New Internship Opportunity!

IT4Causes is looking for an Event Management Intern for Spring & Summer!

Want to help start a new tradition in RVA? IT4Causes is a local startup nonprofit agency, and we want to start putting together a signature annual fundraising event. We’re looking for someone who can help us pull off a family-friendly technology oriented event this summer.

Our mission is 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.

As our Event Management intern, you’ll work with staff and volunteers to help pull together the First Annual Tech4All technology fair and fundraiser. You’ll contact potential sponsors, seek in-kind and monetary donations, organize partners who want to display their technical offerings in a shared space, plan food and beverage, coordinate with the facility, help with promotion, and of course, help us run day-of-event activities. With guidance of our staff and our great group of volunteers, you’ll have plenty of help, but we will be counting on you to do the legwork to make sure we have a great event that people will want to come to year after year. Our small staff means you’ll get to know all parts of our business, and because we serve other nonprofits, you’ll get to meet leaders at many other charities in RVA. We’ll provide a ton of networking opportunities, and you’ll work with us to build capacity in not just one agency but in many organizations around the region.

As a startup, we offer high growth potential. Expectations are an average of 10-15 hours per week during Spring semester, and full time during the summer, with some flexibility to accommodate exams and breaks. We will provide a stipend of at least $1000 for this position; exact amount may vary depending on our fundraising and business development success. Where possible, we prefer to use the same interns for multiple semesters and through the summer.

Please submit all resumes to Thomas.Anderson@IT4Causes.org by March 4, 2016.

REMINDER: We are also looking for IT Implementation and Nonprofit Management Interns for the summer. For more information check out the link below.

http://www.it4causes.org/spring-internships-open/

IT4Causes at VCU Career Fair

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Nonprofit and Social Services Career Fair at VCU

Want to build your professional network outside of your university? If you are looking to intern with a dynamic nonprofit organization IT4Causes has the experience for you. There is no time like the present to give back to your community!

IT4Causes is looking forward to the upcoming nonprofit and social services career fair next week at commons ballroom of Virginia Commonwealth University on February 17, 2016 from 12-3pm. This event will help connect students who are interested in the nonprofit and social justice careers with organizations in the Richmond area for both internship and full/part-time employment.

What are we looking for?

We will be actively looking for sharp intern hopefuls for the upcoming Summer ’16 and Fall ’16. Internship roles at IT4Causes include IT Implementation and Nonprofit Management.

Other non-profits like The READ Center, UnBoundRVA, The Daily Planet, ReEstablish Richmond, and American Red Cross will also be there. We hope to see you at VCU on Feb. 17th with your resume and a smile! This event will be sponsored by VCU Career Services center and ConnectVA. No registration is required. Both students and VCU Alumni are welcome to attend.

Link to Career Fair:
http://www.careers.vcu.edu/undergraduates/career-fairs/nonprofit-and-social-services-career-fair/

Volunteer Spotlight- Dalhia Cavazos

IT4Causes is proud of our team and we would like to share with you one of our outstanding volunteers Dalhia Cavazos. Check out our interview with this creative and talented volunteer below.

Dalhia

Where did you attend University?:
I started my college days at Virginia Commonwealth University and transferred to the University of Kansas where I received my BFA. While working in Kansas City Missouri I also attended the Kansas City Art Institute. My education began in pre-school as a 3 year old in Versailles, France and I have been adding to my education ever since. I am proud to say I am a life long learner who enjoys the challenge of exploration.

Occupation: What type of work do you do?:
My love of learning works well with being a graphic designer/art director. The field is always changing and evolving. Creating a brand is such a multifaceted process. Branding a company or product today means using both print and digital media. It is important to present a cohesive recognizable brand identity. That’s where I come in – I translate complex brand messages into an easy to understand visual language. The visual presentation used in communication is more than simply design.

What is one of your favorite previous projects/work?:

Working with branding is one thing I truly enjoy doing. I created a marketing plan and brand identity for a friend of mine who is a wood sculpture. In less than a year he doubled the number of galleries representing his work and greatly increased his sales.

What have you helped out with at IT4Causes?:

I have been on the IT4causes marketing committee for a little less than a year. In that time I have written posts and created banners for Twitter and Facebook. I also designed an infographic, invitations and a flyer. One of my favorite things I did was go to the Makerfest at the Science Museum to research ideas and vendors for a fun event that we hope to put on this year.

How did you come to  volunteering  with IT4Causes?:

I met Tom Anderson and heard him talk about what IT4causes does, and it just sounded like the kind of innovative and community-minded project that I’d like to be involved in. I am new to Richmond and I know that volunteering is a great way to meet people.

