A grant proposal submitted to a social-justice funding organization; written by corps member Molly Higgins.
Abby will assist in organizing volunteer community journalists to create content t be delivered over our web portal, radio station, and public access TV. In this capacity, she will work closely with allied non-profits - - such as the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods (CAN) to identify and recruit volunteers with some journalism experience to help guide and launch this new effort. Work with these volunteers will include production coordination for a weekly radio public affairs program. She will also assist in grant writing to secure funding to build and create a sustainable community journalism effort.
During her service at MAIN, Abby was responsible for expanding the capacity of the local community radio station WPVM and securing partnerships with community groups in order to create a citizen journalism program through MAIN.
With WPVM Abby partnered with Children First to submit a grant application to help involve kids in making media. The Proposal would create a media literacy program for youth and make short documentaries with station staff. Abby was also involved in coordinating with several other community groups in order to get them better using MAIN’s resources.
As citizen journalism coordinator, Abby had begun work with local groups to raise funds to develop a citizen journalism program.
The CTC AmeriCorps member will support our ongoing outreach and community development efforts. Meegan will work on a number of projects including: computer/internet digital literacy outreach, revitalize latino website, public outreach and education on media issues, and project assistance for MAIN
- recruit volunteers and service providers
- Project Coordination
- Public Speaking
- Write press releases
- Fundraising assistance
- Organize task forces/coalitions
- Conduct outreach
- Volunteer coordination
- Website administration
- Write training curricula; Train trainers
- Grant writing and research
- Database management
- Design brochures, posters
- Develop community partnerships
- Assist in project evaluation
The VISTA will work with the Project’s support staff and VISTA Leaders to provide coordination and support to other VISTAs in the field on professional, personal, and some administrative matters relating to service.
- Assist VISTA leaders and staff in coordinating training and conference attendance/participation
- Work with VISTA leaders on the development and coordination of collaborative projects developed by VISTAs throughout the year
- Coordinate the avenues of communications among VISTAs (blogs, newsletter, website)
- Assist with organizational outreach efforts
- Coordinate outreach to educational institutions and online communities that may be good sources of VISTA recruits
Erin Taylor has proved herself to be both hard working and innovative during her VISTA service and has greatly improved the ability of the CTC VISTA Project to accomplish its mission and programs.
As Project Development Associate, Erin was instrumental in improving our outreach and communication. Erin developed a comprehensive plan for outreach to colleges and other media technology programs, significantly enlarging our pool of qualified VISTA applicants. Additionally, Erin’s research of organizational and institutional partners led us to having one of the most successful VISTA placement rounds ever, with more than 100 organizations submitting applications. On her work on The Digest, our organization’s newsletter and review, Erin worked closely with staff and VISTAs to produce four unique and high-quality issues.
In addition to outreach work, Erin greatly improved our fundraising capacity. Erin researched more than 40 funding institutions, documenting her processes and providing a strong foundation for future development. She leaves many templates for proposals and grant language, and submitted many letters of introduction and one complete proposal.
Lastly, Erin has proved invaluable in her collaborations with other local VISTAs and VISTA Leaders. In addition to helping to bring about two successful Pre-Service Orientations and our monthly area meetings, Erin has greatly helped in encouraging discussion and creating collaborations between members and organizations.
Dana Sou actively participated in building the capacity of the Community Technology Organizing Consortium on various levels. Dana helped to organize 3 major events which included: COTC’s Annual Christmas event in December, NTEN’s Accessibility Institute in Los Angeles in January, and our annual Meet the Funder Event in June. Each of these events required vast outreach and community organizing to CTOC’s members which consists of various non-profit organizations and CTC’s in the Los Angeles area. Dana was successful in drawing attention and generating interest to these three events by actively communicating with numerous organizations through phone calls, and posting on the listserve.
Dana has also collaborated with CTOC staff to write and edit parts of CTOC’s three year strategic plan that spans from fundraising to media policy initiatives. She has also helped in areas of funding through conducting research for potential funding through foundation searches and has written up Letter’s of Inquiry (LOI’s) as well as draft and edit grant proposals. She is also currently writing a policy position paper concerning technology standards among high schools. Dana’s participation with CTOC has greatly helped the organization through community outreach, funding, and creating resourceful research projects.
1) Update and maintain CTC asset mapping database.
2) Participate in providing technical support to the South Florida Regional Equitable Connection project.
