Meet Our New Intern

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Hello Everyone! My name is Amanda Crittenden and I am the Event Management Intern for summer and fall. I am currently a VCU senior working towards my Bachelor’s in Business Management with a concentration in small business and entrepreneurship.

I have lived just outside of Richmond in New Kent my whole life. Since I started going to school at VCU, I have adopted Richmond as my second home and enjoy finding hidden gems that the city has to offer. In my free time, I love baking and relaxing at home with friends or my pets.

I look forward to learning a lot during my time with IT4Causes and hope to make lasting connections within the Richmond community. If you have any words of wisdom, questions, or possible help to offer, feel free to send me an email at Amanda.Crittenden@it4causes.org.

Planning Meeting June 8

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Please join us for the first planning meeting for the First Annual Tech4All Fair. This meeting will introduce a number of topics to be discussed and planned over the coming months in order to make this event a success.

 

Location: Impact Makers

Date: Wednesday June 8

Time: 6-7:30pm

 

Light refreshments will be provided.

 

Thank you for your interest in this exciting new endeavor and we look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

*If you cannot attend but would still like to be apart of the planning process, please send an email to either Thomas.Anderson@it4causes.org or Amanda.Crittenden@it4causes.org*

AmazonSmile for Father’s Day

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Are you shopping online for Father’s Day this year? If so, head over to AmazonSmile and do some good while you shop. Just use this link and shop for the perfect gift knowing your purchase will help out a local nonprofit.

Don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 19!

Mental Health Awareness

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As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to an end, we would like to draw attention to an article posted in USAToday showcasing the struggles of the mentally ill. Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is done, that does’t mean the conversation should stop.

 

 

What’s New at IT4Causes

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Are you looking for a chance to get involved? Well now is your chance! The introduction of a new client, Commonwealth Autism, comes the ability for growth and expansion. With all the things going on at IT4Causes right now, there is a need for new volunteers. If you would like to be involved in a great nonprofit organization who’s mission is to help other nonprofit organizations, volunteer with IT4Causes. Check out the latest opportunities and take some time to make a difference in the Richmond community.

Mental Health Awareness Month

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Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to take this chance to recognize the great work of one of Richmond’s local nonprofit agencies. The Children’s Mental Health Resource Center has been serving the greater Richmond area since March of 2011 with the goal of making the education of children’s mental health easily accessible. They provide countless resources on various facets of children’s mental health including an on-site library.

Head to their website to learn more about this amazing organization during Mental Health Awareness Month.

http://www.mentalhealth4kids.org

Volunteer Spotlight- Dave Zaras

IT4Causes is proud of our dedicated team of hard working volunteers. Dave Zaras has been a tremendous help throughout a number of projects and we wanted to take some time to personally thank him for contributing his time and energy. IT4Causes cannot implement the great work we do without our outstanding volunteers.

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Dave Zaras is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Towson University with a degree in Business Administration. Dave also holds a masters in information systems from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I was in the military for 5 years so I really appreciate IT4Causes relationship with Tech for Troops.”

How did you come to volunteering  with IT4Causes?:
I work for Impact Makers, a management and IT consulting firm, located in Richmond, VA. Impact Makers is dedicated to returning 100% its net profits to the community over the life of the company. Part of our community contribution is that we provide pro bono consulting services through community partners. This is how I found out and became involved with IT4Causes.

What have you helped out with at IT4Causes?:
So far, I’ve helped a couple of IT4Causes clients with recabling portions of their local area networks in order to make those networks more reliable or to support the relocation of people within the facility. I’ve also assisted another IT4Causes client with assessments of their IT operations, looking for ways to improve on the technology foundation that’s already in place.

What type of work do you do at Impact Makers?

I’m a Consultant in the Governance, Risk and Compliance Practice. Right now, I’m leading a team of talented project managers and subject matter experts in information security with an engagement for a healthcare client who’s transforming their information security program in an effort to improve the maturity. We’re one year into a multi-year and multi-million dollar effort and are already seeing significant improvements across many of their targeted improvement areas.

Thanks again Dave! If YOU are interested in helping Richmond area nonprofits become more effective through better IT systems, please visit our website for our volunteer form.

Updated Volunteer Opportunities

At IT4Causes, we’re re-inventing IT volunteerism while we’re serving local nonprofits. All it takes is a few hours a month, either short term or on-going. Check out the new opportunities for you to consider!

Ongoing Opportunities

Marketing and Branding Committee
The all-volunteer Marketing and Branding Committee works to get out the IT4Causes’ message about our mission to provide stable, secure, and sustainable IT 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. We do this through social media, marketing collateral, event organizing, and fundraising.

The committee meets for one hour most weeks in the evening (currently it’s Thursdays 5:30-6:30 PM), and attendance at all meetings is not required. We break up the work into manageable tasks that leverage each person’s availability, skills, and comfort zones. It’s always a vibrant discussion and a great way network and learn new skills while helping a great cause!

We are always looking for people with experience or interest in working with the public, social media, and/or fundraising.

Technical Advisory Group
The all-volunteer Technical Advisory Group is works actively to identify, evaluate, and select each component of the IT4Causes’ solution set. They meet as needed.

