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It’s The Little Things, A Reflection on NTC ‘17

By Lori Freeman April 6, 2017

I love the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) for a number of reasons — I get to attend informative sessions, meet with people I don’t see in person often, and learn from others how they are using technology to solve their toughest problems. But mostly it’s about the little things. The people I haven’t seen since the last NTC that I pass in the hallway running to the next session. People filing outside of the Power of Us Party to just see their friends, colleagues, people, and just hang out. As I walk around, I hear talk of Salesforce sometimes, but really it’s just about being together. It’s about us packing up our zone at the end of the day and a partner, solutions engineer, and a member of the marketing team on their hands and knees helping to pack up our banners, photo booth, and fake fireplace. NTC really is about bringing people together and I feel so honored to be a part of this community. This was my 11th NTC, and it’s no surprise that my highlights are all about the people. Here are just a few of my highlights from our time together in Washington D.C.

NTC 17

Marc Baizman, who is always willing to help nonprofits, leading an awesome 20-minute session on Trailhead and Certifications that went almost an hour over because people were lining up to talk to him afterwards. Q&A turned into attendees sharing advice on what their next training should be. Where should a newbie start? Where should a seasoned pro go next? A group discussion on what they liked (and didn’t like) about Trailhead. (If you missed it, check out the deck from Marc’s presentation along with the other sessions had that day).

Our very own Judi Sohn, the most humble, but most well known celebrity at (well, maybe tied with Kevin Bromer). I literally heard someone come up to her and say “I’m sorry to interrupt, I just had to meet you in person.” In addition to leading a session about the AppExchange, she also led a two-day Nonprofit Success Pack Sprint in Baltimore the days leading up to NTC. Talk about a community! (And her deserving one – or multiple – cocktails).

Which brings me to my next highlight! The NPSP Sprint! Over 80 people (that’s right, 8-0) showed up to make our nonprofit CRM better, for everyone. In addition to documentation, new features, and lots of caffeine, there were hugs and actual tears! This is how strong our nonprofit community is.

NPSP Sprint

The common theme here is people coming together and helping each other out. At Salesforce we have spent a lot of time talking about the fourth industrial revolution. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will create immense opportunities to transform social justice and for purpose organizations. As a sector, we have to work together to collaborate for the greater good. We need each other. We must fail together informatively and learn from one another. NTC is still one of the best places to do that. Is it too early to start talking about Dreamforce 2017? That’s another one of my other favorite places to learn from our community. Whether it’s as simple as sharing advice, enjoying a happy hour drink, or making a product better for nonprofits everywhere, our community is unrivaled in collaboration. Whether it’s at a community sprint, user group meetings, NTC, or Dreamforce, I cannot wait to see everyone again and be reminded of why I love what I do. Because for me, it’s simple; it’s about the people.