Online Abuse.Most nonprofits don't have a policy
Slightly more than a third of nonprofits polled by The NonProfit A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
Nonprofits are also called not-for-profit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are created according to state law. Times say that there is employee abuse of the email and Internet access See how to access the Internet. at the office. But what may be more important, 7 percent said they did not know.
Most of the nonprofits exercise little surveillance of employee email. Of all respondents, 86 percent do not have a policing policy versus 14 percent that do. Nonprofits budgeted at less-than-$1O million, saw 91 percent keeping hands off. The larger nonprofits had a two-thirds majority against oversight.
Almost similar responses reflected surveillance of Internet usage in the workplace. All respondents reflected an 81 percent "no" to surveillance versus 17 percent of those that do. The less-than-$10 million nonprofits showed 85 percent doing nothing. The larger organizations had a 2 to 1 split in favor of hands off.
The NPT NPT National Pipe Taper (pipe thread specification)
NPT Non-Proliferation Treaty
NPT Nonprofit Times
NPT Newport (Rhode Island)
NPT Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
NPT Neath Port Talbot sent a poll to 142 organizations during December. While 48 percent said they believed there was no problem, 36 percent said there was some abuse. Some 9 percent answered all of the questions, except the abuse issue.
For nonprofits with budgets of less than $10 million, the split was 33 percent yes to 48 percent no, with 19 percent unknown or not answering.
Nonprofits with budgets of more than $10 million came in with a dead even 44 to 44 percent abuse ratio with 12 percent not knowing what was going on.
"A nonprofit should look across all communication tools and media at the acceptable uses. And, this even brings phone and fax into the picture," said Tim Mills-Groninger, associate executive director of the IT Resource Center in Chicago.
"For example, a good policy should say or address that all communications are company property. So, if you send an email that uses the organization's domain as part of your email address See Internet address. , most readers will assume that the author is speaking for the institution. Thus, if they are complaining in a public forum, then the other readers may assume an endorsement of that viewpoint from the employer," said Mills-Groninger.
The NPT survey showed that 50 percent of all respondents had a written policy on organization-sponsored email, against 43 percent that did not and 7 percent that will have a policy soon. All of the $10 million-plus nonprofits responding have a Policy, but 55 percent of those with less than $10 million did not -- although 9 percent will have one soon.
Broadening the issue, Mills-Groninger pointed out that if an employee is using company telephones, their number is available through caller ID A telephone company service that sends the caller's telephone number between the first and second ring of the call. If the calling number is not blocked, the calling number is displayed on the handset or base station of the called party. and a fax stamp, and the policy should read, "If a message can be identified as coming from the company, then such communications are to be treated as business documents." (See the work-in-progress sample policy in the accompanying story.)
Nonprofits that participated in the NPT survey were well aware that a written policy on email and Internet usage has value. "The email survey disturbed me in that it was nagging me into action to revise our standard operating procedures standard operating procedure Medtalk A technique, method or therapy performed 'by the book,' using a standard protocol meeting internally or externally defined criteria; a formal, written procedure that describes how specific lab operations are to be performed. and our personnel policy manuals," said Judith A.M. Smith, executive director of Volunteer Jacksonville in Florida. "Our written-in-1998 manual is good, not broke, but it really needs updating in that it needs an email policy. However, due to the trustworthiness trustworthiness Ethics A principle in which a person both deserves the trust of others and does not violate that trust of the staff it doesn't seem we need one. But, you have to plan for the worst case scenarios
Worst Case Scenario is a reality show aired on TBS in 2002 in the U.S.. ."
The whole idea of policy guidance is to think the problem through long in advance before needing the guidance and clearly articulate to everyone in the organization so that everyone is on the same page, said Smith, adding "This revision of a 100-page document is now on this year's agenda."
The NPT survey also revealed that of all the nonprofits answering, those having a written policy on Internet access for personal browsing offered yet another dead even split of 45 percent yes to 45 percent no--with 5 percent working on one and 5 percent not answering. On this issue, the larger
nonprofits registered 78 percent with a policy and the smaller nonprofits came up with 33 percent using a policy.
Mostly mixed were responses to whether nonprofits had a policy on employees using their own personal email over the Internet. Some 52 percent of all respondents did not have a policy.
Here lies the split: 78 percent of the larger nonprofits did have a policy on this, while only 24 percent of the smaller nonprofits, who comprised the majority of respondents, had a written policy on this issue.
Is having the policy written and distributed a panacea Some antidote or remedy that completely solves a problem. Most so-called panaceas in this industry, if they survive at all, wind up sitting alongside and working with the products they were supposed to replace. to all things? "The biggest loophole An omission or Ambiguity in a legal document that allows the intent of the document to be evaded.
Loopholes come into being through the passage of statutes, the enactment of regulations, the drafting of contracts or the decisions of courts. ," said MillsGroninger, "is not having a policy at all, because then offensive or inappropriate messages are not cleariy addressed and an organization might be liable for an employee's speech or communications, such as personal use for business or pleasure, illegal activities, or inappropriate language that may reflect badly on the institution as a whole."
