Press Releases and Success Stories
Boys & Girls Club of Pierce County, Washington
9 September 2003
Boys & Girls club locations are in "at-risk" neighborhoods for youths due to high crime, drug use and transitory housing.
TechFoundation's grant funded the BOTT program (Building Opportunity Through Technology). BOTT uses technology and training in technology to give youths real work experience through service projects for other local non-profits in need of tech support: computer networking, website and email hosting, streaming video and computer equipment. Youths administer all aspects of the projects, from assessing a nonprofit's need to configuring computers, networks and servers.
Many area businesses and nonprofits have benefited from the program, and have responded with gratitude and a greater capacity to serve the public interest. Local media has heralded the program and highlighted its teenage members, who have gained a tremendous amount of confidence - plus career and education opportunities - from their experience.
The grant has already helped almost double the number of youths gaining this invaluable experience, while 40 more agencies are also participating. Longer term, a minimum of 170 local community nonprofits will be served.
Colorado Environmental Coalition
9 September 2003
CEC is a coalition of 75 members, including the Sierra Club.
The grant is enabling CEC to build technology capacity to improve effective communications between Colorado's conservation communities, with a major focus of building Technology Hubs in four key locations: Denver, Grand Junction, Durango and Boulder.
Digital cameras, video capture and editing equipment, and hardware have beeninstalled at these four hubs. CEC then trains Hub staff members and key staff from Hub area groups so that groups will gain access to digital imaging tools for marketing purposes via press, video images on the Internet, CD ROMS, etc.
People from 20 groups across the state have been in the field taking advantage of this new technology and training to record rallies, speeches, trainings & seminars or environmentally damaging activities. Used for distribution over the Web, to cable and public TV, and producing marketing video/CD-ROMs, this project is proving key to increased awareness and activism, fundraising and training.
Community Technology Centers' Network
9 September 2003
Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet) is a national, non-profit membership organization of more than one thousand independent community technology centers where people get free or low-cost access to computers and computer-related technology, such as the Internet, together with learning opportunities that encourage exploration and discovery.
With support from TechFoundation, CTCNet has been able to make major strides in implementing its attempts to radically expand access to the Internet in three Boston housing developments: Tent City Apartment Complex, Mandela Apartments and Madison Park.
The project aims to make it feasible for residents of a total of 500 or more housing units within the three developments to connect wirelessly within their residences, relying on the high speed broadband connection coming into the Community Technology Center within each development.
The project is well underway, with staff, contractors and computer professional volunteers in place; the first installation will soon be completed in Madison Park.
Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition
9 September 2003
The Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition (NDVSAC) is a statewide membership network of domestic violence/sexual assault programs, individuals and related organizations working to end violence in Nebraska.
An important part of the Coalition's mission is to increase public awareness and understanding about these crimes by serving as a statewide resource and training center. With backing from TechFoundation, NDVSAC has begun to create formalized technical assistance training for the state's 22 local domestic violence/sexual assault programs, which supply information, shelter, support, and assistance.
Several regional meetings have been held to clarify training needs and interests, and have revealed a strong demand for this training. At least 75% of the programs attending the trainings on database development are expected to have a database of community resources to use in referrals and outreach efforts. At least 50% of the programs attending the desktop publishing training are likely to publish a newsletter, brochure or educational handout utilizing skills used in the training. And over half of the programs attending the Internet training will revise or establish web pages for their agencies. All training should be underway by early to mid-2003
In addition, NDVSAC has begun conducting site visits and has responded to many phone or e-mail requests by answering questions, troubleshooting and assisting with the operation of computers and software.
TechFoundation-Altrue Grant Program Offer Nonprofits Free Websites
9 September 2003
100 free websites became available to Boston area nonprofits in 2002 through the TechFoundation-Altrue Grant Program. The awards support nonprofits in serving their local community.
Altrue is a leader in providing low-cost, professional websites for nonprofits
"Many small nonprofits cannot afford to build their own websites. They have become an essential tool not only to share information about the organization, but to receive future funding from donors. The TechFoundation-Altrue Grant Program will help nonprofit organizations harness this technology for the good of the people they serve," said David Altshuler, CEO of TechFoundation.
The recipients of the grant receive a free website and hosting through the end of January 2003. The website also comes with the AltrueSite content management system, enablingthe organization to easily update and change information at any time. The free websites are available only to 501c3 nonprofits in the Boston-metropolitan area.
Plans are in the works to roll out a nationwide version of the program in which the websites and service will be available at a greatly discounted rate.
- A readymade website for nonprofit organizations.
- Easy to set up and easy to customize.
- Anyone who knows how to use a web browser to surf the web can keep the website contents up to date. As easy as using email.
- Keep executive directors message, event calendar or the latest newsletterup to date with a few clicks. Suggested sections include welcome message, about us, participate, programs, news, donate, resources, photo album, and more.
- Dynamic elements such as user's poll, sign up for e-newsletter, and tell a friend thru email.
- Receive help in creating a very individualized look and feel with a unique banner, colors, graphics and fonts.
- Advanced users can use HTML for full flexibility.
