NTEN empowers nonprofits to use technology with Asana

NTEN
  • NTEN logo
  • Location
    • Portland, OR
  • Community
    • Supports a community of 50,000+ members
  • Annual conference
    • 2,400+ attendees

Asana impact

  • Able to launch new education courses to their members faster
  • Host a more impactful annual conference for 2,400+ nonprofits
  • Produce design assets faster with a streamlined request and production process

Tight budgets, minimal resources, outdated technology—these are just a few things typically associated with nonprofits. With fewer resources, it’s crucial for nonprofits to embrace technology so they can help those they serve to further their missions more effectively. NTEN, a nonprofit itself, does just that by empowering nonprofits to use technology.

As is common with many nonprofits, NTEN’s team is small but mighty. Based in Portland with several remote employees, they produce an annual conference and countless resources for their 50,000+ members to learn about and adopt the best technology. At the helm of the organization sits Amy Sample Ward, NTEN’s CEO.

As the organization grew, the team wanted more transparency around responsibilities, deadlines, and how to contribute to a project. And with several initiatives in flight at once, small but critical steps were falling through the cracks due to information silos. Given their role as a technology leader, the NTEN team knew there were tools that could help them work more effectively, so they decided to lead by example and find a tool that would help them organize everything in one place.

The search for a dynamic collaboration tool

Several members of Amy’s team had tried different work management tools in the past, but they decided it was time to centralize everything in one platform. For Amy, the tools they had tried didn’t provide the capabilities they needed.

After evaluating a few tools, Amy and her team decided that Asana provided the functionality they needed. It was able to show them how different pieces of work are connected—tasks in multiple projects, dependencies, and due dates, for example. It also allowed them to communicate about the work with comments, conversations, and project status instead of needing another tool. Keeping communication connected to the work helped make responsibilities clear and reduced noise. Finally, it provided the ability to customize privacy settings for sensitive work.

“I remember learning about the nonprofit discount and thinking, ‘We can unlock all of this functionality and stay within our budget—we’re doing this.’”

For Amy, who is all too familiar with the lack of resources nonprofits experience, the deciding factor to adopt Asana was the nonprofit programs. With a 50% discount and access to the Asana Advisors Program, Amy and her team now operate on the Asana Business plan and use features like forms, Portfolios, and Workload. With these features, they streamline work intake, can see how initiatives are progressing, and are able to better manage their ever-precious resources.

Leading by example: Rolling out Asana to the team

With so much experience helping nonprofits roll out new technology, NTEN took a very methodical approach to implementing Asana. They started with a pilot of one team and one project, and then expanded to include more projects and team members. The early set of users then trained their teammates as they began to collaborate on projects and manage their work in Asana.

“Our onboarding method helped make it feel like people were being included rather than forced to use the tool.”

With the structure and conventions for managing work in Asana established, getting the rest of the organization on board was easy. NTEN used project templates to help new users see the immediate benefit of Asana. With the visual aid that templates provide, people could see how to structure and manage their work, making it instantly obvious how Asana would make their day-to-day work easier. This helped speed up the time it took to get the whole team on board.

Using Asana to increase visibility and efficiency

Now NTEN uses project templates to plan every one of their weekly courses, like Digital Literacy and Accessibility and The Anatomy of a Website Redesign, so they don’t miss critical steps and anyone can jump in to help if a teammate is out of the office. Not only does this reduce the stress for the team, it also helps them deliver even better content and resources in each course.

“With Asana, we’re no longer wasting time trying to remember what we need to do.”

The NTEN team also uses Asana to plan their annual conference, NTC, which welcomes over 2,400 attendees from nonprofits looking for new ways to spark change with technology. By managing all NTC tasks in a master project, they can see everything on a timeline and track milestones to ensure critical steps are being completed on time. This has enabled the team to provide a better conference experience, like offering a photo booth or enhancing the quality of their Ignite presentations, to its members since they aren’t scrambling at the last minute and can instead focus on delighting their attendees.

Finally, NTEN is streamlining their creative request process to ensure their design team gets the information they need up front before kicking off the design and production process. This will help the creative team deliver better assets faster because they have clarity around requests and visibility into the status of each one.

Making space for team development and better business outcomes

With more structure and visibility into everyone’s work, NTEN has not only improved their processes, but also the team itself. They now have more time for creative thinking because responsibilities and next steps are clear, and everyone feels they have the skills to manage their projects successfully. Additionally, each teammate is now able to see how their work—no matter how small it may seem—contributes to larger initiatives and the success of the organization.

“Asana has helped everyone on the team feel confident in their ability to successfully manage their projects from start to finish.”

