The future is starting to look bright for young members of the underprivileged community in Malaysia, thanks to initiatives such as the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program.
When Kogila was 17, she was sent to the Vocational Training Opportunities Centre (VTOC) managed by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). It was there that she came to know about Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Program.
This opportunity opened up a whole new world for Kogila who had never even touched a computer prior to this. She completed the Computer Secretarial and Accounting course, which helped her secure a job in Olympia College, that then gave her the opportunity to further her studies there. “My life has totally changed for the better and now I know I can achieve better things in life,” said Kogila.
YWCA’s Vocational Training Opportunity Centre (VTOC) was established to curb poverty and support young girls to find better opportunities. In 2006, the center received a grant from Microsoft through its Unlimited Potential Program to equip women and girls from marginalized backgrounds with ICT skills, helping bridge the digital divide in Malaysia.
This collaboration is aimed at helping to close the digital divide by creating new products and programs that will help bring social and economic opportunity to an estimated five billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of technology.
Sanggeri, from Perak, underwent a transformation when an acquaintance urged her to do a course at VTOC. It was there that she realized there were many interesting training opportunities available to her. She took up a Finance course under the Foundation Program, which equipped her with the skills to manage money. As a result of her successful completion of this course, Sanggeri will be starting work in a management company next year and her hopes for the future have significantly brightened.
When an intervention prevented Amanda from going down a path of self-destruction, she was sent to the YWCA where she took up a course in Culinary and Bakery. During her one year training program she gained much knowledge from the foundation courses, equipping her with basic computer skills. “I am a whole new person now and life is worth living. I thank god for giving me a second chance and am grateful for the opportunities given to me by the YWCA and Microsoft,” said Amanda.
Together with Microsoft and the YWCA’s VTOC initiative, many lives have been transformed with the practical and long reaching applications of ICT.
The foundation of a successful online communications and fundraising campaign is built upon a well-designed, well-written website and e-newsletter, as well as a clear understanding of how social media has fundamentally changed how organizations engage and inspire supporters and donors.
The content of this webinar is specifically tailored for executive staff in the nonprofit sector, particularly those who may be skeptical or unclear of the value of social media.
The webinar will:
Join us for this FREE webinar on Thursday, 2 May, at 9:00 AM, Singapore time.
This webinar series is being delivered by Heather Mansfield, founder of DIOSA Communications and the NonprofitOrgs Blog, as part of Microsoft Citizenship’s regional Tech4Good programme.
The Social Web has dramatically changed how non-governmental organizations communicate with supporters, donors and volunteers. Even though a large percentage of NGOs in South Asia now regularly use social media in their online fundraising and communications campaigns, few social media practitioners in the NGO sector have been properly trained on how to best utilize sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Many organizations are making simple mistakes that are draining their social media Return on Investment (ROI) – the good news, however, is that these mistakes can be easily fixed.
This webinar begins with laying a foundation for understanding the role of social media in the context of Web 1.0 (The Broadcast Web), Web 2.0 (The Social Web), and Web 3.0 (The Mobile Web), and then moves on to highlight five of the most useful best practices for managing and maintaining social media campaigns. The webinar then closes with an exploration of social media ROI, and introduces a simple system on how to track and report on results.
Date: Wednesday, 12 December 2012Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (Indian Standard Time)Cost: FreePresented By: Heather Mansfield @ Nonprofit Tech 2.0
Please Note: This webinar is sponsored by Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific. To be alerted of future webinars offered free to NGOs, please subscribe to the Microsoft Citizenship Tech4Good e-Newsletter.
This article was written by Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech 2.0 (Bio) (LinkedIn), author of Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits and owner of DIOSA Communications.
Many nonprofits rush into creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites without understanding that some of the decisions made during the set-up process will impact your social media campaigns for years to come. There are some basic steps that need to be made to both protect your nonprofit’s brand on the Social Web and to lay a solid foundation upon which to build your nonprofit’s presence.
Step 1: Create a unique email address for your social networking accounts.
The first step is creating an email address to be used solely for creating and managing your nonprofit’s accounts on social networking sites. Since staff turnover is a reality of professional life, having a staff person use their personal work email address to create the accounts is not a best practice. At some point when they leave your organization all the accounts will have to be handed over to a new staff person and all email logins modified, so it’s best to set up the accounts correctly from the beginning.
Named one of the Top 50 Websites of 2012 by TIME Magazine, Outlook.com is a new Web-based email client that also includes access to SkyDrive (a cloud-based file-hosting service) and a suite of Office Web Apps (Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote) – all for free. To get started, create a Microsoft account. During the process you’ll be prompted to create a new Outlook.com email address. If possible, your new email address should be the same as your nonprofit’s website URL, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have created your new Microsoft account, you will then be given instant access to your new Outlook.com email address:
Step 2: Create a social media dashboard.
