Thank You to Our Volunteers

IT4Causes says thank you to each volunteer that has enabled us to support our mission. Thank you for believing in and practicing Better IT for a Better World.

IT4Causes is a community organization that provides stable, secure, and sustainable information technology solutions and services to other for-purpose agencies in RVA. As a  501(c) 3 organization, we utilize a fractional CIO model to support multiple agencies that cannot staff information technology professionals for various reasons. With this model, we rely heavily on volunteers who use their skills and expertise to advise organizations on many different issues that arise throughout the year.

To support the information needs of for-purpose organizations enables volunteers to make the world a better place by implementing information technology solutions. This work that our volunteers do enables nonprofit organizations to do the work that they do.

For National Volunteer Week, we are taking a moment to celebrate and thank the members of our nonprofit community that enable us to promote and use commercial industry best practices that are optimized for nonprofits. To date, more than 200 volunteers have supported different projects ranging from product evaluation/selection to information security assessments to social media planning. Since April 6, 2020, IT4Causes volunteers have logged more than 725 hours in service to IT4Causes and other organizations such as Rx Partnership, Senior Connections, and the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. Approximately 250 hours have been logged in support of COVID-19 relief efforts.

Because each of our volunteers has meaningfully contributed their time, skills, and expertise, we say thank you! We say thank you to the many volunteers who, like those listed below, have implemented Better IT for a Better World.

Michael Mancuso
Since 2019, Michael has logged more than 370 hours in the volunteer role of desktop technician. In this role, Michael has been responsible for installing, diagnosing, repairing, maintaining, and upgrading computer hardware, peripherals, and equipment at community organizations. Although Michael characterizes his role as small, he has made several dozen dead laptops and a few desktops useable to our partner organizations. According to Michael, “volunteering at IT4C not only allowed me to put some current, outside-the-house experience in my resume… it led me to my present employment with Tech for Troops.”

Michael Edwards
Michael’s commitment to IT4Causes began in 2017, and since then, he has logged more than 145 hours in support of projects at IT4Causes and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pace Center. Using his expertise as a data modeler, Michael brought valuable IT and database experience to the Pace Center, which strives to equip and empower students to listen deeply and respond lovingly to their community. As noted by Elizabeth Roderick, Michael “has extensive experience in mentoring young people, so he [can] offer some [critical] insights and tips about how [organizations] can be successful.” 

John Granger
John has been helping IT4Causes with Windows Server, firewalls, networking, and a range of other technologies.  John retired from a long career as a technology leader and consultant and wanted to continue to give back to the local community, so volunteering with IT4Causes was a natural fit. We appreciate all the time (over 100 hours) and energy he has contributed to projects at Pathways, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Friends Association for Children, U-Turn Sports, and other agencies to ensure they can securely access the data they need to serve their important missions.

Hope Norman
Hope learned about IT4Causes at an LMR Board Connector, and since then, she has brought her expertise as a leader in digital design to IT4Causes. To date, Hope has led efforts to redesign the IT4Causes website using advanced techniques to restructure and present critical information about IT4Causes to potential clients and volunteers. Hope has contributed more than 100 hours, all while juggling her now-successful search for a new job. 

Again, we say THANK YOU to  ALL of the outstanding volunteers who make our work possible.

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Edwards

IT4Causes celebrates the work of outstanding volunteer, Michael Edwards.


This is an image of Michael Edwards.Photo © 2021 Michael Edwards. Used with permission of Mr. Edwards.

Although IT4Causes, Inc., celebrates the work of each of our 200+ volunteers who have made contributions to for-purpose organizations such as Virginia Interfaith Center, Senior Connections, and OAR, we, in this short piece, give special recognition to volunteer Michael Edwards (he/him). Michael is one of many volunteers who possess unique competencies such as Data Modeling, Business Analytics (requirements gathering), and Governance and Risk Management.

Since joining our team of volunteers, Michael has contributed more than 103 hours of his time to enable for-purpose organizations to continue supporting the Richmond community’s needs. His most significant contributions directly helped The Pace Center at Virginia Commonwealth University.

During the last quarter of 2020, Michael provided support to the Pace Center, using his capacity as a data modeler to identify the business needs and IT requirements of the Pace Center. The Pace Center (Pace), directed by Rev. Katie B. Gooch (she/her), strives to equip and empower students to listen deeply and respond lovingly to their community and God’s calling on their lives. Pace provides an infrastructure to help students connect with other students with the same interests and passions and collaborate to create activities and programs that help develop a community at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

In support of this mission, Michael, in collaboration with Pace Center volunteer, donor, and board member, Elizabeth Roderick brought valuable IT and database experience to the table. Together, Michael and Elizabeth jointly buy into the great work the Pace Center does to help VCU students and others identify their gifts, assets, and passions. More specifically, Michael and Elizabeth analyzed and tested Pace’s existing database and church management system to confirm its efficacy in supporting existing as well as new programs and applications.

