Mental Health Awareness

MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

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.”

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