ellohay! West Michigan

What we need to make this work

Posted in discovery stages, planning by forgr on March 13, 2008

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Photo from flickr-user katielips, for use under creative commons license
In no particular order:

• We need to offer free laptops to our clients

• We need to offer support for our clients

• We need to offer many types of education

• We need to offer one-on-one mentoring

• We need to make sure our clients understand the power of their new tool, can help themselves, become independent of the program, and make a contribution back to the community in some way

• We need to provide several methods for our clients to contact us for support

• We need to have at least one physical presence in the city that is easily accessible

• We need to collaborate with our community and our internal team frequently

• We need to have dedicated staff for day-to-day tasks

• We need to have multi-lingual staff members

• We need to have active technology gleaners

• We need to be organized in everything we do

• We need to become an anchor in our community

• We need to be smart and fresh, honest and level

• We need an active and dedicated board of advisors

• We need people with patience, passion and empathy to help us bring this workshop into fruition

• We need to have volunteers to help organize the equipment, properly orient new clients, maintain relationships with community, offer technical support, teach classes, be mentors, evangelize, write for the blog, collect feedback, clean the workshop, be in charge of client data, write articles for monthly eNewsletters, explain the workshop and earn-a-laptop program to new-comers.

• We need to stay local and stimulate people in our community to stay active

• We need to have client events

• We need to have a solid board of directors

• We need to have a fearless leader

• We need to make sure our tools are accessible to individuals with special needs

• We need to have community partners

• We need to always stay positive and engaged

• We need to know our mission and work towards it in everything we do

• We need to solicit feedback from our community on a regular basis

• We need to be as open, honest and as transparent as possible

• We need to take care of our team members

• We need to learn from our clients

• We need to reach out to our neighbors, and engage them in the project

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2 Responses

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  1. smcmaster said, on March 14, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I think you might be very close to being ready to go with this.

    By that I mean very close to taking these steps:
    identify 4 key people willing to sit on a board with you (a total of 5 people should be broad enough to know things and people, small enough to stay focused)
    find a mentor body who will let you operate under its umbrella for a set period (e.g. Community Media Center for 1 year?)
    get some professional assistance to set up the organization (Johnson Center, or non-profit attorney)
    design a pilot project, get some funding, and learn from its mistakes while fleshing out a more comprehensive program

    There will need to be some coalescing of the thoughts, material, and contacts you’ve made so far, but I think you might have enough to bring it together for a start.

  2. forgr said, on March 14, 2008 at 11:22 am

    After explaining the project to individuals, my next popular phrase will be:

    “We’re currently interviewing individuals for positions on the Working Board. Would you be interested in being considered for a position?”


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