What other volunteering have you done?
I am a big believer in giving back to society and the list of places I have done volunteer work for runs from libraries to cultural arts to non profits. Another non-profit I have worked with in Richmond is Down Syndrome of Greater Richmond. I am a freelance designer right now looking for the right position to use my brand design skills working with the cultural arts or a nonprofit. I want a position where my skills as a visual communicator will make a difference.

Interests and hobbies?:
Art is where my heart is. I am a fiber artist and jeweler. I paint, draw and create yard art. I am passionate about color and texture. I love to play and experiment. I love cultural arts, visual arts, theater, dance, literature, music and performances. I am also looking forward to the commercials for the Super Bowl, there is a lot of creativity there.

For more on Dalhia Cavazos
www.linkedin.com/in/idesign/
Portfolio: www.behance.net/cavazosdesign
Art Blog: http://dalhiascloset.blogspot.com

Spring Internships Open

With the Spring semester just around the corner, how are YOU developing the practical skills and experience that will make you stand out with top employers when you graduate? More importantly, are you building your professional network outside of campus to help you land a great job when you finally get that sheepskin? At IT4Causes, we’re always looking for a few sharp students with big hearts to help deliver great IT to local nonprofits. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, please read on to learn about the two different roles we are filling, and get those resumes in to thomas.anderson@IT4Causes.org by Jaunuary 22, 2016.

IT4Causes is a local nonprofit agency. Our mission is 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. As a startup, we offer high growth potential. Expectations for these roles are an average of 10-15 hours per week per school semester, with flexibility to accommodate exams and breaks. We will provide a stipend of at least $350 per semester for either position; exact amount may vary depending on our fundraising and business development success. Where possible, we prefer to use the same interns for multiple semesters and through the summer, and we try to increase your stipend every semester. Please note that some schools also allow you to earn credits through internships, and in some cases these can even fill experiential learning or other program requirements; please check with your academic advisor for details at your institution.

IT Implementation Internship

As an IT Implementation Intern, you’ll work with our Project Manager and teams of skilled IT volunteers to implement best-in-class small business IT solutions at deserving nonprofit (we like to call them “for-purpose”) agencies across RVA. You’ll leverage playbooks we’ve developed to build towards a strong IT strategy and architecture. In the process, you’ll learn a ton about real life cloud-based solutions for file management, office productivity, accounting, fundraising, and case management, as well as web site development, social media, and networks. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with IT professionals in all stages of their careers, and you’ll meet some true experts in their fields.

Nonprofit Management Internship

As a nonprofit management intern, you’ll work with staff and volunteers to help our growing agency in many different ways, including marketing and branding, events, business development, and partner agency management. You’ll also help several of our client agencies learn to use donor management and case management systems effectively. And you’ll help us implement our social media strategy by developing content and posting across many channels. Our small staff means you’ll get to know all parts of our business, and because we serve other nonprofits, you’ll get to meet leaders at many other charities in RVA. We’ll provide as many networking opportunities as you can handle, and you’ll work with us to build capacity in not just one agency but in many organizations around the region.

Please submit resume to Thomas.Anderson@IT4Causes.org by January 22, 2016. Please indicate in the email title your name and which position you are applying for.

We wish all students great success in the coming semester, and remind everyone to find some time to give back to your community while you’re still in school! Volunteering makes you feel great, and looks great on your resume, but most importantly it helps others.

CreateAthon @ VCU 2016 Here We Come!

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IT4Causes is thrilled to announce that we are a recipient for CreateAthon @ VCU 2016! We’re one of the local nonprofits selected to be aided by students at VCU for their creative talents. It’s mission is to provide effective nonprofit marketing through pro bono work.

The program consists of a sequence of meetings with a student leader and their mentors, leading up to a marathon of an event that will be held on March 10-11, 2016 at VCU’s Monroe Park Campus. During the 24 hour event, students will work around the clock to show their advertising and marketing genius to help local nonprofits like IT4Causes, and then present their team’s final product at the end of the day.

Over the past 8 years CreateAthon at Virginia Commonwealth University has served over 86 nonprofits within the community, and has donated work valued at over $1.6 million with over 700 skilled volunteers. The program was started at VCU in 2007 by Professor Peyton Rowe. Previous recipients of CreateAthon are Fan Free Clinic, Special Olympics of Virginia, The Church Hill Association, and The Daily Planet, just to name a few.

We want to thank everyone for all of their support in the past while beginning our journey and look forward to all of the things to come in 2016! There are still opportunities to volunteer, donate, or sponsor the upcoming event so please take some time and check out the CreateAthon website for yourself!

