As the organizer for Net2Chi (aka "Chicago Net Tuesday" or
"Chicago Netsquared"), I often hear about other organizations that are doing similar work....and the conversation always turns to the obvious question:
"Why don't you work with NTEN?"
This is a very ironic question, because both organizations are branches of a larger non-profit....and both branches are doing some incredible work in Chicago, driving initiatives towards integrating tech and web solutions into driving social benefit. So in an effort to help those who may not be aware of the subtle differences between the two, here is a brief explanation (and hopefully, motivation to check out either organization)
- NTEN is a membership-based organization (a full-on 501c3 in its own right) focused specifically on non-profits, with a specific focus on education and training. Members of NTEN focus primarily on activities that help a specific subset of social change agents (non-profits) develop and maintain the necessary technical skills to foster their activities and further their mission.
- Netsquared is the community development offshoot of Tech Soup (which is also a 501c3 focused on building non-profit technological capacity), and is a volunteer-run organization which fosters collaborations between like-minded organizations and individuals, focusing on community development and engagement around technology and software and taking a more "open source" approach to organizing.
Regardless of whether you're into basic engagement around tech and social good, or you want to immerse yourself, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in Chicago....but both Net2Chi and NTEN are great organizations for taking those immediate first steps, and both have a strong Chicago presence. Please visit their sites for more information.
And as always, thanks for reading!