Data standards, that is, how data is stored and communicated, is often considered too esoteric, or sometimes just too boring, for most activists and nonprofits to care much about. Even many techies that work for nonprofits don't often think much about them. But they are important - because your data, and what you can do with it is important. Open standards are data standards and formats that are not owned by anybody - they are collectively designed, and disseminated freely. This talk is designed to explain why it's important to know about Open Standards, why it's important to use software that incorporates open standards, and why, in the process of any software development or implementation project, use of open standards should be part of the picture.