alchemy tech

Alchemy Tech Program

We are experiencing a new Los Angeles, one defined by extraordinary growth and a record number of start-up technology companies. As part of AnnenbergTech, the Annenberg Foundation is partnering with this growing tech sector to bring technology capacity-building to nonprofit organizations in L.A. County through a new Alchemy pilot program.

Since 2006, the Annenberg Foundation has provided capacity building and leadership training programs for nonprofit leaders from small to midsize nonprofit organizations through its Alchemy program. Over the past 10 years, Annenberg Alchemy has evolved to meet the needs of the nonprofit sector. Today, technology is transforming how we all live and work, and nonprofit leaders must understand how to effectively use technology to advance their mission. In realizing the size and scope of technology challenges facing nonprofit organizations, the Annenberg Foundation has launched a pilot program in partnership with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) focused exclusively on technology capacity building for nonprofits in Los Angeles County.

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is a six-month, regionally based program for Alchemy Alumni who wish to strengthen their knowledge of technology best practices and move forward on a specific technology project that they identify through guidance and strategic feedback during the program. Alchemy Tech is divided into two terms, with a mix of structured curriculum delivered by faculty, participant-driven content and workshops led by some of L.A.’s top tech companies. Annenberg Alchemy Tech will be both online and in-person. The majority of the activity happens via regular online training sessions.

Term I

The first 10 weeks of the program provide participants with a foundational knowledge of technology and its role across the entire organization. Similar to other NTEN educational programs, Annenberg Alchemy Tech trainings focus on strategic processes, best practices and practical application rather than specific software. During Term I, participants will attend weekly online trainings, complete weekly homework assignments for review by faculty, and identify and submit a final technology project that they will be able to plan for and advance during Term II. Participants should anticipate 3-4 hours of program-related homework each week.

Term I topics include:

●      Leadership: Culture and Change Management

●      Technology Project Planning

●      Digital Strategy

●      Social Media

●      IT Planning

●      Data Management

●      Metrics and Evaluation

●      Campaigns

Term II

The content in Term II is driven by the needs of the cohort. The goal is to help participants move forward with the technology projects they identified during the first term. Participants will attend bi-monthly webinars and will have the opportunity to attend in-person educational trainings. The time commitment will lessen to around 3-4 hours per month during the second term.

Term II activities include:

During the second half of the program, participants continue learning in the cohort through bi-monthly online webinars (previous cohorts have requested topics such as Google Analytics, IT policy, social media troubleshooting, CRM basics and low-cost productivity tools) and two in-person, full-day workshops with nonprofit tech experts and L.A. tech industry leaders, in order to learn and collaborate while advancing the technology projects identified by participants’ organizations. The program concludes in a culmination event where participants will have the opportunity to present their tech project to an audience of philanthropy.

FAQs

What is Annenberg Alchemy Tech?

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is a pilot program developed in partnership with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) that is focused exclusively on technology capacity building for nonprofits in Los Angeles County. Annenberg Alchemy Tech, powered by NTEN, is for nonprofit organizations who wish to strengthen their knowledge of technology best practices and move forward on a specific technology project. The program is divided into two terms with a mix of structured curriculum delivered by Faculty as well as participant-driven content. Events and activities are both synchronous and asynchronous, online and in-person. The majority of the activity happens via regular online training events. For this pilot, 10 nonprofit organizations in L.A. County will be selected to participate. Through this program, each participant will identify a technology challenge, project idea or technological need from their organization. They will benefit from six months of technology training, support and feedback with a goal towards implementation. Upon completion, organizations will be eligible for a capacity-building grant from the Annenberg Foundation (up to $10,000) in order to support their technology needs.

What criteria determine eligibility and acceptance?

To be eligible for Annenberg Alchemy Tech, your 501(c)(3) organization must be located in Los Angeles County, you must be an alumni of Annenberg Alchemy Leadership Seminar or Alchemy+ program and you must complete the Annenberg Alchemy Tech application. 