Latest 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 each week in the evening (currently it’s Monday 6-7 PM, but open to change after the holidays), 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 a 3 – 4 month project starting in December 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 the 3-4 month timeframe starting in December.

WordPress Site Migration
We have a small scope project with the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. They have small WordPress website dedicated to National Philanthropy Day (www.RVANPD.org) that’s currently hosted on GoDaddy but needs to be migrated to our shared hosting option to save them a couple of 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.

Mac Equipment Configuration, Setup, and User Migration
One of our clients, Art180, is updating the Apple computers in their shop. ART 180 gives young people the chance to express themselves through art, and to share their stories with others. They create and provide art-related programs to young people living in challenging circumstances, encouraging personal and community change through self-expression…
We’re looking for a couple volunteers to come out for an afternoon/early evening during the first week of January to set up the new machines, configure them and load appropriate software, and migrate user accounts to the new machines.
If you’re the person the Mac owners in your family call when they buy a new computer, then you are exactly the person we’re looking for to help lead this. If you aspire to be that person, then you should consider helping with this one as a learning experience.

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 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 spread over the month of January (50% on-site in Richmond during normal business hours, 50% whenever/wherever you choose), then please reach out to us about this opportunity! We can probably support 2 or 3 people in this capacity, or one person who is able to really throw their back into this engagement.

Mentoring in Basic Computer and Programming Skills

The Daily Planet is doing a “Know The Code” program to help residents in their Safe Haven program learn more about computers and technology.  Each resident is given a computer kit to assemble, and then works with a couple local high school students to build some simple programs.  We are looking for 4-6 volunteers, preferably with some programming experience, to come to help them for a few hours on 3-4 Saturday mornings, starting in January.  If this sounds like something that would interest you, sign up below!

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!

Thanks to my Nonprofit Management profs at VCU!

I’m just thrilled to have graduated from VCU’s Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management program this weekend! Offered through the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Administration, the program consists of 5 Masters level courses, each of which helped me gain knowledge that I applied directly to IT4Causes.

Wilder School

I entered the program with a ton of disjointed tidbits about the nonprofit sector, and used the curriculum to round out my knowledge and use academic rigor to complement the agile startup principles I was using get this new organization going quickly. It’s almost uncanny how the sequence of courses I took paralleled IT4Causes journey:

  • In the Spring of 2014, I took Financial Management with Dr. Yan, and, as part of my coursework, created a draft budget for what would become IT4Causes does now. By making me think through revenue models and potential expense, the course helped me recognize the challenges of funding a nonprofit. I took the ideas that were swirling in my head during and after that course to everyone who would listen, to get feedback to keep improving.
  • Dr. Williamson’s Nonprofit Legal and Ethics course in ’14 Summer showed me the various forms of legal entities for social enterprises, and though I saw lots of reasons to consider other forms, the nonprofit form was the only one that allows the use of volunteers, a key component to how IT4Causes keeps information technology costs low for our nonprofit clients. It was shortly after this class ended that IT4Causes was officially founded.
  • Just in time for our first campaign, I took Dr. Sobczak’s fundraising course in the Fall of ’14. Formalizing my knowledge in this field helped us to plan it well and avoid many of the pitfalls that fledgling nonprofits can encounter
  • I didn’t know how I was going to use Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs when I signed up for class in Spring ’15, but coincidentally that was the same time IT4Causes was embarking on selecting a platform for Case Management. I quickly learned how assessments and evaluations can be used in pre- and post-test situations to study impact of programs over time, as well as many other techniques that underpin great case management. I’m using what I learned in that course almost daily as IT4Causes works with Partnership For Families and a network of other agencies to set up a data collaborative right here in Richmond!
  • I used Dr. Stutts’ class, Principles of Nonprofit Management, to integrate many concepts and to do my own research into what leads to success as young nonprofits try to scale to serve their missions more broadly. I’m ready to apply what I learned in this process to keep pushing forward, just as I’m ready to continue to learn every day in the crucible of social entrepeneurship.

While I generally believe that “no education is wasted”, I must admit I surprised myself with just how practical this program was for me!

I’m so grateful to have had such great instructors and classmates during my time at VCU. I’d especially like to thank Dr. Stutts, the Program Chair, for her insight and advice on the complexities and realities of starting a new nonprofit, and Dr. Patricia Sobczak for her enthusiasm and encouragement. I hope they and all of the faculty and students at VCU can see the good they’ve inspired in me when they look at IT4Causes. Thank you so much for helping inspire me create a better world!

