Creating your Nonprofit Tech Community

I'm rounding out my last semester at Carnegie Mellon and the job search has begun.  Instead of sifting through my Career Services email blasts, looking specifically for techy type positions within the nonprofit community, I have staked out a few organizations where I can build a network. Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders    I literally began my career in arts administation with the Emerging Leaders Listserv.  While working part-time at the City of Ventura Cultural Affairs Division, I was granted an organizational membership.  I posed questions about the field, participated in lively discussions revolving around my peer group's issues, found answers to my graduate program concerns and actually made contacts with Carnegie Mellon's Master of Arts Management alums.  Student membership is only $25! 

Technology in the Arts Conference    My experience coordinating this conference and working for CAMT confirmed the possibility of fusing my creative interests with my technology skills.  If you want to meet anyone who is anyone in the arts sector and is a tech-enthusiast, this is the place to be.  Be prepared to meet E.D.'s, practitioners, and innovators alike.  The packed programming schedule is hands-on and relevant.�

NTEN Affinity Groups    I have just become a member so my involvement thus far is somewhat limited. (I made my profile.)  However, I have surveyed the participation in the groups and it seems like there are both opportunities for employment and networking, not to mention practical tech advice and interesting discussion.

A good strategy of building upon these communities is looking at their partners or affiliates.  Go to any of these websites, including TechSoup or NPower.  Look at the Board Members and their employers.  Look at their sponsors, exhibitors and partners.  TechSoup even has a TechFinder where you can locate services.  Find out who is offering those services.  And then go to those websites, become a member or part of their community, and/or look for job openings.

I have also recently found this Yahoo Group: Nonprofit Tech Jobs.  A brave soul manages this list voluntarily.  Bless her heart and the amount of crap she must receive in the form of inappropriate job requests and favors.  Just check out the slew of advisory messages you'll receive from her after signing up.

And lastly, don't forget trusty nonprofit job searching websites like Idealist, Craigslist, NonprofitOyster, and ExecSearches.

If you want art field jobs, just contact me as I have a huge list of web portals where opportunities abound.