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What Matters Most to Folks at Nonprofits?

What matters most to those of you who work at nonprofit organizations? We’re guessing probably not money, power, or fame. But perhaps a worthy cause? Making a difference in this world? Maybe a good bottle of wine at the end of a long workday?

We decided to take our question “to the streets” and do the roving reporter thing at NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Austin earlier this month. We conducted a completely non-scientific, wildly random, but really fun survey of nearly 20 NTC attendees.

Here’s what we learned:

  • 44 percent of those folks we talked to said fulfilling the mission of the organization is most important
  • 28 percent said communication and engagement with key audiences are vital to success
  • 17 percent identified people and teams as the glue that holds everything together
  • 6 percent said resources (money and time) are the most essential
  • 6 percent said technology and systems that actually work and are usable


Those surveyed come from all corners of the nonprofit universe and play a variety of roles at their organizations. While we know these results are not statistically valid, we do believe they provide a (pretty accurate) snapshot of what folks who work at nonprofits are thinking about. Do these concerns resonate with you?

If you’re headed to the AFP International Fundraising Conference this weekend in Baltimore, be on the lookout for me and others from Abila. We’ll be conducting more interviews to find out what matters most. Or better yet, stop by our New Heights Happy Hour and let us know what matters most to you.

Rich Dietz

The preceding is a guest post by Rich Dietz,Senior Product Manager at Abila. Rich began his nonprofit career when he was the director of a mentoring organization in college and went on to get a Master’s in Social Work (MSW). He has spent the last 20 years working both in and with a wide variety of nonprofit, political, and government organizations as well as technology companies focused on the nonprofit sector. It is this unique background and experience – working directly in nonprofit organizations AND working on the technology side – that allows him to better understand and assist nonprofit organizations with their technology needs. Rich holds a Masters in Social Welfare (MSW) from the University of California – Berkeley as well as a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

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