Michael [Edwards] has extensive experience in mentoring young people, so he [can] offer some [critical] insights and tips about how we [as an organization] can be successful.” –Elizabeth Roderick, Pace Center Volunteer, Board Member, Donor

The Pace Center continues to work with IT4Causes to modify the system and ramp up for implementation during VCU’s Spring semester. Elizabeth describes Michael as “good with ‘big picture’ thinking as well as details.” According to Elizabeth, Michael has bought into the Pace Center’s mission and is now considered an integral part of the Pace family! “It was great to focus on the needs of the Pace Center with Michael instead of spending way too much time doom-scrolling and fixating on current events, such as the pandemic, the presidential election, and the final days of the current administration.”

IT4Causes is grateful for Michael’s work as a volunteer. Through this work, Michael has had the opportunity to contribute and hone skills as an information technology professional while giving back to the Richmond community.

Dave Williams named 2018 Volunteer of the Year

RICHMOND, Virginia—We recently announced our 2018 Volunteers of the Year for the Retiree category (Bob Parker) and the Job Seeker category (David Crighton), and now we’d like to announce one final Volunteer of the Year, Dave Williams, in the Corporate category. Dave currently works as a cloud architect where he helps clients migrate files to public clouds such as Azure and AWS. With his skills and knowledge, Dave provided expert help to a number of IT4Causes’s clients. Currently working for New Light Technologies, we are fortunate for the time that Dave has contributed to #ITForABetterWorld.

When we asked Dave what inspired him to join IT4Causes, he answered in a “love-at-first-sight” response: “Once I met Tom, his staff, and understood his mission, I knew it would be a good fit.” Dave’s technical skills and availability through the pro bono program at Impact Makers allowed him to contribute over 75 hours as he worked continuously “with Tom to make significant IT changes for the non-profit clients, at very low costs.”

Dave’s role allowed him to provide non-profits with information about quality products. “We were able to advise them on services that they may not have known were available (e.g., $5K Azure credits from MS),” he said. Helping to develop the roadmap for moving traditional on-premise services (e.g., Outlook) to the cloud (Office 365), Dave was an asset to the IT4Causes team and the clients he served.

“At a high level we were able to decommission old infrastructure that resided in on-premise, in their closets and small data centers,” Dave said when asked about his impact, “this equipment was often past the end of life and the organization did not know how to manage it.  By moving the core IT services to the cloud, we removed the local IT management burden from the organization, while providing them superior capabilities, often at no cost due to MS’s non-profit credits.”

Dave’s commitment to service is one of many reasons why he is a recipient of our volunteer of the year award. According to Dave, there are three steps to becoming a volunteer of the year: “volunteer often, don’t be afraid of not knowing, and treat IT4Causes’ clients as you would your normal paying clients.” Dave’s volunteerism principles serve at the foundation of everything that IT4Causes seeks to promote.

We want our volunteers and interns to be as engaged as possible, keeping in mind personal and professional schedules. We actively seek to educate new volunteers in a collaborative and innovative way that allows connection to industry level professionals, and we treat our non-profits clients with the highest level of respect. These principles are what made Dave appreciate his time at IT4Causes.

Finding pleasure in his experience, Dave closed his interview with: “the best part of working with IT4Causes has been getting to know Tom and IT4Causes’ clients,” and we are so happy that Dave could be part of our mission!

If you would like to join our mission of #BetterITForABetterWorld, please do not hesitate to reach out to our volunteer manager.

 

 

David “Dave” Crighton named 2018 Volunteer of the Year

RICHMOND, Va—As a continuation of our previous post, we are also proud to announce another 2018 volunteer of the year: David “Dave” Crighton.  Contributing 105 hours to organizations like Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, Better2Gether RVA, and Side by Side, Dave was able to “learn and gain experience to support local non-profit communities.” In his volunteer role at IT4Causes, Dave also excelled in his technical expertise, was able to provide guidance to the teams he led and was able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

While in search of his next permanent position as a business analyst, Dave joined the volunteer staff as a SharePoint expert. Using his experience and expertise, Dave assisted these companies with migrating files shares, Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange hosted on “under-the-desk” servers to Office 365.

Approaching IT4Causes at the RVA Career Expo, Dave was excited to make the move to Office 365, but he “lacked the professional experience to land the position;” however, this lack of experience was only a small challenge for Dave. Taking advantage of the IT4Causes business model of having a bank of volunteers that are experts in various areas allowed Dave to conquer the learning curve without impacting his project timelines. Dave was also pleased with the flexibility of the volunteer role and the opportunity to engage non-profits in the Richmond area. “While 15 hours or less per month was more typical, I was able to dedicate 40 hours one month,” Dave said, “After I received a contract, I had to cut back, but I was still able to provide meaningful services and engagement to my teams.”

