National Cristina Foundation

Greenwich, CT

The National Cristina Foundation (NCF) provides computer technology and solutions to give people with disabilities, students at risk, and economically disadvantaged persons the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives.

Every day, across america and around the world, National Cristina Foundation is working to ensure that used computer technology resources that no longer meet an enterprise’s or individual’s needs are given a second productive life as a tool for developing human potential.

Our grassroots partners are thousands of not for profit organizations or public agencies. All applicnts are screened for eligibility to receive donated equipment. There are no membership fees. NCF partner organizations submit plans that highlight specific equipment needs and describe how donated technology will be used to help the people they serve to lead more independent and productive lives.

Project Description: 

The National Cristina Foundation is at the midpoint of a three year project to develop a social network comprised of its many partner organizations. The basic delivery system, the Internet, is sufficiently matured and the tools required to build a successful online community are at hand. The National Cristina Foundation has always worked from the mantra that “the solutions are in the network”. This implies that problems experienced by one of the organization’s partners have probably already been solved by one of the 3,000 plus other partners. All partners are working towards a common goal that places an emphasis on the re-use of technology. As such, the National Cristina Foundation, through the creation of the Cristina Network, will stress the following objectives:
1. Promote the re-use of computer and related technology as an important support to the social and economic health of communities to the corporate and wider community worldwide.
2. Formally establish and launch the Cristina Network in support of the aforesaid belief.
3. Increase the implementation of a decentralized distribution model across the Cristina Network for technology donations that are contributed for reuse.
4. Provide computing technology reuse models to the National Cristina Foundation grassroots partners worldwide to assist them in capacity building for locally managed technology reuse programs.
5. Build awareness within the business community about the national Cristina Foundation’s turnkey solutions for computer reuse that can be applied in domestic or international locations to fulfill corporate social responsibility agendas.
6. To promote computer re-use as a critical state in product stewardship as a join responsibility across the Cristina Network.
7. Expand the Cristina Network to link its members through the Internet for knowledge exchange, collaboration and the sharing of solutions that will increase the usability and effective practice for technology re-use.
8. Expand strategic alliances among the National Cristina Foundation global partners - the computing technology industry, corporations, the network’s member partner organizations and the broader community.
9. Based on feedback from the Cristina Network community, the National Cristina Foundation will gain a better understanding of, and will integrate into its web site, toolkits, technical assistance systems and a partner resource portal to support computer re-use efforts in multiple local, state, regional and national communities.

The above described objectives will challenge the current limited Information Technology available to the National Cristina Foundation. As a result, strategies for expanding the resources available to us during this critical launching period are being pursued. Management of the Cristina Network will create some initial challenges in terms of identifying and cataloging resources for our diverse partnerships.

Once operational, the Cristina Network ( will provide an immediate boost to the inactiveness of the many partners of the National Cristina Foundation. Through the network, partners will have access to up-to-date information regarding the status of technology donations to their organization, the ability to modify their needs and capacity profile, and the ability to participate in a variety of forum topics related to the types of projects they operate.

The creation of the Cristina Network is a major shift in the basis of the operation of the National Cristina Foundation over the past 24 years. Providing direct access to the tools developed or used by the National Cristina Foundation will enable our many partner organizations to implement a localized model of technology re-use within their own communities to more effectively fulfill their total project technology needs.

The current staff of the National Cristina Foundation will be shifting their role from direct placement of donated equipment to promoting and supporting the online community of partners through the Cristina Network. These 3.5 staff members will begin their transition through the utilization of the processes set up by the CTC VISTA Member. The VISTA Member will assist with the transitioning of responsibilities by training the current staff on the new processes developed.

In Summary, the National Cristina Foundation is preparing to initiate an innovative, state-of-the-art online social network comprised of its 3,000 plus non-profit members who will be exposed to a continuous development of tools and resources to enhance their individual capacities. The overall goal is to capture the collective resources of all partners to enable each to fully serve their target populations and share their successes and resources with other organizations.

Project Tangibles: 
The Member will acquire new knowledge and skills that can be shared with other organizations. These include the process for developing resources and tools for training diverse partner organizations on benefits of participating in an online social community comprised of organizations promoting technology reuse or other commonly shared missions. Development of a documented process for seeking, identifying and cataloging appropriate online material, including RSS feeds, to appropriately populate the social networking website to meet the needs of the partner organizations. Development of a process for efficiently and effectively creating Webinars accessible from within an organization’s network to meet the common needs of its members. Development of a strong knowledge of the proven process of technology reuse as previously documented by the National Cristina Foundation through a US Department of Commerce grant in the late 1990s.

Supported Projects

Online Community Network Implementation

Ed Driscoll

The CTC VISTA member will contribute to the many tasks involved in the full launching of the on-line social network. This includes identification of needs and location of appropriate resources, development of appropriate tools for partners as determined by feedback from partner members, monitoring of various forum discussions and overall assisting with the efficient and effective launching and growth of the

Goal 1: Support the successful launch and integration/development of

Ed was responsible for developing and delivering web based orientation training to many of our 2,000 plus partner organization in an effort to transition them into the new Cristina Network. This represented a significant shift in the Foundation’s first 25 years of operation and places a great deal more responsibility on the individual partner organizations. Consultations with partners was required to provide them with the information required to transition into the new system. Concurrent to the transition, it was important to maintain the day to day functioning of the Foundation so as not to lose the many partners who had been working with us throughout our history. To achieve this objective, we had to modify, or streamline our current operational model to maintain effectiveness. Ed was involved in all aspects of this process as he worked in close collaboration with the CEO of the organization, Dr. Bud Rizer.

Ed was keenly involved in our project with the Wharton school. In order for the Community Consultants to fully analyze our program they had to become familiar with all of our processes and operations. Ed was central in providing this information via webinar, phone, and through personal contacts.

Transmission Project