Technology Capacity Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Andy Kachor
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The VISTA member will work to improve Appalshop’s capacity to digitally present its history, work, and issue-based campaigns to diverse audiences through digital delivery; build the capacity of staff to integrate emerging technologies in their organizational work; prepare a new generation of technology leaders to work at Appalshop and in their communities. All work will support Appalshop’s mission to involve the people of Appalachia in the representation of their culture, traditions, and stories.

Goal 1: Develop and expand Appalshop’s online capacity
Goal 2: Broaden Appalshop’s communication capacity and online content

- Developing training opportunities for Appalshop staff in CMS and CRM applications.
-Learning about, updating, and maintaining project database and facilitating integration with other online project tools. This will involve research on Sales Force (the online database), communication with other non-profit organizations to learn what tools they effectively use, and the implementation of gained knowledge in Sales Force and our online community.
-Managing online marketing campaigns using the knowledge gained in the advancement of the database, which will involve integrating petition and letter writing software into our campaign model of advocacy
-Maintaining communication with Thousand Kites partners through email, letter writing, and web 2.0 tools
-Generating radio, web, print, and video content to build capacity of the Thousand Kites Project in these artistic fields
-Aid in design, content management, and upkeep of the Thousand Kites website

Project Outcome: 

The VISTA would take the lead in implementing the first phase of SF, using Sales Force’s online learning tools, identify the key programs applicable to our needs, and lead the staff through taking the courses and subsequent discussions to enhance learning. The key goals in the first phase of developing our CRM are: to work with our web design firm to connect Sales Force’s online forms to our website and email accounts, create a process for entering leads and contacts, develop email templates for communication, and customize SalesForce to fit our organization structure and needs. This was done for the Thousand Kites project, building on work by previous VISTAs and with support of Kites and other Appalshop staff. Andy brought both knowledge and energy to this work. We anticipate the VISTA member convening meetings, tracking goals, and looking for opportunities to raise the capacity of our staff and community participants in the use of technology that moves our organizational goals forward. Andy worked with Kites staff and community members providing training and technical and design including in flip-video cameras. We anticipate an increased involvement from rural youth, low-income participants, traditional musicians, and stake-holders in the pressing social, economic, and environmental issues facing the central Appalachian region. Andy’s work included all these stakeholders. Andy also contributed to strengthening the Thousand Kites website which expanded involvement from stakeholders nationally. We intend to do an “assets survey” to evaluate and codify existing opportunities and content being produced through our education, radio, artistic, and community development work that could be migrated into engaging web content. We surveyed over 200 of our partner organizations leaving behind a clear needs assessment of our community. Our internal assessment is ongoing.

Appalshop as a whole has an expanded understanding of the use of databases and particularly SalesForce. We have also learned from the work done by the Kites project developing and presenting work based on the emerging Kites model. This is a model we will adapt for other projects.

Andy also developed and used a process for using MoxX for updating Appalshop “front page” which we continue to use. He also developed a much-improved website for our annual Seedtime on the Cumberland festival This site served us well before the Festival and will continue to be a resource as we work with community partners to plan next year’s events.

Transmission Project