective stories with it. Alex will help you work more effectively with data in your organization by mapping out the steps to developing an effective data strategy.

Peter Wrinch, Lead Organizer, NationBuilder and former Executive Director, Pivot Legal Society

“Building the Culture to Win: A Deep Look at Non-profit Culture, Structure & Tech”

When Peter Wrinch took over the leadership at Pivot in 2010 the organization was struggling. Despite an incredible vision, a strong community of support, and a great team, the bank accounts were empty, people worked in silos, and the organization was suffering from mission drift. At his first staff retreat as Executive Director, he asked the staff to work with a new style of leadership – one that put each of them at the centre of their own respective areas of expertise. As Executive Director he would supply the tools for their success, but the responsibility for growth, movement, and ultimately Pivot-style social change rested with them. And it worked!

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, Frontier Marketing Company

“What separates charity websites that work and those that don’t?”

Ben Johnson will share his insights from a massive research project of NGO websites and guide you through the critical changes you can make to communicate more clearly, serve your members and raise more money.


A huge thanks to our sponsors, without whom The Digital Nonprofit would be impossible.


April Nonprofit Tech Events Roundup

Hey friends, there’s a wealth of great events for the nonprofit tech community. Check ’em out!


Most NetSquared Vancouver events are free or by donation.

In addition to our Digital Nonprofit conference on May 22 Net2van is also planning a trio of CRM and database-focused events. This is a great opportunity for any organization exploring their options for tracking and managing their supporters.


Salesforce Nonprofit User Group: New in Spring ’15! Duplicate Management and Lightning Process Builder!

When: Thursday, April 2

RSVP: http://goo.gl/cDt10T

We will be hosting our next VNUG meet-up on April 2, and this time we’ll be looking at two AMAZING new features from the Spring ’15 release: native Duplicate Management, and the new automation tool called Lightning Process Builder! BRING YOUR LAPTOP if possible so you can follow along in your own sandbox! And as always, come with your questions and we will work together to find answers.

Marketing for Hippies: The Niching Spiral

When: Saturday, April 4

RSVP: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/vancouver-the-niching-spiral-tickets–15674626229

A day long, pay-what-you-want workshop to help conscious entrepreneurs figure out their niche from my friend the amazing Tad Hargrave.

VA Breakfast: A Visual Analytics Overview

When: April 8, 2015

Price: $25.00

RSVP: http://goo.gl/eBnlNJ

If you have never heard of Visual Analytics or are just curious to know more about how it can help your organization get more out of your data, then we invite you to attend the VA Breakfast! This hour-long event will give you the essentials of what VA is while a delicious breakfast is served for you to start off your day. Get a chance to meet people with similar interests in the visual analytics community.

The Grant That Writes Itself (with Dr. Ray Hsu)

When: Wednesday, April 8

RSVP: http://goo.gl/MYO8pM

Have you dreamed that your grant could write itself? With the help of a bit of technology, writing a grant is as easy as pressing a button. Now is the time for a revolution in the way we write grants.

Random Hacks of Kindness 4 Peace Hackathon

When: Saturday, April 11

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/rhok4peace-hackathon-tickets–16214588270

PeaceGeeks is hosting its 1st hackathon of 2015 and its 2nd ever Random Hacks of Kindness to help some incredible organizations that are working on peace and human rights issues around the world.

How to Build a Successful Legacy Program

When: Wednesday, April 15 in the Fraser Valley

RSVP: http://www.afpvancouver.org/Upcoming-Events.aspx

Come hear our guest speaker Simon Trevelyan discuss legacy giving in his engaging presentation, “What do Don Draper of the TV show Mad Men and legacy giving have in common? How to build a successful legacy program."

Introduction to Visual Analytics: Half Day Course

When: April 15th, 2015 and April 30th, 2015 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Price: $120.00
RSVP: http://goo.gl/jv1hK4

If you have just been introduced to the term “Visual Analytics”, we encourage you to participate in this half day “Introduction to Visual Analytics” course! The goal is to provide a solid foundation to audiences who are not familiar with VA. The course includes real world examples, videos, and interactive demos of visual displays.

