Partner Spotlight: Friends of Barnabas

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One of IT4Causes partner agencies is Friends of Barnabas (FOB), a faith-based organization that improves the lives of children in the impoverished areas of Honduras by not only providing high quality sustainable medical care but by also enabling the communities to become self-sufficient through community health training. You know what they say:

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

Founded by United Methodist minister Reverend Linwood Cook, FOB has been saving lives in Honduras since 2000. It started out with small mission trips to dispense vitamin A and anti-parasite tablets. Now, it has expanded into full-time clinics offering every level of care including surgery. Medical Mission teams are comprised of medical professionals, Spanish speakers and non-medical staff with a passion to serve. Primary and preventative healthcare is provided by three main programs within the FOB: Community Health Development, Extended Care and Surgery. FOB has met a deep need in the area by providing more than 328, 819 patients with free healthcare and by performing over 1,225 lifesaving operations. In addition, FOB sells a great Honduran blend of coffee that supports their life saving mission!

IT4Causes has worked with FOB to do an initial assessment of the agency’s IT structure. For more information about FOB, its mission, coffee and more please visit the FOB website here. Help FOB make the world better…one child at a time.

 

Your Night at the RVA Creativity Awards

It was a cool, breezy night. The Bolling Haxall house stood tall and inviting against the Richmond skyline. The windows glowed with a warm atmosphere with joyous shadows passing to and fro. Upon entry, you could see the Lego building voting station and the registration table. Friendly staff hand you a name tag, lego pieces and a stamp to signify you are over 21 years old. Excitement bubbles from within as you take a quick look around. Hugged against the historic mansion’s walls are countless tables bursting with activity. Staff and volunteers stroll elegantly from room to room carrying sheets of information and mouth watering hors d’oeuvres. You grab a lobster wonton and head to the back of the mansion to find your favorite table: IT4Causes!

The table is easy to spot with its colorful spinning wheel shining brightly from two Ipads. Founder Tom Anderson and his Intern Koren Dodd smile and welcome you to the table. Nestled beside the Crossroads Art Center, the two beckon guests to the table to play a free game of chance. You start the game with no hesitation, hoping to win any of the prizes. After entering your email address which automatically puts you in the contest for a $50 VISA giftcard, you watch the colors go round and round. At first the needle almost landed on the UDIG Tumbler cup  but instead slowly teetered to the next panel: “Oh no! Zombie Apocalypse and your data wasn’t backed up in cloud.” You shake your head, no prize this time. You bid your farewell and take a wistful look at the other prize: an RVA card. You decide you will probably stroll back through to play again.

The night then flew by! You met so many amazing organizations, listened to live music, met a magician and got an outline of your face stitched into a future piece of art. You had to hold your gut from laughing so much since the ceremony was emceed by the Richmond’s Comedy Coalition. You got to see lustrous handcrafted trophies presented to the winners and had sidewalks light your way to the after party at Pasture. Want to relive the night? Take a look at pictures in our Facebook album.   So what do you say? Will we see you at our next event?

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Tech Corner: Top 10 Due Diligence Questions for Cloud Hosted Solutions

At IT4Causes, use of cloud-based solutions for common problems is a cornerstone of the strategy that we advocate with our small and midsize nonprofit partners. We’re in the process of selecting solutions for both Donor Management and Case Management, and of course we’re doing due diligence to make sure the vendor solutions pass muster. Here’s a list of the top 10 questions we’re asking about the solutions; please feel free to comment back with any other that YOU feel are truly important considerations for making sure a cloud-hosted solution is stable, secure, and sustainable:

  1. What is the SLA for uptime for the application?
  2. Is the application hosted in a public cloud such as Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, or is it hosted in a private cloud?
  3. Is the application hosted in a single site, or at multiple sites in different geographies?
  4. Do you have a disaster recovery plan, and when was the last time it was tested?
  5. How frequently are backups made? How long are they kept?
  6. How and when will we be notified of major upgrades and service outages?
  7. Please provide a general overview of your general approach to security. What security measures do you use to authenticate users?
  8. What level of encryption do you apply to our data, at rest and in transit?
  9. How do you ensure the privacy of our data? What about metadata generated by our usage of the application?
  10. How does your application implement role-based security?

Of course, this is just a starting point for discussion, and we ask many other question of our potential vendors. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, too, so send your comments to Thomas.anderson@it4causes.org and we’ll summarize the responses in a future blog post.

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Help Us Celebrate at the RVA Creativity Awards!

