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!

Please Remember #GivingTuesday

For many, the true meaning of the holidays rests not in what we receive in presents, but in what we give to others, especially those in need. #GivingTuesday was started in 2012, and is one way the nonprofit and online communities have worked together to promote charitable giving during the holiday season.

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At IT4Causes, we encourage everyone to think about their favorite charities, and to consider donating to them during the holidays. If you are interested in having your donations support multiple local causes, we think you should consider donating to IT4Causes so that we can magnify your impact by enabling our partner nonprofits with great IT.

Thanks to donors like you, we were able to support 15 agencies in the past year, including:

Assoc of Fundraising Professionals Firehouse  Theatre Partnership for Families
Art180 Friends of Barnabas Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence
Children’s Mental Health Resource Ctr Habitat of Greater Richmond U-Turn Sports
Beacon Tree Foundation Junior League of Richmond Unbound RVA
Equality First Foundation Medical Home Plus Virginia Community Capital

Your new / continued support will help us expand our impact, including:

-Support for many new agencies in a collaborative case management system we’re setting up with Partnership for Families,

-Help for even larger agencies like UMFS, and

-Growth in skilled IT volunteerism in RVA.G

Regardless of where you choose to invest your donations this holiday season, IT4Causes says THANK YOU for all you do to make our community better!

Give up your old computers for a great cause!

Let’s give back for a great cause!

Just a reminder that at our upcoming Holiday Happy Hour event IT4Causes will be working with Tech for Troops to hold a computer equipment donation drive on November 24th 2015 at the Tin Pan Restaurant and Listening Room 5 -9pm. Join us for an exciting event of FUNdraising and networking accompanied by the smooth tunes of the CJ Wolfe trio from 7-9pm and happy hour food and drink specials, as well as a 50/50 raffle. Please donate your used laptops, desktops, printers/scanners, and flat screen monitors to Tech for Troops to help American veterans transition back to civilian life.

 

Tech for Troops will have professionals remove all information from devices using state of the art data removal. Your old equipment will go to its best possible use after being refurbished and then provided to veterans and the nonprofits that serve them in ways like teaching them technology and to find employment. Donated equipment that can not be reused will be sold for recycling (staying out of landfills) and funds will go to the Tech for Troops Project. All donations of old electronics and cash will be given a tax deductible receipt. Our apologies, CRT monitors will NOT be accepted at this event. Before donating old electronics make sure that you backup data you would like to keep and then delete. http://www.dban.org/ is a helping site for clearing data.

 

We recommend a $10 donation to offset refurbishing costs and help IT4Causes and Tech for Troops Project continue to provide great IT to nonprofits and veterans within the local community. RSVP to the event on Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there!

#party4causes #holidayspirit #rva #nonprofit #veterans

 

Here are a few of Tech for Troops previous recipients:

River City Comprehensive Counseling and Veteran employment program (2013-09-20….jpg)

Captain James Howard receiving a computer to start a new business, REACHcycles, which makes adaptive bicycles for kids and veterans.

capt james howard 2

 

IT4Causes Out and About

We’d like to let you know about some events in the community where you can connect with IT4Causes.

  • We’ll be in the crowd at the B-Corps social event on November 17th from 5-7pm at Ardent Brewery. B-Corps are “Using Business as a force for good,” and we’ll be there to support them and hear details of the impact of B Corps in 2015 and their future events in the upcoming year. RSVP here if you would like to come. Come check out this exciting happy hour networking event with us!
  • Find our intern Jade at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s 4th annual Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight by Style Weekly Magazine. The event, which celebrates local leaders, will take place this Wednesday, November 18th 5:30- 8 pm at the Hippodrome Theatre. We look forward to participating in this wonderful night with other driven individuals in the non-profit field.
  • Stop by the IT4Causes’ table at RVA Tech Jam on November 19, 2015 at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market from 3-9 pm. There, you can meet our staff and some of our volunteers, spin the wheel for a prize, and find out more about our 11/24 Holiday Happy Hour and used computer donation drive, This event is free and open to the public; RSVP here. Tech Jam came from a group of local tech industry leaders recognizing the need to make local businesses see that their tech and service needs could be met here in Richmond, Virginia. Don’t forget about the Battle of the Geek Bands that will be taking place! If you are interested in Richmond’s start-ups, tech-based companies, craft beer, and music this is sure to be a great event for you! Let’s keep tech business local!

We hope to see you around town this week!

 

 

Awesome new volunteer opportunities to use your IT skills!

At IT4Causes, we’re re-inventing IT volunteerism while we’re serving local nonprofits.  Here are a couple of new opportunities for you to consider!

