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.

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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

Welcome Jade Andrews, our newest intern!

JadeHello! My name is Jade Andrews. I am the new Nonprofit Management Intern at IT4Causes. I would like to start by expressing how excited I am to be a part of the great team at IT4Causes! I am a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies, as well as a double minor in Business and French. Enchanté! After graduation I plan to attend L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs for a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

I’m a Richmond, Virginia native with an immense amount of community pride. I am also an advocate for human rights, especially concerning the topics of reproductive rights and immigration. This past summer, I had the privilege of studying in Lyon, France and later backpacking through Europe. This experience opened my eyes to the need for not only global nonprofits, but also the importance of organizations within the local community. I look forward to meeting all of you in upcoming events and please stay posted for future announcements!

If you have any questions or feedback you would like to give on volunteering, community outreach, or future events please email me at jade.andrews@it4causes.org

Value of Donations

 

 Small By Mindy Tanner

Value – the importance, worth, or usefulness of something (Oxford Dictionary).  When you donate to IT4Causes you know that your donation is helping great nonprofits get great IT at a fraction of the price. IT4Causes uses skilled volunteers, community donations, and lower rates to provide an average of 92.1% savings to nonprofits.

Nonprofits get a great value not only in terms of reduced costs but also in terms of the strategic planning IT4Causes offers. Strategic planning of IT resources meets a vital need of organizations that not only enables them to serve more effectively now but also increases their capacity to serve more individuals in the future.

And serving individuals is ultimately what it’s all about. IT4Causes has worked with organizations that provide mental health resources to families, that connect individuals to the resources they need to become entrepreneurs, and that send medical missions abroad to create self-sustaining medical care to impoverished communities.

Want to become a part of this? Please consider donating to IT4Causes (a 501c3 organization) at http://www.it4causes.org/donate-today/.

Giving is good for the Giver

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By guest blogger Dalhia Cavazos

I recently read a article at greatergood.berkeley.edu about the benefits of giving. It is not only good for the world, the country and/or the community; it also has tangible benefits for the giver. These are some statistics from the article

Giving makes us feel good. In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”*

Giving is good for our health. Researchers suggest that one reason giving may improve physical health and longevity is that it helps decrease stress, which is associated with a variety of health problems. In a 2006 study by Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee, people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than participants who didn’t, suggesting a direct physiological benefit to those who give of themselves.*

Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them. “Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably,” writes Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness, and this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.”*

What this all means to me is that giving my support to IT4Causes is good for me as well as for the community!

To contribute to IT4Causes, go to http://www.it4causes.org/donate-today/.  Donate by September 30 to become a Founding Funder.  Contribute on September 16 or 17 to be part of The Amazing Raise to help us win additional funds from The Community Foundation.

 

*5 Ways Giving Is Good for You by Jill Suttie, Jason Marsh online http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you)