Reflecting on the NTC 2024 Experience: A Journey of Learning and Community

Three photo collage. Left: Group photo of NTEN volunteers. Top right: Fresh Eyes Digital co-founders Jenn and Rachel behind a handmade cardboard booth that reads "Fundraising Help 5¢". Bottom right: Group photo of Jenn, Rachel, and Bettina at 2017 NTC holding up some cute farm props.

Caption: Fresh Eyes Digital has been attending NTC for almost 20 years! Left: Thelma and Ilana with other NTEN volunteers; top-right, FED co-founders Jenn and Rachel at our one-of-a-kind booth in 2023; bottom-right, Jenn, Rachel, and former FED colleague Bettina at NTC in 2017.

While April is already here, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the whirlwind adventure that was our recent trip to Portland for the 2024 edition of the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). As seasoned attendees, Fresh Eyes Digital was still thrilled to once again be part of this incredible gathering!

NTC isn’t just any conference; it’s a vibrant, friendly convergence of minds from across the nonprofit spectrum, all of us united by our shared passion for social impact. The conference gives us an opportunity to focus on community, learning, and networking. Here are some of our highlights from our #NTC24 experience:

NTEN did an incredible job of curating keynotes that wowed us each morning (even getting us to sing Tracy Chapman together on Thursday!). It was an honor to hear from Anasuya Sengupta of Whose Knowledge?, Sabrina Hersi Issa of Be Bold Media, and Amber Case of the Calm Tech Institute.

Anasuya urged us to decolonize the internet, highlighting the disparity between online users and content representation. She challenged us to reshape the digital ecosystem for all.

Sabrina stressed the importance of solidarity in digital work, advocating for systemic inclusion. Recognizing our individual power, she encouraged us to promote intentional inclusivity.

Amber prompted us to consider calm technology, contrasting it with profit-driven tech trends. Calm tech prioritizes human needs, operating seamlessly and fostering cultural harmony. It’s a reminder that true innovation serves humanity, not just a bottom line.

Conference presenter sharing a wide range of AI tools for content creation, image and design, work life, and video editing and creation.

Caption: A whole list of AI-powered tools beyond just ChatGPT via Prosal’s session “Prompt Engineering for Beginners.”

Of the over 100 sessions spanning topics like Digital Inclusion, Fundraising, IT, Programs, Leadership, and Communication, AI was a trending topic across all of these learning threads. There are endless possibilities and tools out there that can lighten the load for often overtaxed nonprofit employees—but first an organization should be sure to establish guidelines for use and train staff on best and safe uses of these tools. 

For an immediate take away: When using ChatGPT “Treat AI like an intern” was a phrase I heard at one session early on that I’ll remember forever. GPTs will work best for you if you’re intentional with your prompts. Use a framework, be sure you define things like the role you need the AI to play, what you want to achieve, for who and what purpose, what your intended goals are, what the output is, and provide as much context as you can to best inform your GPT. 

Rumor has it if you’re polite to your GPTs they’ll also provide better results! You can also call them out when they provide information that is incorrect. 

Did you know? NTEN has collaborative notes of all of their sessions going back to 2012! If there was a session you were hoping to catch, the slides and the notes compiled by folks in attendance are still available!

A fun and silly group photo of Fresh Eyes Digital, Engaging Networks, and Slalom staff posing at a bowing alley.

Caption: FED kicked off the conference with a bowling happy hour with our friends at Engaging Networks and Slalom. Peep the matching shirts!

This year Fresh Eyes Digital was thrilled to co-host a happy hour with Engaging Networks and Slalom. It was an excellent way to kick off the week and say hello to friends new and old, truly highlighting one of the best parts about this conference. 

One of the most magical parts of NTC is the community! It’s a chance to step away from work (though there was no shortage of folks working throughout the convention center between sessions). We’re all by default connected by our shared desire for social good and impact. Whether commiserating or celebrating, you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who understand your journey. There’s a lot of power in that and I think it’s what brings people back year after year.

A note from the Author, Thelma Andree: NTC has been instrumental in shaping my career. Attending for the first time in 2019 left me utterly astounded – my reaction? 🤯🤯🤯 At the time, I was juggling various digital tasks for my nonprofit employer, mostly flying by the seat of my pants. Discovering a vibrant community of professionals bridging this social good and tech industry was truly life-changing. It was a reassuring feeling to realize that I wasn’t alone in navigating this, even if I stumbled into it by chance (and I learned that a lot of people have done that!). 

It was at that 2019 NTC where I crossed paths with Fresh Eyes Digital. We brought them on board a few months later to help breathe life into our digital fundraising efforts (to great success, I might add!). Years later, I find myself proudly serving as their first Production and Design Director, supporting other nonprofits in maximizing their online impact – just as FED had guided me.

I’m eagerly looking forward to reconnecting with everyone in Baltimore in April 2025! If there’s a particular session or topic you’d like to see from Fresh Eyes Digital, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

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