Accidental Techies"" get some respect. I've finally gotten my hands on the new book The Accidental Techie: Supporting, Managing, and Maximizing Your Nonprofit's Technology, by Sue Bennett, with Tom Battin, Cristina Chan, Eugene Chan, Mary Lester, and Jonathan Stein. I'm delighted to say that it's an outstanding contribution to the field of nonprofit technology and should be on everyone's bookshelf. The premise of the book is that many nonprofit ""technologists"" have little (if any) formal technology training, and have had to learn a variety of skills on-the-fly such as database planning, purchasing technology, managing tech consultants, maintaining computer networks, hosting websites and much more. The book presents a down-to-earth approach to building a support system to manage technology. One of my favorite parts of the book are the ready-to-use templates, worksheets, and sample policies to plan and organize technology systems. Chapter 6 on the role of the accidental techie in a nonprofit is a ten page tour de force discussion of what has often been a taboo topic in nonprofits. The book is a valuable toolkit to help small and mid-size nonprofits adapt to the technology demands of running today's nonprofit. Kudos to CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Fieldstone Alliance for publishing the book, and to the funders who supported it. --MichaelÂ Stein,Â Â Â Nationally renowned author and Internet strategist. - February 10, 2006
Recommended Reading. Nonprofit, nongovernmental, grassroots or other mission-based organizations are increasingly turning to technology and new media to get out their message and spur social change. The Nonprofit Technology Network, or NTEN, is a professional community that offers support for those who work in their information and communication technologies at such organizations. Katrin Verclas, executive director, says NTEN advises these groups on using technology to meet their larger goals and also provides a forum for ""accidental techies,"" or those who have with little or no formal information-technology training. Ms. Verclas refers to the people at NTEN as ""techies for good."" The Accidental Techie: Supporting, Managing, and Maximizing Your Nonprofit's Technology, By Sue Bennett and Tom Battin ""This book is essential reading for anyone who has taken on technology responsibilities at an organization without any formal training -- the office or program manager turned 'accidental techie.' It includes step-by-step guides as well as templates and worksheets for various projects from assessing your systems to writing proposals for funding. Highly useful for nonprofit leaders, program staff, and board members seeking to gain understanding of their organization's technology needs. --KeithÂ Huang,Â Â Â The Wall Street Journal Online - November 28, 2006. THE JOURNAL REPORT: TECHNOLOGY
How to manage tech support (and keep your sanity!) One day you unjammed the printer and saved the day. But now, somehow, all technology resources have become your responsibility! The Accidental Techie shows you how to create a support system that will help your organization use technology more effectively and make your day-to-day life less hectic. Step-by-step guidance to creating an effective support system. This hands-on guide walks you through five projects that, when completed, will give you a comprehensive and usable support system: conducting a technology inventory, assessing and buying technology, protecting your organization from disasters and data loss, and managing your role. You dont have to tackle the projects all at once or in any particular order. Dive in where it makes sense for you. Techie Tools make this guide even more useful. Youll find... Ready-to-use templates, worksheets, and sample policies. 135 resources on topics such as funding, discussion groups, application service providers, web site development, and donor management software. A security policy checklist. Steps for creating a database that gives you the reports you need. A glossary of terms every techie should know. How to get technology funding. A special chapter on funding reveals five questions most funders ask to judge technology requests, and gives you tips for creating a compelling request. Whether you're new to all this or a veteran, The Accidental Techie if your ally. Use it and start making your life easier today!