When we asked Dave about his impact on the Richmond community, he reiterated our mission of providing low-cost IT solutions to local non-profits: “the IT4Causes business model provides an invaluable service to small not-for-profit companies who do not have the in-house IT staff to maintain servers and infrastructure.” An integral part of our team, Dave was monumental in helping us deliver these services to our non-profit clients.

Dave has a history of volunteering on a Fire and Emergency Medical Services department, Boys Scouts, and his neighborhood association, but was surprised by his volunteer of the year award. “While I did volunteer a significant number of hours during one month while I was out of work, I didn’t feel as if I was really going above and beyond after I returned to work,” he told us. From this perspective, Dave was doing what he loved while also positively impacting the Richmond community. His modest comments show us the value of volunteerism and how what feels like a small impact becomes the foundation of great change.

With his contribution to #BetterITForABetterWorld, Dave was also able to benefit from the friendliness of the IT4Causes staff. Highlighting the ease of access to staff and volunteers as well as resources, Dave continues to value his experience with IT4Causes. Dave’s contributions allow his professional network and future employers to see that he values continuous learning and service beyond a paycheck. In addition to displaying his true passions, Dave’s volunteer role also gave him a variety of different opportunities to add to his professional experience allowing him to keep his expertise “fresh and current.”

IT4Causes once again expresses its sincerest thanks to Dave and all of the volunteers that work with us to deliver high quality IT services to our non-profit clients. We would be unable to do what we do without our volunteers! If you have an interest in  information technology and would like to make an impact, please let us know!

 

Robert “Bob” Parker named 2018 Volunteer of the Year

2018 Volunteer of the Year, Robert “Bob” Parker


RICHMOND, Virginia—In our 4th year of operation, IT4Causes, Inc. created prominent impacts on the Richmond non-profit community. Contributing over 4,800 hours, IT4Causes’s volunteers and interns were able to create a $580,000 impact for 26 local non-profits. Positively changing the lives of 20,000 citizens, IT4Causes provides services to companies such as CA Human Services, OAR of Richmond, Beacon Tree Foundation, and NAMI of Virginia. IT4Causes is certainly appreciative of every volunteer and intern that has contributed their time or resources to our mission of Better IT for a Better World, but we would like to give special recognition to the individuals that have gone above and beyond the “volunteer” call-of -duty—our volunteers of the year.

Our Volunteers of the Year demonstrate a great commitment to our mission and to the betterment of the non-profit agencies we serve. They excel in their respective technical expertise, and they provide guidance to the implementation/service teams they lead. They are also able to manage multiple large-scale projects simultaneously. Because of his outstanding contributions to IT4Causes and our non-profit clients, we are proud to announce Robert “Bob” Parker as a 2018 volunteer of the year. Committing more than 100 hours to manage our client project portfolios, Bob has become an integral part of IT4Causes team!   

When we asked Bob what inspired him to join IT4Causes as a volunteer, he responded with positive sentiments: “I originally became interested in IT4Causes after attending an event several years ago, and became intrigued with the opportunity to leverage my background” upon retirement.  He closed his remarks by stating, “when I retired from Altria, I contacted Tom to discuss how I might help..”  Bob dove right into the work and was quickly adding value.  “I leveraged some of what I did at Altria in managing outsourced project resources and adapted it to the needs of IT4Causes,” Parker said.  

IT4Causes CEO and Founder Tom Anderson quickly recognized Bob’s skills and enthusiasm.  Working closely alongside Anderson as a project manager, Bob was able to bring organization and rationale to several operational activities. “Bob has been truly instrumental in our recent growth by not just taking up some key tasks that free more of my bandwidth to directly help our nonprofit clients, but by enabling us with new tools to get a better handle on the dozens of projects our volunteers and interns are working on at any given time.  He’s enabled us to have a much more comprehensive view of the work, and it’s been an invaluable service to our agency.”   

Recounting his volunteer experience throughout the year, Bob spoke enthusiastically, “providing value to IT4Causes and the clients give me a sense of fulfillment that I am doing something worthwhile.” Continuing to pursue his passions through retirement, IT4Causes “gives me something of interest to do while still providing positive societal value.”  

It is this societal value that we continue to use to inspire new volunteers to get involved with our mission of providing low-cost IT solutions to non-profit clients. At IT4Causes, current students, recent graduates, industry level professionals and retirees alike can find opportunities to continue their IT passions and interests while delivering good to the community around them. 2019 is the year to make your impact, deliver good, and contribute to the non-profit community. As such, we hope you will consider joining Bob and our team as a volunteer or intern.

For more information, questions, or comments please contact our volunteer manager.