This Thursday, the 21st, RVA’s most creative ideas and projects are coming together for a night of celebrations, we want you to join us! IT4Causes is a proud finalist at the 2015 RVA Creativity Awards. Everyone is welcome to come have some fun, vote for a project (hint, hint) and enjoy some refreshments. The event is taking place at 5:30pm at the Bolling Haxall House. Tickets are $35 but can you really put a price on a night packed with so much fun and creativity?
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In attendance are 20 finalists who were selected out of 80 applicants for the title of the most creative project in RVA. Come see what these projects have to offer and enjoy some prizes and entertainment. Stop by IT4Causes’ station to play an informative game of chance and maybe win a great prize (or at least grab some sweet swag), and, of course, to vote for us in the People’s Choice award. A musical performance will be provided by Church Hill Music Co and the night will be hilariously emceed by the Richmond Comedy Coalition. It gets better! If all of that wasn’t enough, food and drink is available from Richmond’s own Underground Kitchen, James River Cellars Winery and Center of the Universe Brewing Co.
So what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets now!

 

Meet our new intern Koren Dodd!

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A recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Koren studied Religious Studies with a certification in Community Development. Koren will be helping out as a nonprofit management intern, working on things like marketing and branding, events, business development and partner agency management. Koren and the other staff here at IT4Causes work hard to provide stable, secure, and sustainable information technology solutions that enable other nonprofit organizations to focus on their missions and serve their clients better, with lower total cost to their organization and the community.

“I’m super excited to be working with all the amazing people here at IT4Causes. I know this is a great opportunity to learn a conglomeration of skills and to learn more about nonprofits. I’m lucky to have gotten a position in a sector full of such passionate people. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring!”

With over 600 volunteer hours, Koren has been giving back to the community for years but it wasn’t until she joined the ASPiRE program at VCU that she was inspired to work in the nonprofit sector. Congratulations on graduating and welcome to the staff, Koren!

Calling All Office 365, MailChimp and Laptop/Desktop Gurus

We need volunteers! We have several volunteer opportunities that we’ll need to fill in the coming weeks. We are currently looking for Microsoft Office 365 experts / administrators to install new occurrences of Office 365 in addition to troubleshooting existing installations. We’re also seeking volunteers who have experience with installing Mailchimp as well as conducting a successful Mailchimp campaign. And we need volunteers who are “laptop gurus” to assist in setting up laptops for use in our not-for-profit agencies. If any of these opportunities strike your fancy, please contact Bill Flowers, Project Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, at bill.flowers@it4causes.org. For more information and details on each opportunity, please visit the IT4Causes page at Hands On Greater Richmond.

The 2015 Servant Leader Award Goes to…

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On May 8, Leadership Metro Richmond honored Tom Anderson, Class of 2014, Founder & CEO of IT4 Causes for making significant contributions to the community in the year since he completed Leadership Quest. Tom was nominated and selected by his fellow class members. Leadership Metro Richmond’s mission is to connect and educate a diverse group of community leaders, inspiring them to serve the Richmond region ( http://www.lmronline.org/ )

Congratulations Tom and thank you Leadership Metro Richmond!

Our Red Carpet Event: April 19 at the Byrd Theatre

Rolling out the red carpet for our new video                       Get Your Tickets!

 

 

Come join us at The Byrd Theatre in Carytown on April 19 as we launch the new IT4Causes Promotional Video!  This live action video, done in the style of the TV show “How It’s Made”, features our volunteers and staff, as well as local nonprofit leaders, in action, so come out and see if you can spot your friends on the BIG screen!  Our friends at Red Titan Films are pulling out all the stops to make it an instant classic!

Can you say, “Double Feature?”                            Get Your Tickets!

Then, stick around to see a screening of that IT comedy classic, Office Space!  Three company workers hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss, and hilarity ensues!  We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves, too, so we can keep you entertained the whole time, especially if you show up early to stand in line (hint, hint).  From door prizes to red staplers to flair to… well, who really knows what else we have in store for you?!?  So hop on out and get your tickets now!  Your entry ticket will not only make your Sunday afternoon a memorable one, it will also help us provide great IT services to deserving local nonprofits.  And let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be the same without you there!We hope to see you there!

The fun starts at 1:30 PM, movie showtime is 2 PM!

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Our Sponsors

Special thanks to our event sponsors.  Synapse Hubs is a great way to network with lots of awesome people around RVA, and their support is enabling IT4Causes to use more of the ticket sales to support local nonprofits

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Connect.  Collaborate.  Contribute.

And UDig, a leading provider of technology consultants, project critical teams and strategic outsourcing services.

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