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Plan IT Program

Plan IT logo

Plan IT (sponsored by Microsoft) is a service learning program focused on helping nonprofit organizations assess their use of technology and develop a blueprint for making specific improvements to harness the full power of IT for their organization.

We are currently recruiting organizations in King & Pierce Counties for Fall 2017. If you are interested in more information or participating in the program, contact Crystal Cheairs at crystal@501commons.org.

About Plan IT

We all know technology can help us raise more money, run more efficient programs, and extend our reach, but often the difficulty is figuring out how to make good technology decisions. The Plan IT program is designed to help you decide how to leverage the power of technology to increase productivity, lower costs, and more effectively communicate. This program pairs nonprofits with volunteer planning consultants to help you determine the next steps to take to stabilize your current systems and to make greater use of technology to accomplish your mission.

Microsoft LogoPlan IT is made possible by our skilled Service Corps volunteers and our generous sponsor, Microsoft.

How it Works

The consultants volunteering with the program have a broad knowledge of technology and are supported by the technology expertise of 501 Commons staff. Participating nonprofits will go through the program together, meeting as a larger group 3-4 times and meeting individually with their volunteer consultants more frequently in between. Each participating nonprofit will complete:

  • An assessment of the organization’s technology infrastructure and technology usage
  • A key issues report based on the assessment
  • A detailed action plan for more effectively using technology to support the organization’s mission

Participating organizations must:

  • Provide at least two (preferably three) staff and board members to participate throughout the four month cohort
  • Commit each participant to spend 6-8 hours per month to complete the program
  • Have 501(c)(3) status and provide non-discriminatory programming

Currently we are planning for the program to be offered in the King, Pierce, and Walla Walla County areas. However, let us know if you are interested. Where there is interest we will work to identify funding so that the program can be accessible to you.

Creating a pathway for better use of technology

Apply: Fill out the Request for Assistance Form. Under Service(s) Needed, please choose "Plan IT Technology Assessment Program." We will contact you and provide information on the schedule for the next cycle. Applications submitted before August 1st will be prioritized.

Cohort Meetings: Participants meet during three cohort gatherings throughout the program where all Plan IT participants can network and share their program experience. The first of this set will be a program launch where all Plan IT members meet to learn about the program.

Tech Assessment: Plan IT participants complete a tech assessment of their organization. This document asks a series of questions regarding the organization's technology infrastructure, website, database, use of social media and general office technology. Organizations will discuss the results of their assessment with their consultants and identify technology strengths and areas for improvement.

Key Issues Report: Consultants and organizational representatives discuss key issues based on the tech assessment. A report is developed to record the process and identify three key issues the organization wants to address in their Plan IT Action Plan.

Plan IT Action Plan: Project teams will further analyze the three (3) key issues determined from the report, define organizational goals, and list detailed actions the organization will take to accomplish its goals.

Benefits

Organizations completing the Plan IT program report that they better understand the strengths and challenges in their current technology. Having a detailed plan allows them to take action to address those challenges. The staff feel more confident in hiring contractors or vendors when necessary or in recruiting and managing volunteers to support technology.

For Further Information

Want to know if Plan IT is right for your organization? Contact crystal@501commons.org.