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ZeroDivide at 16NTC

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ZeroDivide at 16NTC

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The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) is a community of nonprofit professionals that look to leverage technology for social change. Since 2013, NTEN has hosted their annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in March. This year, 16NTC took place in San Jose, California from March 23rd to March 25th. On Friday, March 25th, Mike Rubio, ZeroDivide, Director of Programs; Kelly Church, Project Director, SIMLab; and Keith Porcaro, Head of Technology and Development, General Counsel, SIMLab led the “Hello, Can You Hear Me? A Hands-on Communication Workshop for Low-Income Communities” workshop.         

By: Mike Rubio and Elizabeth Ramos


16NTC marked the third year in a row that Mike Rubio, ZeroDivide’s Director of Programs, presented at NTC. This year, ZeroDivide partnered with SIMLab to share combined learnings from the field regarding communication tactics and best practices for organizations that work in low-income communities.

The “Hello, Can You Hear Me? A Hands-on Communication Workshop for Low-Income Communities” workshop featured small working groups that aimed to identify appropriate technology and communication approaches for community engagement. Specifically, the presentation focused on the importance of an organization’s internal assessment of their current communication tactics. For example, “What is the message?,” “Who is the message for?,” and “How can an organization best reach constituents?” were among the discussion questions asked.  Second, the workshop introduced the “user persona” concept. A user persona is a representation of the goals and behaviors of an organization's user base, or their constituents and stakeholders. Once groups identified their user persona, they were able to map their communication goals. The presenters then guided the attendees through how to best leverage SMS for communicative outreach. Throughout this exercise, workshop participants gained a larger understanding of how to assess their current communication plans and learned how they could begin using SMS in their respective communities for social impact.

You can find the “Hello, Can You Hear Me? A Hands-on Communication Workshop for Low-Income Communities” presentation slide deck here and all other related resources here. For a full list of 16NTC presentation and materials, go to nten.org/ntc. To learn more about NTEN, visit their website at nten.org. To learn more about SIMLab, visit their website at simlab.org. If you would like to learn more, please contact Mike Rubio at mike@zerodivide.org.