ellohay! West Michigan

What motivating factors would make a tech support person want to volunteer his services in his free time?

Posted in strategy, tech support, volunteers by forgr on September 1, 2008

A month ago, I asked, “What motivating factors would make a tech support person want to volunteer his services in his free time?”

Highlights from the community’s answers,

Renato Simoes Batista, System Analyst at Accenture writes:

Many reasons are possible, for example:
– Opportunity to learn or to be in contact with new technologies;
– Build a network connection;
– Feeling of social responsibility about helping others;
– Recognition of his work (in some level. e.g.: Publication of his name in the organization website, as a volunteer)

In the bottom line, the person needs to feel that it would be good for him to volunteer.
For example, the PMI’s Chapters have a lot of volunteers that just want to develop project management skills.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

Thierry Charles, Finance Manager (NGOs)

Hi Marie Claire,

I have been having several experiences with tech volunteering in my NGOs, an auditor, water engineers, a cost killer consultant, a coach, bankers, a dbase programmer etc…
None of them wanted to do this for living

Basically their heart was the first motivating factor (as student they used to volunteer, or members of their family or friends do it)

They chose to help but did not want to do the usual business (answering the phone, meeting with people).

They chose to help with their skills
because it was simple efficient and with the best leverage (of their time)

Though, all missions were not a success.

Good points to have a successful experience are

– A mission with a clear begin and a clear end
– A light time table with a negociated dead end (lack of pressure)
– Large autonomy (they should be able to work home)
– Higher rate of success if they work on new projects
– One and only one correspondant within the NGO (with a backup)

Care about the reward
A presentation in front of the board or honor membership were surprisingly highly rewarding.
But this should only be speaken of at the end of the mission.

They in general are pride to work for you, but they tend to be modest.
They are recognized as a specialist within your organization, which gives them confidence (it is not always the case in their normal life)
They like to choose, do not hesitate to present various missions.
The first two meetings are important, If you do not feel the guy, stop.

In France a good experience is passerelles et competences (enclosed)

They offer mission from ngos and professionnals (in activity) propose their service
The split of their mission is the following
31% marketing
28% HR
19% finance law
14% IT
19% strategy organization

hope this helps

Links:

  • http://www.passerellesetcompetences.org
  • Pilot program initial planning (stages, players, events)

    So among other things, there’s quite a bit to think about for a pilot program… And yes, we’re planning on a pilot program. Talking with John Helmholdt from the public school district was inspiring. And even if that connection ends up not panning out, there a many other groups that I’m sure would be receptive to the idea. With that in mind, I write this,

    Some initial thoughts on serving a small group of individuals for pilot program,

    1. Prep 2. Give 3. Support

    Within these stages are potentially 8 or 9 groups that we would need to bring together for this program.
    • Geeks (for computer gleaning, clean up, open source os installation etc. at the geek-a-thon)
    • Audience/clients (who will receive the laptops, get support, orientation, education)
    • Forgr staff (will organize, manage and execute the program pieces and parts, provide orientation to all)
    • Educators or existing community education organizations (teachers, professors, instructors that will teach introductory level skills to audience in a group setting and/or one-on-one)
    • Tech support staff (will be available for audience to trouble shoot any extreme cases)
    • Audience administration (school board, program executive directors etc. that will need to determine goals and parameters, and then accept responsibility’s for supporting program within their institution)
    • Facilities (venue for geek-a-thon event, temporary education and support workshop locations)
    • Piggy-back organization (existing nonprofit organization that will host our initiative, allow donors to give their laptops and equipment with a tax deductible status)
    • Potentially parents and teachers of audience/clients if it’s a classroom environment (these would be extended support system and will need to understand the program’s ins and outs as much as possible)

    So, with that in mind, here’s a shot at planning for the first stage of the pilot program:

    1. Prep

    1a.) Establish a planning committee, meet and come up with plan of action for organizing three part program pieces and parts, who what when where why how. Discuss goals, determine how event might be sponsored, how to recruit volunteers etc. Set our success model for the program.

    1b.) Secure a venue for geek-a-thon portion, secure a piggy-back organization, determine rough time-line, secure deductible donation status for donors/geeks, discuss process for client group, secure sponsor.

    1c.) Prepare to meet with client group leader, write up targeted business plan and executive statement for client group and/or piggy-back organization.

    1d.) Meet with client group leader or board, determine hopes, goals for their group, their anticipated trouble spots, stumbling blocks, determine best course of action to proceed, set rough time line for events.