Project-specific Opportunities

Business Systems Analysts
We have an project which will implement a social services case management system using a cloud-based process management tool. This work will benefit a group of 10 agencies who provide support for early education, family self-sufficiency, and physical and behavioral health for children in Richmond’s Northside, as well as around the state.
We are seeking assistance in documenting current business process, identifying reporting requirements, mapping those processes to built-in capabilities in the tool, and strategizing how to configure the tool to implement the process. The specific tool is the ETO product from Social Solutions, so experience with that system would be amazing but is not at all necessary.
This work will occur in 2-4 hour blocks primarily during the business day. We are seeking people who can provide 8-16 hours per month for a few months starting as soon as possible.

WordPress Site Projects
We have a several projects of varying sizes that need basic to advanced WordPress skills. One is a small WordPress website that’s currently hosted on GoDaddy but needs to be migrated to our shared hosting option to save hundred dollars a year.  It’s a straight-forward backup/import/test, so it would take a WordPress guru an hour or two, or someone with intermediate WP skills 2-4 hours.

We also have a couple other agencies that are looking to implement new websites that use responsive design to make them more accessible on mobile devices.

New Client System Assessments
We’re working with a new client (our largest to date), and we need to learn what IT solutions they currently have, what their needs are, and gaps between actual and desired states.
IT4Causes could really use a couple of seasoned IT consultants to join us in a series of conversations to understand this agency and work with us to improve their strategy, identify the areas of biggest concern, propose solutions, and estimate the work (including how much volunteer involvement we use).

We also have an ongoing need for assessment assistance as we talk to other agencies as potential new clients.

In both cases, we have an assessment framework that we used a few dozen times with our nonprofit clients; we’ll give you an overview of that so you’re not starting from scratch.

If you know what ITIL is, and you’ve used it or similar models to assess capabilities and needs, and you can spare 6-10 hours (50% on-site in Richmond during normal business hours, 50% whenever/wherever you choose), then please reach out to us about this opportunity!

Interested?
Then please go to http://www.it4causes.org/volunteer-form/ and complete our sign-up form today, and we’ll contact you in the very near future!  Already registered? Then let Rebecca.Keller@IT4Causes.org know!

Partner Highlight- ART 180

ART 180
“Young people turning lives and communities around through art”

IT4Causes recently had the opportunity to work with RVA nonprofit ART 180 by helping them through some IT issues, upgrading systems,sourcing a modern fund raising platform,  and helping locate critical funding for IT infrastructure. Since 1998, ART 180 has been providing art-related programs for young people in Richmond, Virginia ages from 8-18 who are living in challenging circumstances by encouraging personal and community change through self-expression. Most recently, ART 180 was a finalist in the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards, and was voted “Best Arts Nonprofit” by Richmond Magazine in 2012 & 2013.

Speaking to Trey Hartt the Resource Development Manager of ART 180, Hartt shared with us some of the outstanding work this organization is doing to change Richmond. “Every First Friday we open our doors and share the latest youth art exhibition at Atlas, our gallery in Richmond’s Arts and Cultural District. The next exhibition will open Friday, March 4 at 6pm and features work by the Black Arts Student Empowerment organization at VCU, celebrating Women’s History Month. Additionally, on May 20 we will be putting on The Really BIG Show, a community festival celebrating our spring community programs. This year we are producing TheReally BIG Show in collaboration with the Celebrate Jackson Ward festival, a free weekend festival celebrating the history of Jackson Ward featuring a full performance by the Richmond Symphony,” Hartt shared.

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Can you describe how IT4Causes was able to assist ART 180 with network performance, as well as the benefits of having computers supplied?

“IT4Causes has been integral in helping ART 180 update our systems for a 21st century workplace. As a small organization, with no dedicated IT staff, we have cycled through professional after professional and no one has been able to give us the care and attention that Tom and his volunteers have. IT4Causes helped us identify the systems upgrades we needed, find funding sources, purchase equipment, and navigate the transition. Tom even helped us connect to a new fundraising database system we are getting ready to launch. There was a very slim chance we would have accomplished all of this without IT4Causes. Now, we operate more efficiently, spend less time waiting for outdated technology to load, and are electronically communicating much better as a staff.”

What has been one of your favorite projects recently?
“ART 180 is entering into a new era. In addition to our community and teen programs, we are beginning a new arm of ART 180 working with incarcerated youth and connecting their stories with legal advocates. The program is called Youth Self Advocacy Through Art and will provide opportunities for currently and formerly incarcerated youth to lead the movement for juvenile justice reform in Virginia. We’ll kick off the new program this summer!”

How have you seen the Richmond community grow from ART 180?
“ART 180 has been a leader in creative youth development and providing opportunities for young people to share their experiences. In the three years I’ve been with the organization I’ve seen organizations and initiatives look to ART 180 to help connect young people to their goals. I think Richmond places a greater value on youth voice because ART 180 is here.”

How can individuals get involved with the organization?
“If adults want to volunteer, they can fill out our online volunteer form atwww.art180.org/volunteer. If young people want to get involved, they can contact Michael Guedri, our Program Manager for teen programs, at michael@art180.org.”