The Art of the Ask

When: Thursday, April 16

RSVP: http://afpvancouver.org/Upcoming-Events.aspx

Back by popular demand, this interactive workshop will help hone your face-to-face asking skills. Expert fundraisers will lead each table in different ask scenarios to guide your approach and build your confidence.

YVR Fundraisers Connect: Let’s Meet & Talk About Facebook & Our KPI’s: Does it help? How do we know?

When: Wednesday, April 22

RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/YVR-Funraisers-Connect/events/221179661/

Let’s get this thing started by kicking it off with our first meeting. I scheduled it in April since I know that for many of us, we are still tying up loose ends for our fiscal year ends to CRA this month. RSVP! Can’t wait to meet you all and chat about all stuff related to the business side of charities and fundraising! It’s at Cafe Crepe on Granville and Smithe. I booked the private room at the back.

From Theory to Practice: Two Day Course

When: April 22nd and 23rd from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Price: $960.00

RSVP: http://goo.gl/SFRvjY

This course consists of two days which provide in-depth theory and hands-on tutorials with modern visual analytics software tools such as Tableau and Gephi. This course is suitable for those wanting a solid treatment of the many aspects of visual analytics. We’ll provide real-world data to practice with – or bring your own!


Got an event that should be in the next newsletter? Let me know!

Alexandra Samuel: Telling Stories with Data

DNP_Logo_500x500The theme of this year’s The Digital Nonprofit is “data” and we’ve assembled a mighty team of experts to share their expertise. Our closing keynote will be delivered by Alexandra Samuel, the VP of Social Media at Vision Critical and an experienced nonprofit campaigner.

Her topic is “Telling Stories with Data”, which sounds innocuous but was actually the most controversial and provocative plenary session at last year’s Leading Change Summit in San Francisco. Noted nonprofit blogger Beth Kanter was there and captures the mix of outrage and admiration in the room as Alexandra gave here thesis: rigorous data gathering and analysis can get in the way of effective storytelling by non-profits.

There are only 100 tickets available, so register today.

Telling Stories with Data

Alexandra Samuel, VP Social Media at Vision Critical

The advent of big data has challenged organizations to gather and analyze tremendous volumes of data on the people and communities they serve, as well as on the members and donors that support that work. But whether we’re dealing with big data or “little data” — smaller, more manageable datasets that can nonetheless provide deep insight — we need to develop the capacity to not only understand and learn from it, but to tell effective stories with it. Alex will help you work more effectively with data in your organization by mapping out the steps to developing an effective data strategy.

More About Alexandra Samuel

UntitledAlexandra Samuel is the author of Work Smarter with Social Media, forthcoming from Harvard Business School Press. She is a digital researcher, writer and speaker with two decades of experience on the forefront of the social web. She has led social media R&D for customer intelligence leader Vision Critical, directed the research for Don Tapscott’s Governance in the Digital Economy program, and founded one of the world’s first social media agencies, Social Signal. Her work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic.com and Oprah.com. Alexandra holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University.

Additional Background

Vu Le: The Role Of Data In Equity And Social Justice

DNP_Logo_500x500The theme of this year’s The Digital Nonprofit is “data” and we are SUPER EXCITED to have Seattle’s Vu Le as one of our two keynote speakers. He’ll be talking about the role of data in equity and social justice.

Expect to laugh and cry – Vu is both a noted nonprofit humorist (a real thing!) and the Executive Director of a nonprofit that brings more leaders of color in to the sector.

There are only 100 tickets available, so register today.

The Role Of Data In Equity And Social Justice

Vu Le, Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps

The nonprofit sector has seen an increased focus on data, metrics, outcomes, etc. Some of this is due to the complex nature of our work and the difficulty of defining success. The focus on data is an attempt to tame the chaos. However, data can be both very helpful, or very detrimental to the work. The narrow definitions of what constitutes good data and outcomes, for example, can leave many marginalized communities behind. We need to understand how and when to use data, who uses it, and how to apply the lens of equity in looking at data.

