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Remembering The Austin Non-Profit Camp 10 Years Later

Breakout Room

Polycot Associates is a mission-driven, member-owned business offering web consulting and managed web design and development services. We endeavour to support other organizations including non-profits, co-ops, green and sustainable organizations, social good businesses, and B-corporations. To that end, we also focus our efforts on co-creating, curating, and producing community-focused events and happenings.

For instance, ten years ago, come this November 14th, The Austin Non-Profit Camp took place at the beautiful Austin Community College Eastview Campus. It was a first of its kind to take place in Austin - a free, facilitated and participant-driven conference that became a place for nonprofits to learn and troubleshoot their technology problems in a supportive, collaborative setting.

The event was spearheaded by Polycots Jon Lebkowsky and Maggie Duval, as well as David J. Neff, and Matt Glazer. Their goal was to introduce the successful BarCamp “unconference” model to the non profit community in Central Texas, and apply its methods to expand understanding and awareness of free and Open Source technology.

We brought together tech experts with non profits in a context that facilitated mutual understanding, where they were able to have conversations about the issues that they face in a no sales, no cost environment.

Wordpress as a CMS. Photo by Tom Brown

[Photo Credit: Tom Brown]

Collaboration and Community

In addition to a number of scheduled speakers, including a keynote delivered by Holly Ross, former Executive Director of NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network), attendees had the option to sign up to speak about issues and solutions they know best.

Options. Photo by Maggie Duval.

[Photo Credit: Maggie Duval]

Non-profit attendees collaboratively problem solved issues they face with running and promoting their organizations, as well as workshopping with local technologists about the latest and most effective technologies and methodologies. These conversations helped them to filter what was useful from what’s not to keep their organizations humming and on track.

David Neff leading Facebook Pod. Photo by Maggie Duval

[Photo Credit: Maggie Duval]

Some of the topics covered included Google Apps, Data Exchange/Salesforce, Google Grants, Social Media, Marketing, Cloud Computing, Email Marketing, Fundraising in Social Media, ZERO COST Infrastructure, and ROI of The Cloud.

The Austin Non-Profit Camp was sponsored by EFF-Austin, NTEN, 501 Tech Club, Plutopia Productions, Social Media Club Austin, 501derful.org, Social Web Strategies, GNI Strategies, Lights.Camera.Help. and Soma Vida. The Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College provided the incredible space.

Holly Ross Virtual Keynote. Photo by Maggie Duval.

[Photo Credit: Maggie Duval]

Among the around 250 attendees participating included representatives from nonprofits such as Texas Democrats, the Small Business Innovation Center, the American Heart Association, Austin Creative Alliance, Meals on Wheels, Texas Homeless Network, Texas Lutheran University, Ronald McDonald House, Austin Dog Rescue, Central Texas Foodbank (fka Capital Area Foodbank), Seton Health Care, Front Porch Project, League of Women Voters, AIDS Services of Austin, Sierra Club, The Settlement Home for Children, Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin, and many more.

[Feature Photo: Breakout Room. Photo by Maggie Duval]