Fw: Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network

H. C. Covington -- I CAN America (icanamerica@email.msn.com)
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 13:20:48 -0500


Monday, Oct. 4, 1999

Good morning!

Do you have a stake in how nonprofits can function more effectively in the
New Economy, especially community based organizations? Do you have an
opinion on how this can happen, swiftly? Would you like to engage others to
listen, learn and create?

Response has been excellent from the first week of the Nonprofit Technology
Enterprise Network Request for Comment (N-TEN RFC). The first NTEN-RFC will
be open for one more week. If you haven't had a chance to complete the
survey, there's still time. Please visit http://www.nten.org/ntenwelcome.htm
to learn more and get involved.

What's N-TEN All About?

N-TEN was proposed in a report that involved nearly 100 people from
nonprofit technical assistance groups, universities, foundations and high
tech corporations that examined technology needs of the nonprofit sector.
The report calls for N-TEN, "a new collaborative work environment, where
knowledge is shared, built upon and made available to all in the nonprofit
sector working to apply technology to nonprofit mission." The report's
called: Recommendations of the National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology: A
Blueprint for Infusing Technology into the Nonprofit Sector."

To check out a wide range of comments received thus far, please visit
http://www.nten.org/rfc1comment.htm and be sure to read the excerpts below.

Summary results of survey questions will be released next week, when this
first RFC closes. An N-TEN Talk listserv is standing by.

Next week, a new RFC will become available for another two weeks, followed
then by a third RFC, which will focus on organizational structure. So, this
process is just now getting under way. The full comment period will run
until November 5, and will be followed by a one-day conference on Nov. 10
Washington, DC at the David Packard Conference Center. The conference is
open subject to space limitations of 80 people. A registration form and
announcement for this conference will be available in several days.

What is the purpose of the N-TEN Request for Comments? To seek answers to 5
questions:

1, What defines the N-TEN community and what does it want?
2. How will NTEN advance the cause of existing associations and groups
concerned with technology assistance in the NP sector?
3. What business model makes sense for NTEN, assuming NTEN makes sense?
4. If  NTEN does not make sense, why not?
5. What will NTEN have accomplished in the next 15-18 months, what will it
have cost, where will the money have come from and who will have done the
work?

What are people saying about N-TEN over the past week? Here's a range of
opinion:

** I believe NTEN has an opportunity to act as a NATIONAL resource for the
coordination of collaborative efforts as well as the development of
guidelines, tools and quality standards.

** Most effective strategy is facilitating development of tech assistance
providers.

** Strengthening providers should raise all boats.

** NTEN membership should focus on organizations providing technology
services and support to the nonprofit sector.

** N-TEN needs to ensure that it is being as inclusive as possible in its
processes.

** I am afraid that you will be taking away resources that could go directly
to the small non profits to set up this infrastructure for technology
support, and just padding another layer of technocrats. **

** You have said it best with the statement in the blueprint: 'Synergy
catalyzes innovation'

** Start with smaller, concrete, more achievable goals.

** Some of these differenct interests could be subdivided in the
overall organizational structure- e.g. SIGS

** When I was with MADD I learned that sometimes you have to be an octopus
to move forward. This may also be true for N-Ten.

** All of the above are needed but not all can be accomplished in year one.

** There are enough good models out there that it would seem possible to
work on several simultaneously. **


Thanks a lot!

The N-TEN RFC Management Team

Richard Civille, Center for Civic Networking, Friday Harbor, WA
<rciville@civicnet.org>

and my good colleagues:

Alison Fine, Innovation Network, Washington, DC <fine@inetwork.org>
Joan Fanning, NPower, Seattle, WA <Joan@npower.org>