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)

Founding Funders Speech

<To Be Read in the Voice of Benjamin Franklin>Ben Franklin

Two score and Eight weeks ago, a man set forth the proposition that nonprofits should not suffer the unwieldy yoke of ineffective information technology, but that through their common business processes and universal need for great data, a collaboration might spring forth, with vision and process, to unite them with one clear IT strategy. Further, that we might gather true leaders from the small and midsize altruistic organization from this fair RVA, and deliberate and prioritize their similar needs for resolute action. That kind-hearted experts in all manner of technology could gather, in due course, to not merely to ponder the wish list, but to do identification, evaluation, and selection and yet find solutions that even the most modest nonprofit budget might afford. And that IT volunteers, both seasoned and green, might seize upon the guidance of one small and nimble agency and go forth and sow these solutions, these seeds of productivity and efficiency, about the many charities with nary a soul who knows the strange language of cloud architecture, that they might prosper and better serve their own clients and missions.

So on the second day of October, 2014, papers drafted and duly scanned, were delivered the fair State Corporate Commission, and by their recording was IT4Causes founded. The intervening months did indeed show these suppositions to be true, and by their usage numerous technology solutions were rendered unto local nonprofits, for the betterment of our lovely RVA. They proved that pragmatic executive directors need not toil at the helm of Google into the wee hours in hopes of stumbling upon cost-effective ways to create fine courseware for hungry pupils. That they need not lose more hours of restful slumber fretting over the integrity of their backups. That nonprofit employees of all types need not waste countless hours through the burden of ineffective paperwork that kills not only trees, but the very spirit of community giving that races in their blood. And that Boards need not squander precious resources on full-price IT services, when the earnest folk at IT4Causes perform their technology miracles for mere pennies on the dollar, when weighed in measure against the full and hefty bill that often accompanies commercial options.

In this manner, was a revolution of Information Technology for nonprofits born!

You your good selves can still join this revolution and be hailed as another Founding Funders for IT4Causes, by making a monetary contribution to these good works, and we shall take and mark your name upon the scroll such good fellows as a record of your noble actions. While giving amounts of all sizes can be used to aid in delivery of great IT, it seems only fitting that you should select some multiple of the $100 amount, as the likeness upon this denomination it that of Ben Franklin himself, the original nerd-in-chief of these United States.

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Looking for Academic Year 2015-16 Interns!

School’s back in, so what are YOU doing to keep 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?  Since one of our summer interns used the network we helped her build to land her first career job, and another one is back to Blacksburg for the school year, IT4Causes is 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 August 30, 2015.

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.  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.

IT4Causes 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 have 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 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.

Please submit resume to Thomas.Anderson@IT4Causes.org by August 30, 2015.  Please indicate in the email title your name and which position you are applying for.

We wish all students great success in the coming year, and remind everyone to find some time to give back to your community during the year.  Volunteering makes you feel great, and looks great on your resume, but most importantly it helps others.