Top Ten Technologies Every Executive Director Should Know About March 16, 2007 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Top Ten Technologies Every Executive Director Should Know About March 16, 2007

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  1. Top Ten Technologies Every Executive Director Should Know AboutMarch 16, 2007

  2. Presenters: Gabrielle Hammond, NTAP Gwen Daniels, Illinois Legal AidMarch 16, 2007

  3. #10: Poverty Law Survey Tool • Sign Up: • More info:

  4. Power of Surveys • Tool to return to “Community Lawyering” • Instant feedback for management, organizational development, fundraising, technology evaluation, services evaluation, and priority setting • More accurate than web tracking forms

  5. Power of Online Surveys • Cheap, Relatively Easy, Fast • Lots of features -- Create surveys where: • anyone can respond as many times as they like; • only invited persons can respond; • a person can only respond only once; • in other languages; • anonymous surveys are sent in; • participants go to a URL or respond to an email; • prior surveys can be reused and edited; • data is analyzed instantly online or downloaded to a spreadsheet or graph.

  6. Examples of Surveys for Poverty Law • Technology Evaluation • Community Based Priority Setting • Outcome Assessment & Satisfaction of Services (Clinics, Hotline, Representation) • Fundraising • Volunteer Recruitment • Staff Input (Retreats, Conferences, Training) • Task Force or Committee Planning

  7. Rates of Return • Depends on WHO you send it to • Depends on how long your survey is • Depends on how important your survey is to them • Depends on incentives for completion • Depends on type of survey to complete

  8. Name that Rate of Return Assumption 1: To “Strangers” Assumption 2: 10,000 respondents • Postcard or Mail Surveys? • 2 - 8% • Telephone Surveys? • 17% • Online Surveys? • 34% Comparison of Traditional v Online Survey Methods, Web Surveyor Corporation, 2002

  9. Poverty Law Surveys

  10. Poverty Law Surveys

  11. Poverty Law Surveys

  12. Poverty Law Surveys • Usable by Non-Techie who is Willing to Learn • Sign Up: • More info:

  13. #9: Wikis • Easy-to-use online space for collaboration • Perfect for DYNAMIC information • Perfect for QUICK information • More info:

  14. What is a wiki? • In a single sentence, a wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively.

  15. What is a wiki? • Users can change, delete, update, and build on the thoughts and ideas of others. • Although it is web-based no coding or “technical” knowledge is required. • Starting to use a wiki requires a sense of exploration. • Analogy: a word-processor used collaboratively, acts as a dynamic repository, retains revisions and allows discussion.

  16. Wiki benefits • For people new to the idea, the concept of anyone being able to update and change the text of a site seems chaotic. • Complex projects (see Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done with a wiki) have proven the value of this tool.

  17. Some more wiki facts • The way a wiki is set up and the informal rules governing the community of users of that wiki determine its character. • In its ideal form, a wiki can be termed as a tool for discourse and self-correction. On one end of the spectrum, you can have totally open, democratic wiki such as Wikipedia and on the other end, you can have a personal, secure notetaking tool accessible only to yourself. • However, a big attraction of a wiki is its ability to retain a memory of the changes made to it.

  18. Wikis in the Poverty Law Setting • Why a wiki? • Wikis in action • Challenges to getting people to contribute • Praise for the wikis

  19. Arkansas Legal Services The problem: • The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) • Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law.

  20. Interim Solution: • The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load ... • Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – ‘just too much in addition to my other jobs..’

  21. The solution A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update.

  22. Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The problem • Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Staff manual---everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept.  

  23. Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The solution: • “I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.  I figured I’d see if that was true, and it was.”

  24. Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The result: A wiki with: • Organizational information • Help Line Manual • Staff Directory • Substantive Law resources • Other Resources

  25. Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The problem: • A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. Do you see a theme….?

  26. Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The solution: An extensive wiki of reentry law resources

  27. Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The result: • Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. • 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors.

  28. A successful example: FEMA Answers

  29. The wiki challenge: Collaboration • Biggest barrier is getting multiple people to contribute and edit? • Why? • Unstructured? • Uncomfortable with formatting • Fear of “breaking something” • Not the “normal” way of doing things

  30. The wiki challenge: Collaboration • How to overcome that? • Plan and startup a basic outline, people often balk at a blank page. • Basic formatting training – include hands-on exercises and include a “cheat sheet” • Let people know it can’t be broken • Ask specific people to contribute specific content – be available to answer questions. • Start with something easy • Recipe wiki (every adds their favorite recipe)

  31. Addressing the challenge • Encourage use of the wiki - • Standard email reply: “That would be a great thing to post to the wiki….” • Promote use of the wiki as a resource • Acknowledging wiki usage • Identify a few key content editors • Wait for the paradigm shift

  32. Wiki praises • The online aspect of manuals in an easily updatable format is worth it (even without multiple contributors). • Wiki “admin” praise the fact that it is easy to use without technical know-how. • With email volume constantly increasing a wiki provides an alternative to cluttered inboxes.

  33. Setting up a wiki: • Decisions: • Software and Hardware (For more information see: • Content: Creating a general outline of how you want the navigation to work makes it easier to add information, and to organize it in a user-friendly way. • Access – Open, Password protected, Editorial privileges password protected. • Editorial Policies

  34. Wiki in action…. • Open a new browser window on your desktop • Go to: • Click on the edit tab • Add content! • Remember to “Save Page”

  35. #8: RSS • Bring News to You • The Poverty Law Newspaper -- ONLINE • Very easy to use in IE 7 or Mozilla Firefox • Available for most news, blogs and info sources • Feeds for advocates:

  36. RSS Terms • RSS is a widely used standard for syndicating content across websites • Alphabet Soup? Aggregators, Feed Readers, RSS Readers = some application that provides a consolidated view of the content in a single browser display or desktop application. • Where are “Feed Aggregators”? GoogleReader,, email applications like Outlook 2007 (earlier versions with plugins), Thunderbird, or IE 7 or Firefox

  37. RSS in Action

  38. RSS in Action

  39. RSS for Poverty Law • What if we SHARED news sources and could access that easily? … Enter the National RSS Server. • You can go to one place to find links and news other advocates think is important. You can add your own. • Statewide web sites can use the national RSS server to add feeds to their sites, creating an advocate newspaper and providing free, frequently updated content • Any legal aid program with a web site that can produce RSS feeds can use the national RSS server to create javascript code for partner organizations to provide those sites with syndicated information like news, events, and even content links.

  40. #7: GIS Mapping • Mapping Tells a Story • Visually Display Complex Data • For Funders • For Management • For Advocacy

  41. LSNC: Mapping for Advocacy

  42. GIS Software . ESRI: Supplies ArcIMS software to nonprofits for $100.00 • Complicated to learn • The GIS National Server Project is ready for Census Data. Support materials completed by May 07.

  43. Variables to Map • Ethnicity & Race • Age • Income of Household • Urban, Rural, Farming • House Ownership or Rent • Education Level

  44. GIS Mapping National Server • Beta Site: • More Info and Support: • Next Steps: • NTAP develops support materials and posts online. • NTAP conducts two trainings for legal aid programs. • Work with ESRI to figure out solution to mapping your CMS data concurrently. • Receive feedback and make recommendations for adjustments.

  45. #6: Document Assembly • Sometimes called ... • “Document automation” • “Computer-aided drafting” • Think TurboTax • Typically found in ... • Word processing applications • Case management systems • Fillable forms