With Asana, NTEN is able to provide world-class support to their members and the nonprofit community—helping them get one step closer to both embodying and achieving their mission.

Read more Asana Success Stories

Explore Asana

Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their projects and tasks, so they can get results.

Marketing Campaign

Marketing Campaign

Product Launch

Product Launch

Company Goals

Company Goals

Mission to the Moon

Mission to the Moon

Organize your work

Set clear tasks and milestones to give your team clarity on what needs to be done.

Organize your work

Help your team hit their deadlines

Let each marketer know exactly what work they’re responsible for with clear assignees and due dates.

Help your team hit their deadlines

Hit your deadline

Map out your campaign plan to visualize how all the pieces fit together, spot potential issues, and keep work on track.

Hit your deadline

Have actionable conversations

Ask questions or give updates with the work that’s being done, so conversations turn into actions.

Have actionable conversations

Attach files to your work

Tie shared docs, design files, and budget spreadsheets together so your team isn’t searching for info.

Attach files to your work

View work at a glance

Look at work on a calendar to keep an eye on timing and rally around important dates

View work at a glance

Track your progress

Keep up to date on project progress and quickly spot when things are off track.

Track your progress

Work on the go

Whether you’re meeting with a vendor, at a conference, or out of office, stay connected with Asana for mobile.

Work on the go

Run successful programs, every time

Asana helps marketing teams plan, manage, track, and launch initiatives that engage their audience.

Run successful programs, every time

Map out each step

Map out critical steps—from development to launch—so everyone has clarity on the roadmap.

Map out each step

Know who’s got the ball

Give clear owners and due dates for each piece of the launch, so you can release on time.

Know who’s got the ball

Launch on time

See how the pieces of your plan fit together so you can make adjustments and keep work on track.

Launch on time

Keep everyone up-to-date

Make sure important updates and conversations don’t get buried in email threads by connecting them to your work.

Keep everyone up-to-date

Store work in one place

Attach files to your project, so everyone knows where to find the correct info.

Store work in one place

Track dates and milestones

Keep an eye on important dates by viewing launch plans on a calendar.

Track dates and milestones

See what’s on track, and what isn’t

See how work is progressing to make sure you’re on track to hit your deadlines and goals.

See what’s on track, and what isn’t

Stay connected, wherever you are

Stay up to date on how your launch is progressing no matter where you are with Asana for mobile.

Stay connected, wherever you are

Ready, set, launch!

Asana helps product teams hit deadlines—so they can launch great products.

Ready, set, launch!

Map out priorities

Create tasks for each goal so everyone has visibility into company-wide objectives.

Map out priorities

Determine the right point person

Assign each goal to the appropriate person, so everyone knows who’s responsible, and who to go to with questions.

Determine the right point person

Make a plan to hit your goals

See how each milestone ladders up to your goals so you can feel confident you’ll hit your targets.

Make a plan to hit your goals

Share info and give updates

Keep stakeholders up to date on the latest info and progress, with updates and comments tied directly to your goals.

Share info and give updates

Attach important files

Integrate Asana with your file sharing tools to keep all your important docs in one place.

Attach important files

Keep an eye on important dates

Look at your initiative deadlines and milestones on a calendar to make sure you’ve nailed the timing.

Keep an eye on important dates

Track company progress

Understand what objectives are on track, and what needs your attention so you can hit your goals.

Track company progress

Stay in the loop

Get updates and weigh in on important decisions wherever you are, with Asana for mobile.

Stay in the loop

Hit your goals

Asana gives your team visibility into your organization’s goals, so everyone stays focused on what matters most.

Hit your goals

Get ready for the mission

Map out each step of your mission, so you don’t forget anything as you shoot for the stars.

Get ready for the mission

Know who’s in charge

Assign clear owners for each task, so your pilot, commander, and flight engineer know what they need to do.

Know who’s in charge

Map out each step

Create a launch plan so you can chart your course from start to finish, share it with your team, and modify it as conditions change.

Map out each step

Make sure all systems are a go

Ask important questions, have conversations, and give status updates to get your crew ready for launch day.

Make sure all systems are a go

Tie it all together

Connect Asana to the other tools you need for your mission, so all your information lives in the same place.

Tie it all together

Keep your eye on the prize

View each milestone on a calendar, so you can track important dates leading up to takeoff.

Keep your eye on the prize

Track your progress

See what’s on track, and what isn’t, so you can be sure you’re ready for launch day.

Track your progress

Work from anywhere

Keep up to date whether you’re in the office or on the moon, just make sure you have internet connection!

Work from anywhere

3, 2, 1… blastoff!

With Asana, your crew can shoot for the moon, and get there. All it takes is one small step…

3, 2, 1… blastoff!