More About Vu Le

Vu-Le-with-mug-graphic_0Vu Le is the writer behind the blog nonprofitwithballs.com. He is also the humor writer for Blue Avocado. Vu is the Executive Director of an organization in Seattle, Rainier Valley Corps (RVC), which aims to bring more leaders of color in to the nonprofit sector and support existing leaders to work together to effect systemic change. Vu serves as chair of the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC), which rallies families, schools, and community together to support students in Southeast Seattle to succeed. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Race to the Top grant for Washington state and the strategic planning committee of United Way of King County. Vu was chair of the Southeast District Council, a neighborhood council that provides information sharing, fosters collaboration among neighbors, and allocates resources for neighborhood-improvement projects. He was also on the City of Seattle’s Families and Education Levy advisory committee, which drafted a plan for a $232M levy for education. He founded World Dance Party, a multicultural dance party that draws 200 to 400 people of all ages and backgrounds. This year Vu was recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as a “Writer with Attitude.”

Video: #OpenData for Non-Profits

On March 18, NetSquared Vancouver and OpenData BC presented a panel event showing how nonprofits can use and create open data.

• David Vogt of Urban Opus
• Alex Jurgensen of Camp Bowen and Accessibility Hound
• Tom Ash of Charity Science

Hosted by the Hive Vancouver

Mitacs Opens Research Funding to Not-for-Profit Organizations

Eligible NFP partners can now participate in collaborative research with universities

Vancouver, BC – Eligible not-for-profit (NFP) organizations and Crown corporations can now receive funding to support research collaborations with universities. Qualifying organizations will be able to access high-quality research expertise in order to solve their business challenges.

 Today’s announcement expands the reach of Mitacs’ programs significantly. There are approximately 170,000 non-profit organizations in Canada, accounting for 8.1 percent of Canada’s GDP. These organizations — like Mitacs’ programs — work across all disciplines and sectors.

Eligible organizations may include economic development organizations, industry associations, social welfare organizations, and charitable organizations. Partners will be assessed for a demonstrable economic or productivity orientation of the proposed research project, such as creating jobs, reducing costs, or increasing productivity.

Examples of proposed NFP projects:

  • Examining the barriers to meaningful employment of blind Canadians
  • Anticipated research outcome:Improved employment opportunities for an underemployed population
  • Creating themed video games and apps for a theatre festival

Anticipated research outcome: Festival gains new audience and attendance is increased

  • Developing a pilot program that helps stroke victims return to work

Anticipated research outcome:  Implementation of the program to facilitate shorter recovery times and a faster return to the workplace

 Mitacs is accepting applications immediately.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is excited to offer Canada’s not-for-profit sector the opportunity to partner with high-quality graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at universities across Canada to help solve their business-related research challenges.”

Ted Hewitt, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

“Together, Mitacs and SSHRC are committed to supporting Canada’s future innovators. By partnering in the Accelerate and Elevate programs, we will strengthen connections among researchers, industry partners, and not-for-profit organizations, while offering graduate students in the social sciences and humanities the opportunity to apply their expertise to unique challenges.”

Tasha Sutcliffe, Vice-President/Director, Fisheries and Marines, Ecotrust Canada

“Sustainability of nonprofit organizations like Ecotrust Canada can no longer depend on grant funding alone. Mitacs Accelerate concretely helps our organization with new business planning strategies for the commercialization of our knowledge.”

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national, private not-for-profit organization that develops the next generation of innovators with vital skills through unique research and training programs.
  • Mitacs’ Accelerate program connects graduate students with industry partners for research internships supervised by faculty. In 2013–2014, Mitacs supported 2,240 Accelerate internships.
  • Mitacs’ Elevate program provides recent PhD graduates with customized R&D management and professional development training while they’re working on research projects.


For more information on not-for-profit organization eligibility, click here.

For details about Mitacs and our programs, visit mitacs.ca/newsroom.

March Nonprofit Tech Events in Vancouver

Spring time! Here’s the latest events we think will interest the nonprofit tech community.


All NetSquared Vancouver events are free or by donation.

Open Data for Nonprofits

When: Wednesday, March 18

RSVP: http://goo.gl/N8z89S

How can nonprofits use open data for good? A panel event held in partnership with Open Data BC.


Raiser’s Edge: Organizational contacts

When: Monday, March 2

RSVP: http://goo.gl/htPlWg

Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge session on Organization Contacts & Mailing Lists.

