social networks

Outreach Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Matt Garcia
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Aspiration’s mission is to connect nonprofit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work.

CTC Vista job responsibilities include:

o Provide program support to the Social Source Commons program which maps the NPO/NGO software space and makes sense of the collective expertise related to that software.

o Interviewing Nonprofit Organization users about Case Management, Workforce Development, and Online Organizing tool usage and tool needs;

o Compile lists of Case Management, Workforce Development, and Online Organizing tools; improving nonprofits capacity for software selection;

o Research what Case Management, Workforce Development, and Online Organizing tools need to be developed, to increase nonprofits abilities to perform Case Management, Workforce Development, and Online Organizing functions.

o Write short-papers and reports to help nonprofits demystify Case Management, Workforce Development, and Online Organizing software.

o Provide support for Social Source Commons events

o Bring together software users, developers, intermediaries, and investors to articulate and focus their needs, spark relationships and collaboration, and share skills and knowledge in the nonprofit software realm.

o Help grow and strengthen the social and knowledge networks and conduct organizational outreach.

o Build Nonprofit and NGO collaboration in creating and developing capacity building tools among grassroots nonprofit communities.

Project Outcome: 

We have a much more robust SSC community and processes, which will help us to continue growing the platform and making it more valuable to the nonprofit community. We hired Matt as a full-time contractor, and he will continue the work he has begun.

Matt helped set a community tone at the SF Nonprofit Technology Center, serving as a friendly team member and ambassador for the organization. Matt also helped establish our new ANSWR platform, working on platform development and content development. This project is an extension of our SSC project, and builds on the SSC work he did.

CBO Web Development Strategist

Davis Community Network
VISTA Name: 
Rian Graves
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The “NPO Digital Literacy Toolkit and Virtual Volunteer Initiative” project is a combination of community networking, technology assistance to nonprofits, and digital media. We believe that with the advent of new web tools, we have an opportunity to reach populations we have not reached before, and provide them access to a more accessible and empowering internet.

Over the year, our Vista will be involved in the following activities:

- help identify representative segments of our community and assess their communications needs
- become familiar with and adept at using DCN’s existing toolkit
- explore and test next generation digital tools and open source applications provided by various national and international organizations
- help coordinate the development and testing of prototype toolkits which use next generation tools
- help develop and implement a train-the-trainers curriculum
- create recommended volunteer procedures and systems that could be generalized to other community organizations, an online guide for volunteer management for use by local nonprofits, the template for an online volunteer handbook
- develop DCN’s procedures and systems (and a draft online guide) for volunteer management, test the NPO Digital Literacy Toolkit’s use for DCN’s purposes to recruit and manage volunteers, and develop a draft online volunteer handbook for DCN
- work with DCN to promote development and hosting of local rich media content,
such as blogs and vlogs, podcasts, digital storytelling, etc and explore opportunities to develop this type of content for hosting on the DCN website

Project Outcome: 

Working independently, Rian collected examples of Web 2.0 tools, resources related to them, case studies, and effective practices. She designed and developed a website to share this information broadly. She assisted in the development of several slide presentations on subjects ranging from electronic newsletters to databases and effective practices in the use of these technologies. Rian also developed recommendations for DCN’s volunteer management program, including a volunteer manual, and created on-line resources for other nonprofits to use in developing their own volunteer management programs.

Once the resources were collected into an invaluable website by Rian, a small team of technical liaisons were able to use them in supporting five pilot organizations, including the Food Bank of Yolo County, Yolo Community Foundation, Short-Term Emergency Action Committee, TREEDavis, and Davis Community Network itself. These technical liaisons are volunteers, and it made their jobs much easier to conduct strategic communications planning with the nonprofits, identify their target audiences for the pilot period, messages they wanted to use the Internet to deliver, what they wanted their audiences to do, and finally, what Internet tools (from the collection of resources on the website), would help them to carry out their strategic communications plan. Without of all Rian’s up-front work, these volunteers could not have been immediately helpful to the organizations, to help them set up their websites in a sustainable way (so that they are not dependent on DCN’s volunteers to maintain them), to develop online webforms for simple contact management, electronic newsletters, and community calendars. In addition, Rian led a team to evaluate more sophisticated collaborative, communication, and contact management tools for DCN to use, to model potential future uses of tools such as Google Apps and Salesforce, when local nonprofits (with our help), become more sophisticated in their use of the Internet.

The major challenge for Rian was that DCN did not have an executive director during most of the term of her assignment, which meant that she was supervised, first by a team of volunteers, and then by a single volunteer. While she was able to carry out assignments once they were framed, and she worked well independently, she (and the organization) would have benefited from supervision by a staff person.

Impact Quote: 

Rian was invaluable in providing resources to help our organization become a better model, in identifying new technologies (Web 2.0) to evaluate and test with our pilot organizations, and suggesting sustainable approaches to maintaining these resources.”
- Vicki Suter, supervisor

140 Characters Conference

June 17, 2010
Washington, DC

DC will be taking place during the afternoon of June 17th, 2010 from 1 PM to 7 PM at: UMC Conference Facility, 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Early Bird Pricing for #140conf DC ends on May 21st. REGISTER TODAY and save $$$.

Since the launch of the #140conf events, conferences have taken place in: New York City, Los Angeles, London and Tel Aviv. At these events we have explored the effects of twitter on a wide range of topics including: Celebrity, “The Media”, Advertising, Politics, Fashion, Real Estate, Music, Education, Public Safety and Public Diplomacy.

Organizing 2.0

December 5, 2009
Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, New York City

Is online organizing really ‘organizing’? That’s a challenging question for those of us from a labor or community organizing background. That said, online organizing has received a lot of positive attention recently in connection with the presidential elections. What does this mean for our organizations? What skills do we need to share to make the most of no-longer-new online tools for our campaigns in New York?

Registration is now open. Tickets are $15.

Registration on the day of the event will be $20.

Horizontal Learning and Urban Poverty

There is a fascinating of example networked-learning practice from Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI)They have developed peer-to-peer learning and sharing systems to spread community developed solutions between geographically dispersed urban environments. (via NetCentric Advocacy)

Transmission Project