Drinking the Kool-Aid, or Working with Nonprofit Not-So-Techies

 Kool Aid ManDo you sometimes feel like you're the only one who's drinking the Kool-Aid?  Are you the only one who's saying "Did you check the intranet for that?" or "That's in the Google doc I shared with you, remember?"   I know I feel like that, more often than I'd like to admit.  I have some tips for you Kool-Aid drunks (ha) out there that I hope will help you in your day-to-day experience of being nonprofit techies and helping the nonprofit not-so-techies.  

Tip #1: Be encouraging!  Just because someone *still* hasn't gone to the project website doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to.  They may not have had time, or they forgot their password (it happens, and you might have to reset it for them).  Be encouraging, and maybe even stay at their desk and make sure they can login (or whatever is appropriate for your org).  If you're frustrated or, even worse, patronizing, you can bet they'll never do the thing you want them to do.

Tip #2: Make a help guide!  I bet that with a minimum of effort you can bang out a quick reference one-pager or even a quickie screencast.  As I've mentioned before on this blog, I love Jing for this.  http://www.jingproject.com  Your screencasts can be hosted on Screencast.com, your own server, or in the pro version ($15/yr), YouTube.  These are so easy and fun to make, I dare you to not to make these!  I think you can have fun with this, and if you don't, I know you can find another Kool Aid drinker who will enjoy it (the intern?).

Tip #3: Lunch and Learns!  Don't waste your lunch hour by eating lunch...at your desk...alone...again.  Use it to teach your coworkers a handy Excel tip about VLOOKUPs, or have an open "Geek Out" where people can ask questions about their most vexing tech problems.  This is a valuable opportunity for you to show everyone what the heck you do!  I know it can sometimes be uncomfortable to be in this type of situation, but I promise that the goodwill you generate will be worth it. And make your lunch and learn a regular occurrence.  

Tip #4: Get people on your side!  You are your own internal marketing team, so you need to be persuasive about your ideas and initiatives.  See if you can recruit others to your projects, and then you'll have more allies that you know what to do with!   

I hope these tips get you thinking about how your attitude can influence others that you work with, and can get them drinking the Kool Aid too!  Please share YOUR tips in the comments below!