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Ramping up a New Hire with Our Nonprofit Tech


New Hire = Unicorns & Technological Infrastructure

Aspiration recently had the pleasure of welcoming a new employee, Misty Avila! This is awesome, we love her and everyone is holding hands in the unicorn and rainbow fields. Flash to the next day when Matt has to ramp her up to Aspiration’s technology practices. As you may have gathered, we here at Aspiration love our tech solutions and the measures we take to be technologically sustainable. I thought I would give you a peak into our world as I set Misty up with some of our essential technological infrastructure:

Organizational Email Forwarders

After setting up an organizational email address, the next step that we take with a new hire is creating any relevant forwarders for organizational accounts. Rather than have employees sign up for organizational accounts with their individual emails, we have them sign up for the account with a forwarder that pushes email automatically to their individual account. So, for example, if I were signing up for an Aspiration account on Twitter, I would first set up a forwarder called that forwarded all mail to This way we can create multiple forwarders for a single account so I can have go to AND AND whoever else wants those updates. It also gives ownership of the account to the org rather than the person so if something happens to me, new forwarders can be created, changed or deleted without affecting the user account.

Mailing Lists

In addition to adding Misty to the mailing lists that Aspiration itself maintains, we also want to get her up to speed with NPtech mailing lists from other orgs like NTEN, NOSI, Riders Talk and Riders Tech. The idea is that this will help her get a feel for the whackos (said lovingly and self-referentially) in the Nptech world.

Desktop clients

Setting up her organizational laptop means setting up Thunderbird (with Enigmail) for encrypted email, Pidgin for instant messaging and conference call back-channeling, OpenOffice for day-to-day docs and spreadsheets and, of course, Firefox for the rare, almost nonexistent times that she’ll need to get on the web.

Organizational Hubs Online

Aspiration also uses a few hosted tools to do work online. Basecamp is our hub where we have a shared calendar, post our weekly to-dos, upload organizational templates and useful files, and, in general, just all stay on the same page. I also introduce her to our Online Real Estate:

Org Tech Policies

Then, working with what was once Misty’s functional brain, now reduced to a blob of jelly from information overload, we get into the meaty stuff:

What technological standards do you indoctrinate *cough* welcome your new employees into?

1 Comment to Ramping up a New Hire with Our Nonprofit Tech

  1. January 20, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Good idea. Will try this…

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