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Games, Games, Games

IT4Causes continues its Flashback Friday blog series by taking looking at how technology has changed the way we play games. Help IT4Causes take a look back by sharing with us your favorite video games – past and present.
Games in various forms have existed since pre-historic times as a way for people to socialize, play, and learn. In the 1950s, leaps in technology after World War II led to the development of the first video games, one of which was the electronic version of tic-tac-toe. Video game technology continued to advance, and the games exploded in popularity in the late 1970s and 1980s – remember Donkey Kong, Tetris, and Pac-Man?
Video games continued to evolve in the decades that followed – from handheld games to PC gaming to mobile gaming. Today, individuals can create their own video games with the use of various software programs.
IT4Causes uses stable, secure, and sustainable information technology solutions to help build a better community right here in Richmond. As IT4Causes helps nonprofits with their IT, they in turn can focus more on their missions, not their IT problems. To learn more about IT4Causes, visit IT4Causes.org and sign up for the newsletter. Follow or like IT4Causes on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn today.

New Data Collaborative project with Partnership For Families

IT4Causes is pleased to announce formalization of a project with Partnership For Families (PFF) to create a collaborative data management system for a group of local nonprofit agencies. The system will streamline processes for vulnerable families, help the partner agencies provide more integrated services, and enable better tracking of outcomes across the programs, all of which will benefit vulnerable families.

PFF works to ensure that children from some of Richmond’s most challenged neighborhoods enter kindergarten healthy and ready to learn by providing families a central point of contact to navigate the help that is available through a network of partner agencies. “We’re excited to be working with IT4Causes on this system, because it will enable us to see the progress that at-risk families in the Northside are making in school readiness,” said Veronica Fleming, Executive Director of PFF. “Better sharing of information will result in better programs, which will help our families.”

Under the agreement, IT4Causes will work with participating agencies to understand existing programs and processes, and then design forms to collect key data on participating families, the services provided, and the results achieved. A key component of the system will be the ability for at-risk families to enroll in multiple programs using the same electronic record. By using the same information across programs, families won’t have to complete long, complex forms each time they start services at a new program.

Having a host of programs in the same system will also make the referral process much smoother and more effective, enabling warm handoff between agencies, more timely feedback on whether the person used the referral, and a richer exchange of information between service providers.

The system will also use periodic assessments of each family’s circumstances in several dimensions, which will allow case managers to track their progress over time. This data will enable continuous improvement efforts on specific programs at individual agencies, as well as help the network of nonprofit partners find more general patterns and trends based on combinations of services accessed by individuals and families.

IT4Causes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping other nonprofits get access to great IT to power their missions. Please follow IT4Causes on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter, to keep up to date on this and other projects.

Our Annual Campaign Is Underway!

From:  Ryan Harris, Volunteer and Annual Campaign Committee Chair

Dear IT4Causes Supporter,

Welcome to the 2015 holiday season! I hope you’ve had a successful and productive year, and that your 2016 is even better! During this time of giving, I hope you’ll remember to support your favorite charities so that they can support our community through health and wellness programs, social services, workforce and community development, animal care, arts and culture, and many other diverse missions.

Picking just the right agency can be a challenge, though, as there are so many great needs in our region and in our world. One way to help lots of different local agencies in support of a number of causes is to contribute to IT4Causes, a new and unique nonprofit that provides IT services to other charities right here in RVA, at a fraction of normal commercial costs. I give to IT4Causes because when other agencies manage and use their data better, they can be more effective and efficient in serving others in our community, so they can increase their impact on their important missions.

IT4Causes helped 15 different agencies in the last year, including:

  • Saved over 100 hours and thousands of dollars for Friends of Barnabas, a Midlothian-based charity that performs medical missions in Honduras, with refurbished computers and free Office 365.
  • Set up donor management system and Office 365 for Beacon Tree Foundation, a local agency providing financial support to parents of kids with mental health issues.
  • Planned the implementation of a collaborative case management system with Partnership for Families, which will involve another 10-12 agencies as well.
Cost Savings Slide

How IT4Causes Saves Money for Nonprofits

While IT4Causes leverages low-cost software and skilled IT volunteers to keep expenses low for our nonprofit partners, we still need financial support from folks like you in order to provide the paid staff who develop great IT strategy for each agency and guide our volunteers to do the most valuable work in the most manageable ways. Won’t you please join me in supporting this great organization, and allow us to enable more nonprofits with the technology they need and deserve to deliver their missions across our community? It’s easy and secure; just go to http://www.it4causes.org/donate-today/. Your tax-deductible contribution will make a difference as we work to nonprofits across our community do their great work.

Thanks for your support, and have a fantastic holiday season!