Maker Education Salon, Spring Edition!

When: Tuesday, March 3

RSVP: http://goo.gl/YSWw1c

Join us to hear about inspiring projects facilitated by teachers, museum staff, programmers, librarians, artists, hackspace members and enthusiasts facilitating maker education programmes in the Vancouver area, followed by informal hanging out and drinks with the larger network.

GrantMix: How to Sell Your Vision of a Better World (with Jamie Chang)

When: Thursday, March 5

RSVP: http://goo.gl/F2oy2P

Learn from one of the most exciting thinkers on the border of Education and Technology as you learn to sell your vision in grant proposals.

Digital Storytelling Mini-Workshops at Kitsilano Community Centre

When: February 16 to March 9

RSVP: Search for “storytelling” at http://bit.ly/KeywordStorytelling

These 4 Digital storytelling workshops will offer tips and best practices for digital storytelling. I’ll free your imagination and help you engage.

You will learn the benefits of story marketing over an advertisement. We will use a simple formula for creating a memorable story around your message.

Natural SEO Lunch ‘n’ Learn

When: Friday, March 13

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/natural-seo-lunch-n-learn-tickets–15425340609

The world’s most popular website helps people find things. So it’s no surprise that being found first on Google is a huge desire for most organizations. In this session, I’ll be sharing about Search Engine Optimization tactics that, well, aren’t really tactics at all. We’ll talk about the value of being yourself, communicating strategically, and trying new things!

Your Biz as a Vehicle for Positive Change: Fireside Chat w/ Mike Rowlands

When: Friday, March 27

RSVP: http://goo.gl/oCINP2

Join Mike Rowlands for this fireside chat on entrepreneurship, social venture, and the strategy to tie it all together. As the principal of Junxion Strategy and an executive producer of Social Venture Institute (SVI), Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience in leading strategy for responsible enterprises. During this lunch hour session, Mike will talk about doing good through business, and ensuring that your mission and vision inform how you grow your business.

Canadian Internet Marketing Conference

When: March 28+29

RSVP: http://goo.gl/lUqSjZ Use “Charity15” for 20% discount

22 World-Class Speakers, 6 Networking Opportunities, $10,000 Dragon Den style contest, workshops, parties and much more. Tweet-to-Fly Helicopter contest.

Leave the city behind and come join us in the beautiful mountain town of Squamish, BC for two days of inspirational talks on Internet Marketing. Get inspired and learn from industry leaders within digital marketing. Leave refreshed and full of action points for your business.

Marketing for Hippies: The Niching Spiral

When: Saturday, 4 April

RSVP: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/vancouver-the-niching-spiral-tickets–15674626229

A day long, pay-what-you-want workshop to help conscious entrepreneurs figure out their niche from my friend the amazing Tad Hargrave.


Got an event that should be in the next newsletter? Let me know!

Introducing Hootsuite’s Social Media Tune-Up Coaches

Your Hootsuite Social Media Tune-Up Coaches

Owly Repair Man Mechanic from Hootsuite

When: Monday, February 23, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: HootSuite Headquarters, 5 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

RSVP: http://goo.gl/MSTAFm

Scaling your social media within current resources is often a challenge for NGOs. How do you manage multiple social media platforms without budgeting more for a social media manager or a social team?

Hootsuite’s coaches can show you how it’s possible to scale your social media, connect with more supporters and increase the organic reach of your communications.

As part of Hootsuite’s HootGiving Program, our Social Media Tune-Up is available as a complimentary service for NGOs. After we take a look at how you’re currently using social media, we’ll make recommendations and work with you to improve your social presence.


Hootsuite’s expert social media and marketing coaches will be there to guide you!