Logging in and navigating multiple social networks daily can be time consuming and most nonprofits have limited time to dedicate to social media. Save yourself 10-20 minutes a day by taking a few minutes now to organize your desktop. In Internet Explorer you can easily drag and drop any website into the navigation bar atop the browser, which then allows easy access to your nonprofit’s social networking communities. If you have opted to stay logged into Facebook, Twitter and other sites, then you do not have to log in individually each time you click on any given social network you have featured in your navigation bar: Step 3: Create a Master Login Spreadsheet
As the Social Web becomes more integrated into nonprofit communications and fundraising strategies, it’s likely that you will have five, 10 or even 20 separate logins to maintain and remember. To keep the process as simple and organized as possible – and to avoid the very common problem in which a volunteer, intern or staff person leaves an organization abruptly and takes with them the institutional memory of your social network logins – it’s a best practice to organize your logins in one Excel spreadsheet. To do so in Outlook.com, in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, click on the down arrow and select the “SkyDrive” pop-down > SkyDrive > Excel:
Next, create the following columns in the Excel document: Website Name, Email Address, Password, URL and Date Created:
Then each time you create a new community on the Social Web, enter the login information into your new Master Login Spreadsheet. Ensure that at least one person at your organization other than the social media manager has access to this Outlook.com > SkyDrive > Excel document. This ensures that your login history is secure, stored and easily accessible anytime, anywhere since the data is stored in the cloud.
Getting organized on the Social Web is a critical step that many social media managers skip altogether. Investing the time - up front - to organize yourself and store your passwords in the cloud will save you hours of time and prevent some big headaches down the line.
Skype is an amazing technology. Anyone who travels regularly or who has long-distance friends and family and uses Skype to keep in touch understands that regular video chats can erase the miles instantaneously. With more than 245 million users worldwide, Skype is connecting families, business communities and the nonprofit sector in ways that are transforming our relationships, our work days and our ability to foster social good in the world. All that said, nonprofits may not be fully aware of how Skype technology works or how extensive its tool set is.
Heather Mansfield from DIOSA Communications and founder of the NonProfitOrgs Blog shares six ways nonprofits can use Skype to improve communications and fundraising.
1) Free one-on-one video chats or calls.
As long as both parties have installed Skype (for desktop, mobile or TV), a nonprofit can make unlimited video calls. For example, Skype can be used for regular check-ins with staff who work remotely, board members or funders. Nonprofits could also use Skype to interview prospective staff or volunteers. Technically, it's worth noting that the video and audio portion of the chats are streamed through the Internet and thus no phone service is required. Attendees will need video cameras and microphones installed on their computers, mobile devices and Internet TVs to enable video chats, however, video is not required for Skype calls. You could simply have a one-on-one conversation via Skype with cameras tuned off.
2) To make inexpensive international calls.
By purchasing Skype Credits, nonprofits can call any phone number (landline or mobile) in the world at extremely low rates. This is transformational for nonprofits and foundations that work in international development. If Internet access is poor in remote areas making the free Skype video chats or calls difficult, using Skype Credits to call mobile phones and landlines directly keeps the lines of communication open which is especially crucialduring times of crisis.
3) To send inexpensive international text messages.
Many nonprofits - particularly those in developing nations - use text messaging as their primary method of communication, however, texting internationally can very expensive for both parties. By using Skype Credits, nonprofits can send text messages at very low rates to one individual or up to 50. In a perfect world, foundations that make grants internationally would include $250 in funding annually with each grant for Skype Credits and Skype Premium.
4) To host group video meetings.
The free version of Skype enables group calls (no video), but to host group video meetings you must upgrade to Skype Premium. Rates start at $4.99 USD a month and when purchased annually the fees are heavily discounted. Group video meetings can be used for volunteer training, staff meetings, board meetings or to report back to funders. The video service allows up to 10 attendees, while group conference calls with audio only can accommodate up to 25 people. Quite often communications are lacking in the nonprofit sector due to long distances and lack of funding, but Skype Premium is an exceptionally affordable service that can instantaneously improve staff and board relationships and strengthen donor's personal connections to your nonprofit's work and achievements.
5) To present group webinars.
Imagine being able to pitch a foundation for funding from 10,000 miles away. Or share financials and fundraising strategies to board members in real-time no matter where they are located. How about training volunteers on how to be activists for your organization? Skype Premium also enables screen sharing during group video meetings (maximum of 10 attendees).
6) To present tours of your facility to current and prospective funders.
If your nonprofit has a smartphone or tablet, you can easily use Skype to present real-time tours of your office, your facilities and your community. A simple flip of the camera can broadcast live any setting, any picture, any event. You have the technology to transform the way your nonprofit communicates and raises funds literally in the palm of your hand.
Skype makes it easy for your nonprofit to connect with beneficiaries, donors, partners, staff and board members.
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