For more information about the program or to register, visit <http://www.altrue.net/altruesite/techfoundation/signup.php>.
TechLearn Event Reveals Overwhelming NPO Software Need
9 September 2003
Because of a 97% discount on office software like Office Professional and Symantec, the Visiting Nurses Association of Eastern Massachusetts saved enough money to afford three months of home health services for another patient. How? Through TechLearn, a partnership begun in 2002 between TechFoundation, Gifts in Kind International, the world's leading charity in product philanthropy, and companies such as Microsoft.
"We want to catch-up to the 21st century, but don't have the money to devote to office technology since we're a small nonprofit with limited resources," said Linda Cornell of the VNA. "We're using antiquated software, we don't have a web page or even have work-provided Internet access. Updating all the software would have been impossible without this event. We saved enough off the retail price to provide two to three months of home health care for another patient, not to mention the time and energy we gain to get our office running more smoothly."
TechLearn, the business software takeaway, and the first of its kind in New England, was first sponsored in Boston by the TechConnect educational series to teach nonprofit executives about technology. The TechConnect/TechLearn event drew such an enormous response that between 100-150 nonprofits had to be turned away. .
Many nonprofits, especially smaller organizations, lack the basic software technology that many in the for-profit world rely on. The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that 59% of nonprofit organizations do not have security measures in their computers to protect their information from viruses that could wipe out all their information.
"Businesses are constantly looking to use the best technology to help them increase their profits. We want nonprofits to have access to these same resources to help people that businesses use to create wealth," explained TechFoundation CEO David Altshuler.
TechConnect is currently offering the TechLearn event at an expanding number of major cities throughout the US.
The Education Coop (TEC)
9 September 2003
TEC provides nonprofit services to 15 school districts in Massachusetts, including numerous high schools, middle schools & elementary schools.
With the grant, TEC has been to build a mobile lab where teachers and other school personnel can access "Learning on the Go." The mobile wireless lab is providing regional training capacity at the TEC training site and has already created local demonstration sites in many of the schools districts it serves.
The project has allowed TEC to design & implement regional training modules used to instruct school personnel in the uses and applications technology. Other benefits include professional development and a technical support protocol team for ongoing consulting.
The program's bottom line - student performance - is constantly being enhanced as individual teachers learn to measure student achievement using computer applications and Internet resources, while schools and the Department of Education gain further understanding into how technology can affect learning.
Tech Foundation Recognized by 2002 MIT Sloan eBAs
1 September 2003
TechFoundation was named as a finalist in the 2002 MIT Sloan eBAs, the premier event recognizing global advances and leadership in the field of eBusiness. TechFoundation emerged as one of 70 finalists from a field of 754 total nominees - the most ever in the eBA's four-year history.
TechFoundation claimed the honor in the Social Responsibility category, judged by a jury of experts working in the industry and undergoing a rigorous review process of the absolute work in the field.
"The record number and high caliber of the nominees and their achievements provide further validation that eBusiness is an integral part of doing business today,'' said Jay Livens, awards co-producer. "This year's finalists achieved consequential advances in technology innovation and represent true eBusiness success stories.''
The MIT Sloan eBAs were founded in 1999 to recognize outstanding achievements by companies and individuals that have advanced the state of the art in eBusiness. n eBusiness. The awards, which are entirely student run, have quickly gained prominence with the support and sponsorship of leaders in the academic and business communities. Previous sponsors of the Sloan eBAs include Fleet, Scient, Dell, GM, Visteon, Nokia, Microsoft, British Telecom, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Merrill Lynch. Jury members responsible for choosing the winners of past shows have included Michael Dell, Bill Porter, the editors of Newsweek, Red Herring, The Financial Times and Fast Company and the chairmen and CEOs of Nortel, BellSouth and Intel.
A Geek is Born at TechFoundation
1 September 2002
Jason Wilson, a 21 year-old long-standing, proud geek born in Leominster, combined his passion for service work and computers to become the first "geek" for TechFoundation's Geeks for America Program. Jason is spending the next twelve months helping the MATCH School (Media and Technology Charter High School) with its IT needs.
He wrote his first computer program in fourth grade and was hooked. Armed with lots of support from his big brother, Jason mastered Atari, moved on to sophisticated programming and special effect games, and ultimately enrolled in and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
When Jason is not on the computer playing high-end games or working as a software engineer, he is coaching high school track, a volunteer job that allows him to instill the values of hard work, endurance and discipline in younger people. He saw the Geeks program as a way to gratify these two passions:
"When I learned about the Geeks for America program through school, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring my computer science skills together with my interest in high school achievement," said Jason. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of a high school environment that is teaching the skills that have served me well in my short career. It seems a perfect way to give back."
The MATCH School was TechFoundation's first nonprofit partner in the Geeks for America program. MATCH is a new charter school in Boston that teaches students all of the traditional subjects using computers, video cameras and other tools.
"Jason was selected not only for his computer skills but for his dedication to programs like the MATCH School," said David Altshuler, CEO of TechFoundation. "He is the perfect fit and we are thrilled to have him as our first geek."