3) Research on sustainable best practices relevant to community technology the South Florida region and written report.
4) Provide technical assistance to CTC’s in the region.
5) Conduct focus groups in low-income neighborhoods.
6) Assist with policy research activities.
7) Participate in other capacity and consensus building activities.
Kevin Bulger was responsible for very successfully assisting the technical and organizational development of the South Florida Regional Equity website with the co-supervision of a Collins Center staff. He assisted with the asset mapping of some 212 South Florida region community technology programs and access locations. He was also involved in policy and planning initiatives related to community efforts such as Wireless Miami Beach. Kevin assisted in writing grants for CTI and researched available grants. When Victoria Edwards began her service, additional grants were written and the asset mapping of agencies continued with the two VISTA’s working together on these projects. Meetings with agencies led to the development of the concept of creating memberships and co-op services to CTC’s and access projects in the region. Meetings have taken place with a number of community organizations to assist in securing and deploying volunteers as an element of co-op services. A conference event for 30 CTC’s and related organizations was organized in January 2008. Both VISTA’s have come up with some excellent and innovative ideas and concepts for the project, which would often be integrated into grants, or service concepts that have been incorporated into the co-op plan for CTC’s. It was decided to eliminate the work on focus groups to instead center efforts around working with provider agencies on the co-op services concept.
Kevin’s diverse organizational skills allowed him not only to help develop a web portal for equity resources (www.sflregionalequity.org), but encouraged the project director to involve him in a series of follow-up activities including newsletter and conference development. Following his service (ending late Jan.), his value is demonstrated by his being hired for part-time work by another hosted initiative operating under the Collins Center. While not all objectives were accomplished in the program year, Kevin’s ethic and value are further confirmed by his continuing part-time volunteerism on the project after his service has ended.
The focus of Rayna’s work was to help organize a committee of people with disabilities, staff from public and non-profit agencies that serve them, and community volunteers to carry out the North Quabbin TechACCESS project (funded via CTCNet’s C4All program). Her goal was to build the capacity of the committee to make YES’ facilities, materials, programs and services more accessible and, next, to assist other community organizations and institutions to do the same. Specifically, her job was to:
1) assist with committee recruitment and operations;
2) conduct a community accessibility needs assessment;
3) organize committee training sessions and skill-development activities;
4) assist with research, purchase and installation of equipment, fixtures and technologies;
5) assist with research, preparation and production of accessible program materials;
6) promote the use of the newly-accessible facility, services and programs; and
7) document these activities and evaluate their outcomes.
Rayna assembled a volunteer committee of 12 residents, caregivers and professionals following two information sessions. With the the TechACCESS committee, Rayna conducted a needs assessment, entitled ‘Disability and Opportunity in the North Quabbin’, to identify the demographics of the disabled in our community and their needs. She organized two full days of accessibility trainings with Russ Holland of ATA for committee members and the public (‘Accessible Materials, Websites, Communication’; ‘Reaching Out & Including People with Disabilities’; ‘Accessible Facilities & Programs’; and ‘Accessible Computer Hardware & Software’). With knowledge gained from the workshops, the committee and staff worked with contractors and volunteers to remove physical barriers to YES facilities (bathroom grab bars, motion-activated light switches, lowered soap and towel dispensers, accessible sink faucets and doors handles); entryways (automatic door opener and entryway at sidewalk level); signage (neon signs, lit exit signs); classroom and cyber cafe (foldable, moveable tables and chairs); and computers (assistive hardware and software). Rayna worked with a disabled YES member to create an on-line resource directory for people with disabilities living and working in our region (including a list of businesses indicating which ones are wheelchair accessible, compiled after a telephone poll). Prior to Rayna’s early exit in January due to a medical condition, she attended an information session on the Town of Orange’s annual Community Development Block Grant program. She crafted a concept paper for the next phase of TechACCESS, which is to provide direct services beginning in mid-2008, building on the organizational capacity developed in 2007. Services include providing individualized career, educational and technological assessment, training, and support combined with and group classes to prepare up to 50 teens and young adults for economic self-sufficiency, with assistive technology playing a central role. On the strength of the concept paper, YES was invited to submit a proposal due in October and a full proposal due in November. TechACCESS-Orange was selected by the Town as its only social service project included in a $1M grant application to the MA Department of Housing and Community Development. If successful, the project will receive a $30,000 grant in early fall to support the program through December 2009. The TechACCESS committee members all wrote letters of support specifying the value of and need for the program, and continue to meet monthly.
