As you can probably guess, I spend a lot of time these days worrying about outcomes measurement for nonprofits; I also devote time to discussing this topic with experts and with nonprofit professionals.
As I talk to some of the most impressive mavens in this field I sometimes ask, “would you travel to Massachusetts at your own expense, to give a free day-long training on outcomes measurement to nonprofit professionals here?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained – am I right? (Or as my dear sister once put it, I am The Mouth That Knows No Fear.)
A few really stellar experts actually agreed to do it, if a training event could be arranged to suit their schedules and other reasonable needs. Of course, I am stunned, overwhelmed with gratitude. Never underestimate the kindness of mavens!
So now I turn to my nonprofit colleagues in Massachusetts, with another unscientific survey. I want to get a sense of who would be interested in day-long free training. This survey is for them. If you’re not a nonprofit professional based in Massachusetts, please do the honorable thing, and refrain from participating in this survey.
I had a lovely time on Wednesday at the Providers Council conference and expo. All told, I put in about six hours at the Annkissam table, along with Kevin Palmer and Matteo Ramos-Mucci. As previously mentioned, Annkissam underwrote my time at the conference, so that I could provide pro bono strategic tech consultations on site and on demand.
It was fun.
I enjoyed the challenge of improvising the best possible assistance for each human service provider who sat down for a brief consultation. I’m not sure I could do thirty-minute consultations all day and every day, but it was very satisfying day.
Other aspects of the conference that I enjoyed were the company of members of the Annkissam team, meeting the other exhibitors, chatting with acquaintances as they passed by our table, and striking up conversations with total strangers as they stopped to ask about what we were featuring: Annkissam’s services, NPO Connect, and on-the-spot pro bono assistance.
One phenomenon that interested me greatly was the response of total strangers to the idea that Annkissam was interested in offering strategic technology assistance that was free from cost, obligation, or sales pitches. The responses appeared to include suspicion, incredulity, confusion, apathy, relief, and joy. I can understand that it’s hard for someone who doesn’t know me or the folks from Annkissam to comprehend that they might get anything other than a sales pitch and a piece of candy when visiting the table. Naturally, the passers-by who already knew us had no trouble with the concept.
It’s going to take a lot of repetition before the idea of pro bono strategic technology consultations at conferences for nonprofit professionals becomes a commonplace, but as long as it’s fun, I’m more than willing to keep at it.