Apply now for the September 2016 launch of Plan IT. The deadline to apply is Aug. 14. Not only is the program FREE (thanks to Microsoft) but you get a $500 grant upon completion to jumpstart your plan. Hear what Washington Access Fund and Jubilee Women's Center had to say about Plan IT's impact on their usage of technology.
Posted Jul 27, 2016 11:10 AM
Apply now for the September 2016 launch of Plan IT. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1. Not only is the program FREE (thanks to Microsoft) but you get a $500 grant upon completion to jumpstart your plan. Hear what Washington Access Fund and Jubilee Women's Center had to say about Plan IT's impact on their usage of technology.
Technology is at the heart of Washington Access Fund's mission, which is to promote access to technology and economic opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
But like so many nonprofit organizations, the technology used by WAF staff didn’t always match up with their operational needs. Aging infrastructure, outdated systems, and an unclear tech strategy made it difficult for WAF to adjust to their growing staff and program needs.
“Like a lot of nonprofits, we have the attitude of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” You want your funds to go to your programs, the people you serve, toward the greater good,” says Andrea Travis, WAF’s development & communications director. “But that’s not always a good strategy.”
To remedy these issues, Washington Access Fund joined the Plan IT action-learning program in the fall of 2015. Skilled volunteer consultants helped them develop a detailed plan for stabilizing their IT and making greater use of technology.
Since completing the program, WAF has followed through on many of their consultant’s recommendations, including installing office-wide Wi-Fi connectivity, establishing remote access capabilities, moving their data to the cloud, implementing a technology plan, and utilizing their data strategically. One of their board members was even able to help WAF transition to Dropbox Business, a considerable win for improving their file sharing system!
Cheryl Sesnon, executive director of Jubilee Women's Center, says Plan IT provided her organization a much needed long-term IT plan that took a burden off her shoulders.
"Our work with 501 Commons elevates our thinking about building capacity in our organization," Cheryl says. "In addition to helping us reframe our approach they also give us the expert help needed to develop our skills."
Questions? Contact Crystal Cheairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.