There can, however, be potential benefits to extracurricular uses of email and the Internet that go beyond ticking time bombs.
"Creating and participating on a Listserv (an email list) and visiting newsgroups This is a list of newsgroups that are significant for their popularity or their position in Usenet history.
As of October 2002, there are about 100,000 Usenet newsgroups, of which approximately a fifth are active. are a legitimate and productive use of email at a nonprofit," said Deborah Strauss, executive director of the IT Resource Center. "Listservs are a simple way of exchanging information between any group of individuals. They are easy to set up and can be used by any level of an organization -- or the world in general." Strauss mentioned some professional list servs such as NPtalk, a product of nonprofit group 0MB Watch; Circuit Riders circuit rider, itinerant preacher of the Methodist denomination who served a "circuit" consisting usually of 20 to 40 "appointments." The circuit system, devised by John Wesley for his English societies in their formative period and developed in America by Francis by www.techrocks.org of the RockefellerFamily Fund; and those of the Benton Foundation The Benton Foundation is a nonprofit organization set up by former U.S. Senator, William Benton and his wife, Helen Hemingway Benton. Its present chairman and CEO is their son, Charles Benton. , which offers daily news and headlines about telecom and communications.
"I think an interesting use by nonprofits of email," said Alan J. Abramson, director of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy philanthropy, the spirit of active goodwill toward others as demonstrated in efforts to promote their welfare. The term is often used interchangeably with charity. program at The Aspen Institute The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 dedicated to "fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues. , Washington, D.C., "is for advocacy activities. For example, nonprofits can use email to communicate with their affiliates or other organizations about policy issues of concern. This may lower the cost in manpower, time, and expenses in a service-oriented nonprofit to get involved in policy issues that they may not have been doing previously."
To what place, result, or condition: Whither are we wandering?
1. To which specified place or position: email and Internet? It can only get more complicated and further blur the fine line between personal and business life. Pager-telephone-Internet and email are now co-exist on GameBoy-sized devices using wireless technologies.
"I used to work for a major for-profit, where 15 years ago, a rudimentary rudimentary /ru·di·men·ta·ry/ (roo?di-men´tah-re)
1. imperfectly developed.
1. proprietary email was developed in-house, and even at that level this proved to allow better communications, do jobs faster and better, and it made us more efficient and effective," said Todd Baker, vice president at Grizzard Direct Marketing.
"This basic premise has evolved to today's newer bells and whistles A slang English term for exceptional features in some product. In the computer field, it typically refers to functions in software that may be greatly appreciated by some users, even though they may not be necessary most of the time. ," said Baker. "The original intent was to allow people to communicate more effectively. I can't imagine an organization without email today. Nonprofits should effectively use email in order to further their missions at all levels: internally, externally, and to donors."
One survey respondent, a Northern New Jersey community center, is just getting its feet wet with email, but is seeking vendors to help add newer technology to the mix.
"We currently have an ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. email capability via our employees' individual email accounts email account email n → compte m (e-)mail ," said the respondent, an associate executive director. We are looking into various commercial-offered alternatives to this. We will be investigating possibilities for acquiring or putting into place a totally complete new database management system which would include agency-wide email and Internet capabilities. And, in the short term, we hope to move forward."
The NPT survey showed that almost 12 percent of respondents had more than one system, ranging from: an internal network-based program such as Lotus Notes Messaging and groupware software from IBM Lotus that was introduced in 1989 for OS/2 and later expanded to Windows, Mac, Unix, NetWare, AS/400 and S/390. Notes provides e-mail, document sharing, workflow, group discussions and calendaring and scheduling. ; a .org, .com, or other address provided by a third party; or a free email program See e-mail program. such as Microsoft Hotmail. Almost 48 percent of all nonprofits used their network-based program -- more so with the more-than-$10 million nonprofits who showed a 78 percent bias towards their own platforms versus 24 percent of network-based users in the smaller nonprofit area.
Ryan Turner, director of nonprofit policy and technology at OMB Watch OMB Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. OMB Watch was formed by Gary Bass in 1983 to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). in Washington, D.C., cautioned nonprofits "Having access to tools is one good thing, but how you use those tools is the question. The nonprofit should have a pretty good idea as to what they want to do with email and the Internet."
Turner said there are three prongs:
1) Does the organization have access to technology?
Assuming it does,
2) Is it using technology that it has access to?
If they are using it,
3) Is that use effective for the organization?
"If they are not using it," said Turner, "the big question mark is why? This can be any number of things that can include: knowledge of its use; issues that might arise from its use; and also the obligations with respect to the organization around its use."
Baker said email is a positive, good thing but needs boundaries and limits -- and everyone must know these.
Does Your Organization Have An Email System In Place? More than $10 million less than $10 million All 78% 24% 47.6% 70% 59.5% 22% 15% 14.3% 11% 12% 11.9% 0% 3% 2% Source: NPT Study Note: Table made from bar graph