Cecille and Josh have been helping with the Cooperative Measurement and Modeling of Open Networked Systems (COMMONS) project and have done fantastic work aiding with logistics on this initiative. We are currently moving forward with piloting our first COMMONS networks and integrating local community networks into the larger project.
Cecille has also aided me with report writing, drafting several grant applications, and logistics on events.
Cecille, Josh, and I are in discussions with ARIN to provide the first-ever major allocation of IPv6 numbers for community networks. This would transform many networking initiatives throughout the country and represents the culmination of two+ years of work.
We provide free Internet hosting and low-cost custom web-based software development to non profit organizations. For instance, we provide free web and email services to 30 youth centers, homeless shelters, adult education centers, immigrant aid agencies, and disability advocacy groups. These agencies assist thousands of poor people every day.
We accomplish this mission with
* Free software (Linux, Perl, Apache, etc.)
* Below market salaries
The grant writer VISTA member will:
A) Make fundraising contacts and create fundraising processes
B) Develop and maintain relationships with funders
C) Establish ongoing donor database
D) Create calendar of grant deadlines
E) Write grants
The Community Software Lab (CSL) has never had a grant writing/fundraising position. Their director and staff members are volunteers. With 100,000 and the establishment of ongoing fundraising contacts and processes as the year-end goal, a grant writer will enable CSL to support the full-time salaries of its director and staff. This will dramatically enhance the services CSL provides to their clients.
Originally, Eric’s primary goal was to raise money writing grants. His secondary goals were to create a process for us to continue successful grant writing, to get a handle on our bookkeeping and accounting, particularly in regard to presenting our finances to funders. We had very limited success with the grant writing and other pressing needs. Eric shifted the focus of his work to supervising interns, expanding mvhub, doing paperwork for the government, creating a process to do that paperwork in the future and looking at non-grant writing funding opportunities.
We do have, however, a good start on a plan to get a better program. One of Eric’s clear successes was expanding http://mvhub.com into Lawrence. We were struggling here. In Lowell we know a lot of people. A quick reminder phone call was enough to get people to add their information This didn’t work in Lawrence where we knew few non-profit people. Eric broke the bottleneck. He asked people to fax us their brochures. He typed the brochures into our database and got people to confirm their records and got our stalled project moving. Before Eric arrived, our workers were contractors, volunteers or Americorps/VISTA members. We didn’t need a payroll system. Eric figured out the complexity of state and federal payroll taxes for our first employee.
“It is testament to Eric’s abilities that he did what ordinarily requires a a software and a team of professionals to accomplish.”
- Dan MacNeil, supervisor
The Community Software Lab is in need of a Community Organizer to do fundraising and outreach for our organization. The current plan is to divide their time on structured tangible work like making networking phone calls and unstructured work like figuring out how to get more of the public using our sites. The VISTA will attend meetings of groups of agencies, demo our software, develop ways to increase viewership, attend public events like festivals, make followup networking phone calls to agency representatives after meetings, and contact agency & program contacts to get them to update or add entries to the database.
- Increase the number of organizations putting their records into our databases
- Increase the number of people searching for information on our sites
- Document a reproducible process for getting organizations to put their info on our sites.
Carolyn has brought in approximately $3,000 in undesignated donations, almost reaching her goal of $5000. Working with board members and other staff, Carolyn scheduled coffee or lunch meetings with past and potential supporters and asked them for money. Carolyn created a database of past and potential donors of more than 300 members. Carolyn also organized and ran a fundraising Tea that brought in approximately $1000. Considering our past best year for individual donations was about $700, this is quite a leap forward.
The Community Software lab now has the infrastructure for soliciting donations and for putting on fund-raising events. We also now have an organizational culture that values fundraising. To insure we can continue, our board and permanent staff have worked with Carolyn on fund-raising setup and implementation and pledged to continue when she leaves. Remaining work includes refining our presentation for different potential donors. We need to cultivate donors outside our existing network.
When Carolyn started we realized that her work should fit into a larger plan, a plan that we had not yet created. Carolyn has contributed to our business planning efforts and our draft/working business plan document. Carolyn has done planning work on an un-conference we are exploring putting on with another organization. Carolyn recruited somebody who is proving to be one of our better board members. Carolyn helped write two grants.