Alberto Cristoffanini – @HootAlberto

Alberto Cristoffanini from Linkedin

Social Media Coach

Expertise includes

  • Social Media Strategy
  • Social media in Latin America
  • Social Justice

Michelle Garrigo – @HootGarrigo

Michelle Garrigo from twitter

Social Media Coach

Expertise Includes

  • Social Media Strategy and Execution
  • Hootsuite Dashboard Ninja
  • Agency background, managing multiple clients in various industries

Andrea Johb – @HootAJ

Andrea Johb hootsuiteSocial Media Coach

Expertise includes

  • On-boarding with social networks
  • Hootsuite dashboard trainer
  • Social Media Strategy

Liz Lee – @ellielee194

Elizabeth Lee hootsuiteCustomer Success Manager

Expertise includes

  • Social Marketing
  • Social Customer Service
  • Social Selling

Leyla Morzan – @HootLeyla

Leyla Morzan hootsuite

Customer Success Manager, Enterprise

Expertise includes

  • Social Strategy
  • Building Meaningful Relationships
  • Social Customer Service

Maria Perez – @HootMP

Maria Perez hootsuiteSocial Media Coach

Expertise includes

  • Social strategy
  • Engagement
  • Measuring social media efforts

Juan Ramos – @HootRamos

Juan Ramos from Linkedin

Customer Success Manager

  • Social and Digital Strategy
  • Social and Online Metrics
  • Increasing your online audience

Julia Shepherd – @msjuliashepherd

Julia Shepherd hootsuiteCustomer Success Associate

Expertise includes

  • Engaging with your Audience
  • Creating Compelling Content
  • Social Strategy

Tori Swanson – @ HootTori

Tori Swanson hootsuiteSocial Media Coach

Expertise includes

  • Brand Monitoring & Engagement
  • Social Strategizing
  • Goal Setting and Tracking Social Growth

Miriam Trotscha – @miriamtrot

Miriam Trotscha hootsuiteCustomer Success Manager

  • Social media strategy for NGOs
  • Creating your first strategy
  • Building out a team
  • Executive buy-in

Skyler Thompson – @thisseasonslove

Skyler Thompson hootsuiteSolutions Partner Coach

Expertise includes

  • Social Strategy
  • Measurable Social Goals
  • Social Best Practices (tips and tricks)

NetSquared Camp 2015 Was Awesome


Hi Net2camp friends,

Gosh, that was fun. Thanks so much for coming out on a Saturday and partying #nptech-style with us!

We tried to capture some of the electrifying energy of the day in our storify. The summary includes the tweets, photos, videos and notes generated during the event.

A special thanks to McKay Savage to being dragooned into photography, Noah Ferguson for capturing a super-cool time-lapse video of the session pitches and Natalie Hill for taking notes during the CRM and database session. My thanks also to the entire volunteer team, with extra thanks to key collaborators Michelle Sklar and Chad Leaman. :-)


Bgenerus logo

Events like Net2camp don’t happen by accident. A team of community champions come together to hold our events. We are proud to work with Michelle Sklar of Bgenerus, who has provided our ticketing and donation platform (plus marketing support!) for our last two events. Looking for a partner to help raise money online? Give her a shout!

Do you want to increase your donor base and make fundraising easy?

Charities & nonprofits engage your community to be generous!

What is Bgenerus? Bgenerus is a fundraising tool that allows you to manage your fundraising activities in one place! We help you partner with local and online businesses and allow your organization to offer great deals while making up to 25% off of every coupon sold. Give your donors something in return by offering them exclusive deals to support your cause! Bgenerus enables you to provide flexible options for your supporters to donate directly, or top up purchases they make. Running an event? With the Bgenerus event management tool you can sell tickets to events and manage your attendees all from the same campaign page.

With so little time and resources, Bgenerus makes it easy and efficient to run your comprehensive fundraising activities in one place! For more information or to arrange a demo contact michelle@bgenerus.com.


Why was the event so cheap? Because our sponsors are awesome! Give it up for HiVE Vancouver, Bgenerus, Constructive Public Engagement, and Erika Rathje Design.

Additional love goes to our community partners Fundraiser Grr, Changemakers Vancouver, and Rise Kombucha. Plus our sustaining monthly partners iATS Payments and NTEN.

See you next year!

The NetSquared Vancouver team

Wanna be a Community Manager?

UBC is now offering an Award of Achievement in Community Management  <cstudies.ubc.ca/cm>

The first two courses are scheduled:

Please tell your friends, clients, partners, colleagues, students, or anyone you think will be interested.  If you are tweeting please be sure to include @UBCCSDigital