Technology Evolves

July 1, 2001       Todd Cohen      

San Jose-based HandsNet has roughly halved its staff to seven and closed its training center in Washington, D.C., as part of a shift in strategy.

The nonprofit will continue to operate an information and networking service for nonprofits at webclipper.org, which includes moderated discussions for nonprofits and foundations.

Now, HandsNet also will work as a consultant to help other nonprofits add moderated discussion at its Web sites. And, it will continue to use its 22-laptop mobile lab to train nonprofits in using the Internet.

Oregon work-up

An Oregon nonprofit that gives tech help to socially and environmentally progressive groups and recruits students to be tech-savvy leaders will help boot up nonprofits in the state that focus on HIV/AIDS and issues involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Building on its previous initiative to deliver tech assistance to two dozen grantees of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation in Portland, Eugene-based NetCorps has received a $20,000 challenge grant from the Gill Foundation in Denver for the new project.

NetCorps, which aims to raise another $40,000, will assess the technology needs of up to 20 groups, and then help 10 of them install new technology, said Leo Alfonso, NetCorp’s internship program director.

NetCorps also will train the groups’ staff to use the new technology, and will provide follow-up help. Project funding covers NetCorps’ work, and the groups themselves will raise funds to acquire hardware and software they need.

Workplace giving

With the demise of e-philanthropy firm Charitableway, a young Maryland firm aims to help fill the gap with a new Web-based fundraising tool. Bethesda-based Createhope has launched The Giving Station, which it is marketing to corporations to run workplace-giving campaigns.

The company also is developing partnerships to market a similar product to universities and colleges to raise money from alumni.

Createhope, which maintains a database of financial, programmatic and other information on more than 6,000 nonprofits at createhope.org, has lined up its first three clients for The Giving Station, said Adam Goozh, Createhope’s founder, president and CEO. Those companies, with a total of 165,000 employees, include New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Timberland Co. in Stratham, N.H, and Anteon Corp. in Vienna, Va.

Goozh hopes within a year to serve 12 to 15 companies with a total of 500,000 to 750,000 employees.

Tech integration

Helping nonprofits make productive use of the Internet is the focus of DOT ORG, an email newsletter launched by nonprofit tech consultants Marc Osten of Amherst, Ma., and Michael Stein of Berkeley, Calif.

The inaugural issue of the newsletter, which will be published monthly, looked at how nonprofits can create email newsletters and use them to drive traffic to their Web sites and distribute news and information.

Osten, founder and principal of Summit Consulting Collaborative, said that in learning to cope with hardware, software and the Web, nonprofits should aim to integrate technology into their operations and their strategies for fundraising, advocacy and education.

“Everybody is struggling with technology,” he said, “and it’s a wonderful opportunity to unpack other issues about how we manage our organizations, how we leverage our constituency, how we build knowledge over time about what we do.”

To subscribe, go to summitcollaborative.com/dot_org.html.

Helping kids

Newman’s Own, the Westport, Conn., foundation of actor Paul Newman, is creating Web site for youngsters suffering from life-threatening illnesses. The site is being developed by New York-based Drumbeat Digital, which is working with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Conn., which Newman founded to serve children with cancer and serious blood diseases.

And, the American Brain Tumor Association has added a section to its Web site at abta.org to help youngsters and their parents, siblings and friends understand the disease.

Portals reach out

Action Without Borders, the New York nonprofit that publishes the idealist.org charity Web portal, has launched a Spanish-language version of the site at idealist.org/es…

CanadaHelps.org, a nonprofit charity portal, has teamed up with CIBC to give Canadian nonprofits free access to Procuron, a business-to-business procurement Web site…

Community Arts Ontario has launched artsONline, Ontario’s first province-wide online network linking community and professional arts groups…

The China Charity Foundation has launched ccf-online.org, China’s first charity Web site. The site features charity information and a volunteer database, and coordinates online giving.

Tech help

TechSoup, the Web portal of San Francisco-based CompuMentor that focuses on nonprofit use of technology, has received new funding of more than $350,000. Launched in May, 2000, TechSoup had 20,000 unique visitors in April 2001 to its site at techsoup.org…

NPower, a Seattle nonprofit that provides tech assistance to nonprofits, has launched Tech Surveyor, a free tool at npower.org/techsurveyor to help nonprofits assess their technology and tech skills…

The Indiana Information Technology Association and the Central Indiana Community Foundation have formed the Indiana Information Technology Association Foundation, which plans to raise $1 million this year to help plug in people who lack access to technology.

Web giving

United Cerebral Palsy received $100,000 from Baltimore lawyer Stephen L. Snyder as the first installment of a $2.4 million gift being donated online using an American Express credit card.

Tech people

Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, appointed Beau Brendler, former editorial director of ABCNEWS.com, as director of its new Web Credibility Project to create and promote standards to help ensure the credibility of information on the Internet…

ONE/Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofits that provides tech help to environmental groups in the region, has hired Gideon Rosenblatt, a former senior manager at Microsoft, as its executive director…

The Enterprise Foundation in Columbia, Md., appointed Jim Polcaro, former vice president for information technology for Americom Wireless Services in Lutherville, Md., as its chief technology officer…

GivingCapital, a Philadelphia maker of charitable-investment software for financial-services firms and nonprofits, hired Christopher Blunt, former chief marketing officer in the Americas for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in New York, as its chief executive officer.

Todd Cohen is editor and publisher of Nonprofitxpress, an online newspaper at www.npxpress.com. He can be reached at tcohen@ajf.org

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