On December 8, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Innovation Gateway announced that IT4Causes was the top prize winner in their second annual Next Big Idea Challenge (NBIC). The competition’s judges selected IT4Causes to receive the Next Big Idea Award for the nonprofit agency’s business strategy, which provides information technology services to other small and midsized nonprofits using a Fractional CIO model and a common IT solution set.
According to VCU, “The NBIC is an online competition where anyone within the VCU community can submit an idea for a new company, product or service. Ideas submitted range from medical technologies and phone apps to community co-working businesses. The NBIC’s purpose is to showcase the innovative ideas cultured within VCU.” Over 40 entries were submitted to the contest, which ran from Oct. 28-Nov. 28.
IT4Causes founder and CEO Tom Anderson is studying Nonprofit Management as a graduate student at VCU’s Wilder School for Public Administration, and he has utilized VCU resources extensively to help refine the IT4Causes business model. “The sequence of Nonprofit Management courses provided a fantastic roadmap as I developed IT4Causes, and the feedback I collected from Wilder professors and Innovation Gateway partners was a great help, too,” said Anderson. “We’re very excited about this award as an endorsement of our strategy, especially given the level of competition this year, and we hope this recognition will motivate our supporters to make or increase donations and pledges to propel our growth past our pilot agencies.”
The $1,000 prize that comes with the award will be applied towards IT4Causes’ $65,000 4th quarter fundraising goal. The agency will use those funds to hire a project manager and leverage skilled IT volunteers to deploy their common set of solutions to more partner nonprofits, who will be able to provide their services more effectively and efficiently as a result.