Who is Annenberg Alchemy Tech best suited for? Who from my organization should participate?

Annenberg Alchemy alumni based in Los Angeles County who are interested in practical and tangible technology training are good candidates. Participants should be staff responsible for advancement and implementation of a technology project at their organization. This may include an Executive Director, manager (IT, marketing, operations) or even a board member.

What kind of projects should I plan to work on?

Technology projects should not be designed around specific software. Projects should have a strategic and practical impact across the entire organization, and can include (but are not limited to): Leadership: Culture and Change Management, Digital Strategy, Social Media, IT Planning, Data Management, Metrics and Evaluation, Fundraising Campaigns. If you have questions about a project you’d like to focus on during an Annenberg Alchemy Tech cohort, please contact NTEN’s Education Director, Ash Shepherd, at ash@nten.org.

What is the cost?

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is provided to participants free of charge. 

Do I have to be an NTEN Member to participate?

No. Annenberg Alchemy Tech is open to organizations that are Annenberg Alchemy program alumni based in Los Angeles County.

When does the program take place?

Alchemy Tech is currently closed.

How is the program delivered?

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is delivered through a mix of on and offline educational programs, trainings and workshops by NTEN faculty and tech partners in L.A. As a cohort, participants have a private online group for discussions and file sharing. Regular webinars, expert feedback sessions and regular group discussions will take place mostly online and by phone. In-person workshops will be planned to enhance and support learning.

How much time will this program take?

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is a six-month program. During Term I (the first 10 weeks), participants can expect to spend 3-4 hours each week with educational programs online and homework materials. The remainder of the cohort period, Term II, is spent incubating, supporting and advancing projects, so much of the time commitment depends on the type of and depth of your project. We recommend expecting anywhere from 3-4 hours per month.

Is participation in the full six months required?

Yes. In order to ensure all participants and their organizations benefit from the program and are positioned for success, all participants are required to commit to the full six months. We recognize that there are naturally times during which participation may be limited by other priorities for your organization. The cohort is designed to accommodate for times when participants may be more or less available.

What happens after the six months?

We encourage Annenberg Alchemy Tech “graduates” to share experiences, feedback and lessons learned with participants in future cohorts. We will also create opportunities for Annenberg Alchemy Tech graduates to have access to events, workshops, trainings and other opportunities to continue learning into the future.

What is the value of participating?

Participating in Annenberg Alchemy Tech provides technology capacity building with the inclusion of the 10-week technology management course, as well as access to technology experts and service providers in L.A. and beyond. Annenberg Alchemy Tech connects participants with a rich network of peers, faculty members and potential collaborators. Completing Annenberg Alchemy Tech qualifies participants for discounted registration rates for future NTEN conferences.

How will this help my organization?

Annenberg Alchemy Tech is designed so that participants can bring a technology challenge, project idea or need from their organization to the cohort and benefit from six months of support, feedback and training towards a solution.

Will my organization receive a grant for my participation in Annenberg Alchemy Tech?

At the end of the program, organizations will be eligible to apply for a capacity-building grant (up to $10,000) if all requirements of the program are fulfilled.

Does my enrollment in Annenberg Alchemy Tech improve my chances of receiving future grants from the Annenberg Foundation?

No. Annenberg Alchemy Tech is not associated with the Annenberg Foundation’s grantmaking in any way other than the possible award of a small capacity-building grant for Annenberg Alchemy Tech graduates (up to $10,000). However, the goal is that your participation in Annenberg Alchemy Tech training will improve the ability of your organization to compete for resources from many funding sources.

If you have questions about Annenberg Alchemy Tech, please contact Kristina McGee at Kmcgee@annenberg.org or NTEN's Education Director, Ash Shepherd, at ash@nten.org. You can also direct your inquiries to the Alchemy Tech hotline at (213) 403-3061.

Annenberg Alchemy Tech Application Is Now Closed