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Enter the Tech for Good Contest for Nonprofits and Libraries in WA State
After more than ten years of working in and around the nonprofit sector in Washington State, there is no doubt in my mind that technology is helping organizations to increase their impact in our communities. There is also no doubt in my mind that surfacing and sharing the successful examples of this impact is hard! But sharing examples of your successful use of technology with other nonprofits is so important. It can help others in the sector be inspired and learn from your examples, and can help demonstrate to funders and stakeholders the social return on technology investment.
That’s where the 2011 Tech for Good Contest comes in. Sure, sharing successes takes time and effort… But if you take the time to tell us how you are using Microsoft software to create impact in your communities, we will make it worth your effort!
About the Contest
Together with TechSoup, Microsoft is excited to announce the 2011 Tech for Good Contest for nonprofits and public libraries in Washington State. Submissions open today and are accepted on a rolling basis until just before midnight (Pacific time) on Tuesday, January 18th. Share how you’re using Microsoft software to engage your stakeholders and make a difference in your community, and you could ring in the New Year with some great prizes!
The winners will receive a $5,000 unrestricted cash grant, up to $100,000 worth of donated Microsoft software, consulting services donated by NPower Seattle, and more!
Submissions Open: December 20, 2010, 9 a.m. Pacific time
Submissions Close: January 18, 2011, 12 a.m. Pacific time
Public Winners Announcement: by February 7, 2011, 10 a.m. Pacific time
Shout it from the rooftops!
It’s the time of year for resolutions and new beginnings. Let’s resolve to surface more examples of how Washington’s nonprofits and public libraries are using technology to create meaningful impact in our communities. I hope you’ll enter and shout your tech success from the proverbial rooftop!
Read the full contest rules and prep your contest entry at www.showyourimpact.org/microsoft. I look forward to learning from your tech success!
And don’t forget your nonprofit can avail of software donations from Microsoft. Find out more here.
By Erica Lorraine Scheidt, Director of Marketing Communications at TechSoup Global
Through my work with TechSoup Global, all kinds of amazing stories cross my desk, but a letter we received from the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand after their recent earthquake piqued my interest. A year earlier, when they had received donations from Microsoft through TechSoup New Zealand, they had no idea that the software would prove critical to their ability to serve their members after the 7.2 earthquake struck Christchurch on September 3, 2010.
Before the earthquake, Julie Clemmett, administrator for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand, said this about her software donation: “Last year when our computer system was limping along, trying to avoid an imminent fatality, Microsoft and TechSoup came to our rescue with software allowing us to upgrade to a server-based system.
What a change! The timely upgrade has allowed our staff more efficient access whilst in the office and also enabled our staff on the road and in remote offices to be able to access the information directly. Before implementing Microsoft Small Business Server, our remote employees would call and have information relayed over the phone.”
Remote access proved crucial to the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand’s business continuity after the earthquake impaired movement around the city. Clemmett continues:
“I’m working from home today because of the earthquake and that’s only possible because of Small Business Server and Office Professional Plus that we received from Microsoft and TechSoup. It’s a huge boon for our organization, allowing the CEO and fieldworkers access to our data when we’re away from the office.”
NGOs often play a crucial role during and after a natural disaster or crisis. Building their IT capacity, as in the case of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand, allows them to continue delivering services even after disaster strikes.
Cystic Fibrosis is New Zealand’s most common life-threatening inherited disease, and the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand is the only national organization dedicated to all aspects of the condition. The flexibility offered by a stable, secure and scalable technology infrastructure greatly supports the Cystic Fibrosis Association’s mission, no matter what the circumstances.
Erica Lorraine Scheidt is the Director of Marketing Communications at TechSoup Global. TechSoup Global a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987 on the belief that technology is a powerful enabler for social change.
When tough economic times hit, it’s often those on the lowest rungs of the income ladder who suffer the most. They’re the ones whose jobs are eliminated first; who suffer the most from cutbacks. And all too often, they’re La Comunidad Hispana’s clients.
Last year, La Comunidad Hispana proudly moved into its own permanent home after 36 years. Until the move, all the organization’s IT needs had been met by its parent organization. Now in its own facility, it needed to rebuild its IT infrastructure from the ground up. Staff worried that the organization’s mission — empowering immigrants and low-income residents of Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, to stay healthy, build strong families and lead productive and fulfilling lives — would receive less attention during this time-consuming move and IT migration.
What would that mean for people like Maria and her three children who had no health-care coverage?
Or for Juan, whose passport was destroyed by a police officer who assumed it was forged?
Or for Maria and Jose, whose nine-month-old daughter needed surgery for a congenital condition and who had no car?
Or for Pedro, who was being disrespected at his job because of his poor language skills?
They were thrilled to discover the Microsoft software donations program. Operated by TechSoup it provided a straightforward way for them to request donations of the software they needed to outfit their new office. Following a donation of Windows Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft Office, Windows Server, and Small Business Server, executive director Margarita Queralt Mirkil wrote to: “As you know so well, access to IT resources is vital to a nonprofit organization’s success. Everything we do — to serve our clients and advocate on their behalf — depends on having up-to-date computer software. And for a small organization, it’s a daunting expense. The amazing contribution we received from Microsoft allows us to redirect the equivalent of a large grant where it’s needed most — to meeting our clients’ needs.”
With that, La Comunidad Hispana’s focus was turned back toward its mission of restoring hope and providing support to those who needed it most.
Like Maria: La Comunidad provided treatment for her severe kidney disease and arranged medical assistance for her and her three children.