Business Systems Analysts

We have an on-going project to implement a social services case management system using a cloud-based process management tool. 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 primarily occur in 2-4 hour blocks during the business day. We are seeking people who can provide 8-16 hours per month for 3-4 months starting in December. This work will benefit a group of 10 agencies providing support for early education, family self-sufficiency, and physical and behavioral health for children in Richmond’s Northside as well as around the state.

Cabling Installation

Do you like fishing? Fishing cables, that is! We’ve got a couple projects to enhance the network infrastructure at a couple of local agencies who are helping youth and children in RVA and around the globe. If you can do one or more of the following, we could sure use your help to assist our partner nonprofits!

  • Planning and documenting cable layouts
  • Fishing/pulling wires
  • Installing wall jacks
  • Punchdown
  • Cable testing

WordPress Site Migration

A client has a small website that’s currently hosted on GoDaddy, and the client would like it moved to our shared hosting option. It’s a pretty 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, and will save the agency a couple hundred bucks a year.

If you are interested in helping on any of these projects, please make sure you’ve completed our Volunteer Form and contact Rebecca Keller at Volunteer.Manager@IT4Causes.org.

Computer Equipment Donation Drive – at IT4Causes Holiday Happy Hour Nov 24!

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Wondering what to do with your old laptop or desktop? Are you too worried about your data to get rid of it? Would you like your old tech to help veterans transition back to civilian life?

Have no fear, IT4Causes and Tech For Troops Project are here to help! Give new life to your old equipment! Donate your used laptops, desktops, printers/scanners, and flat screen monitors to IT4Causes’ Holiday Happy Hour at The Tin Pan on November 24, and we’ll make sure:

  • Your data is scrubbed completely from all devices using chain-of-custody and state-of-the-art data removal processes*
  • Your equipment is put to the best possible use.
    • Serviceable equipment will be refurbished and provided to eligible veterans and nonprofits who serve them to help them learn technology and find civilian jobs.
    • Other equipment will be recycled to keep it out of landfills, and to raise funds for Tech For Troops Project.
  • You get a tax-deductible receipt for your equipment and any cash donation.

Sorry, we can’t accept CRT monitors at this event.

To donate, please bring your equipment to:

To offset the costs of refurbishing/recycling your equipment, we recommend a $10 donation to help IT4Causes and Tech For Troops Project continue to provide great IT to nonprofits and veterans. While you’re there, why don’t you come in and join our Holiday Happy Hour? Enjoy networking with nonprofit and IT professionals, happy hour specials until 7, and the cool sounds of the CJ Wolfe Trio starting at 7-9 PM.  Click here to prepay your refurbishment donation and/or RSVP to the event.  We hope to see you there!

*While Tech For Troops Project (a nonprofit in Richmond VA) will securely scrub your data before disposing of equipment, we also recommend you:

  • Take care of the data on your computer. We recommend you back up the data you want to keep and then delete all data. DBAN is a commonly used program for deleting data.

Upcoming Nonprofit Events

Happy Friday!

IT4Causes believes that an important part of our duty is to evolve with our community of other nonprofits. Here are a few upcoming events we are excited to participate in next week:

The 2015 Richmond Nonprofit Summit will be held November 10th, 2015. This event is hosted by Nonprofit Learning Point, marking its 20th year of community assistance. NLP provides high quality, affordable professional and leadership development within the nonprofit fields of Richmond, Virginia. We are looking forward to meeting and networking with other Richmond nonprofits for a day of local tales of inspiration, national speakers, and creative performances. (http://nonprofitlearningpoint.org/2015-nonprofit-summit/)

On November 11, 2015, the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon and Celebration will be hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Virginia Chapter at the Hilton Hotel and Spa Short Pump. With speakers like David Huffine, Vice President for Advancement at St. Joseph’s Villa and Timothy L. Seiler presenting “Data is Your Friend” it is sure to be a good time! This is the first year the AFP will be awarding a new category: Small Business Philanthropist of the Year, along with many others between workshops. Look out for our exhibit at the event! We hope to see you there!(http://rvanpd.org/)

 

Holiday Happy Hour!

Holiday Happy Hour

Get into the giving spirit with us!

IT4Causes invites you to join us for a fun night of networking and entertainment. We are excited to host a fundraising event on Tuesday November 24, 2015 at The Tin Pan Restaurant and Listening Room starting at 5pm. Happy hour food and drink specials will be from 5-7pm. Live music by the C.J. Wolfe Jazz Trio from 7-9 pm. A $25 donation is suggested for IT4Causes supporters and $5 for general public; get your tickets at IT4Causes.EventBrite.com or at the door. A winner of the 50/50 raffle will be drawn at 8pm. The first 20 IT4Causes Supporter at the event will receive a free IT4Causes t-shirt, so come early and help us kick off the holiday season by contributing to a great cause. This is an all ages event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mark your calendars folks! IT4Causes Event Nov. 24th at The Tin Pan!

Please R.S.V.P. at IT4Causes.EventBrite.com