And Juan: La Comunidad secured him new passport documents by working directly with the Mexican consulate.
And Maria, Jose, and their daughter: La Comunidad not only arranged a referral to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital for the surgery, but one of their family care specialists also drove Maria and Jose to and from the hospital for pre-surgical tests, their daughter’s hospital stay, and post-surgical follow-up visits. In just over a month after the surgery, this beautiful girl blossomed and began speaking.
And Pedro: An ESL teacher at La Comunidad encouraged him to leave his job and helped him find work at a large horse farm where he improved his language skills and eventually became the farm’s manager.
La Comunidad Hispana believes that with access to high-quality, culturally welcoming services, immigrants and low-income residents of Southern Chester County are able to contribute more fully to the social vibrancy and economic prosperity of the region.
At Microsoft, we’re excited to support an organization like La Comunidad Hispana. For more information about how other great nonprofit organizations are benefitting from technology, visit the Microsoft Local Impact Map.
For more information about the resources Microsoft provides for nonprofit organizations please visit our site.
Microsoft Canada, Children’s Miracle Network and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Child Life Interactive Computers for Kids (CLICK) program.
For a child, being in a hospital can be a frightening and isolating experience. The CLICK program reaches over two million children each year and aims to address those issues by allowing patients access to wireless networks, tablet PCs, software, digital cameras, printers, webcams, Xbox 360 consoles and now Kinect for Xbox 360.
Mrs. Laureen Harper watches CHEO patient Olivier Ulysse play with one of the new Kinect™ sensors for Xbox 360® donated by Microsoft Canada.
At an event held at CHEO and attended by Mrs. Laureen Harper, the wife of Canada’s Prime Minister, Microsoft announced an expansion to the program with the donation of 200 Xbox 360 consoles and Kinect sensors to the 14 Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals that participate in the CLICK program.
Excited members of the CHEO family, including many young patients, gathered at the event to try out the innovative new Kinect units.
CHEO patients (L to R: Tyler Preston, Tyrone Henry, Jacob- Emanuel Doyle, and Kadija Mohamed) play with the new Kinect™ sensors for Xbox 360® donated by Microsoft Canada.
(L to R) John Hartman, Children’s Miracle Network, Maureen Jones, CHEO, Gavin Thompson, Microsoft Canada, and Mrs. Laureen Harper.
Although Microsoft has donated technology to CLICK, the program would not be possible without the inspiring commitment of staff like CHEO’s Maureen Jones. As a child life specialist, Maureen leverages the power of play in the treatment and recovery of young patients, and over the past five years she has been at the core of the CLICK program’s success.
In addition to patients and partners, media also joined last week’s event including Metro, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, CBC radio and EMC news.
Microsoft CLICK brings smiles to the faces of hospitalized children from Microsoft Citizenship on Vimeo.
For more information on the CLICK program, please visit www.citizenship.microsoft.ca.
Gavin Thompson leads Microsoft’s Citizenship programs in Canada
2011 marca un año importante para Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP) en México. En colaboración con varias ONG locales, el equipo del país está creando nueve Centros Tecnológicos Comunitarios (CTC) para ayudar a mejorar las oportunidades de empleo y aumentar la productividad de más de 11.000 personas en las comunidades marginadas en Chihuahua, Coahuila, Distrito Federal, Estado de México, Guerrero, Oaxaca y Puebla. Estos se suman a los 125 Centros Tecnológicos Microsoft ya existentes en el país.
Este proyecto de colaboración se inició en septiembre con un taller dirigido por Microsoft México, donde Fundemex - CTSP socios sin fines de lucro - y representantes de las organizaciones beneficiadas por CTSP colaboraron para sentar las bases para la creación de los centros. Este proyecto fue único y creó un modelo de trabajo que asegurará que los centros cumplan las metas comunes de los socios de poder proveer ayuda a las comunidades meritorias.
En el mes de Octubre, Microsoft y Fundemex anunciaron a los beneficiarios seleccionados para hacer el proyecto realidad. Además, el gerente general de Microsoft México, Juan Alberto González Esparza, compartió noticias sobre una donación de la empresa de $ 1 millón de pesos en fondos, programas y cursos de alfabetización digital para impulsar el proyecto.
Con la construcción de los centros se creará un recurso comunitario muy necesario en los siete estados seleccionados. Las ONG son socios fundamentales para ayudar a alcanzar a las personas que más necesitan capacitarse en tecnología, pero no tienen mucha oportunidad de participar o beneficiarse de otros programas, especialmente en algunos lugares en las ciudades fronterizas que son difíciles de alcanzar.
Alejandro Ramírez de la "Fundación Ayú", una de las organizaciones que creara un centro tecnológico, describe el impacto de la tecnología en la comunidad: "El desarrollo social es clave para mejorar las oportunidades para las familias y sus comunidades y la capacitación laboral es esencial para ayudar a poder lograr explorar todo su potencial. "
Ramírez agrega que Microsoft ofrece productos fáciles de utilizar y que no sólo ayudan a desarrollar habilidades de tecnología, sino también ayudan a proporcionar herramientas para que las comunidades rurales beneficiadas puedan promover y vender los productos que crean.
Estamos muy contentos de seguir este proyecto hasta su finalización y de proporcionar información actualizada sobre los avances y logros del mismo en el futuro.
Karla Solís, Licenciada en Mercadotecnia y Coordinadora de Asuntos Comunitarios en Microsoft México
Note: English version of this post
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