    1e.) Submit any agreement documents with group (if necessary), start building community of educators or participating education facilities for education and support base for client group, discuss plan of action for geek-a-thon event.

    1f.) Create program around geek-a-thon. Explore ways spread the word about the geek-a-thon, explore call to action for geeks to glean computers, event details, computer tagging strategy. Collect list of participating educators or community education partners. Finalize time line for all events and launch.

    1g.) Check in on sponsor, venue, status, dates, client agreement, piggyback organization, donor. Firm up time line and event schedule for geek-a-thon with all pieces and parts, collect email addresses for all educators, geeks, and volunteers. Draft literature for all groups, client instructions, support materials, feedback forms etc.

    1h.) Arrange for entertainment, food, music, tables etc. for geek-a-thon. Design email invitations, posters, signs for geek-a-thon. Make sure everything is covered, on track with all groups. Find facilitator volunteers for geek-a-thon.

    1i) Send out invitations to geek-a-thon, write press release for event and contact media for event coverage. Finalize all materials for literature for all audiences.

    1j) Collect RSVPs from geeks, collect feedback on idea from geeks. Meet with audience administration (weekly?) and hold pre-orientation/round table with administration, (potentially teachers, parents) on upcoming event and program ins and outs.

    1k.) Venue prep for geek-a-thon event day or two ahead. Set up, event dry run with committee, hold volunteer orientation, have FAQ sheet available for volunteers. Tie up loose ends before event. Send out press releases, check back in with press to make sure they are attending (if we want them).

    1l.) Hold Geek-a-thon event. Hand out kits to geeks. Get volunteers in place. Answer questions, address immediate needs. Announcements. Register laptops and run through clean up, diagnostics, set up checklists. Determine what parts are missing, needs to bring all machines up to standards. During event solicit feedback, have temporary workshop volunteer sign up sheet/email list and sign up for continuing involvement in program. Enjoy ourselves and do something good together. Collect finished machines. Thank everyone for coming and explain next steps. Collect possible donations.

    1m.) Send out thank yous and confirmation to geeks and volunteers from geek-a-thon event. Prep temporary workshop space, get wireless networks set up. Tools, parts, and/or the means to gain. Set up volunteer schedule, hotline for clients, tracking system for incoming machines maintenance. Confirm introductory level education schedule. Tie up any loose ends with groups.

    2. Give

    2150306305_4ec432b4c8.jpg

    Photo from flickr-user elemenous for use under creative common license
    2a.) If necessary, hold orientation for potential teachers, parents, administrators. Explain their roles, and provide support for them as extended support team. Collect phone numbers, names addresses of their children/our clients.

    2b.) Hold client orientation. Introduce program origins, cover who what when why wheres, address, explain all questions. Tell them how it will work. Have all parties sign ‘promise’ agreement and ‘care and keeping of your new computer’ sheet.

    2c.) Bring clients their laptops, literature, FAQs, how tos, what ifs, explain hotline. Hold first education session, set up email accounts, provide educational outlets outside program too. Explain feedback plan. Fill sign up sheet for future classes, sessions. Collect email addresses from all clients. Collect donations?

    2d.) Let them take them home, and make sure they stay connected to the program by providing feedback.

    3. Support

    536550986_d6704b735a.jpg

    Photo from flickr-user mugley for use under creative common license

    3a.) Collect feedback, hold classes, collect donations, fix broken machines, address problems. Change, adapt, support, grow, learn.

    3b.) Host lessons-learned session for geek-a-thon, hardware status, determine if program is on track

    3c.) Collect and synthesize incoming feedback. Solicit feedback from parents, teachers. Update program if necessary.

    3d.) Hold lessons-learned for orientations, education sessions, workshops, volunteers, facility, hotline, etc.

    3e.) Scout for permanent workshop location if necessary, build client database, build website, find more volunteers, find donors, send out regular newsletters. Build, grow, learn, adapt, assist, have energy.

    3f.) Reach pilot program success, continue to support clients through their growth and ours.

    Phew, so what do we think here, too optimistic, would something like this work? We really want to know, what’s missing?Why do we need your help? Because I’m sitting on my couch, at home, in my pajamas with my headphones in and it’s impossible to coordinate something like this a bubble.

    If you’re interesting in jumping in, joining us, and joining the pilot planning and execution committee, email me, or call me at (616) 446-3622, (mobile phone number).

    If you’re thinking about helping in other ways, we’d love you for that too. Call, email, drive over to my house, send me a letter. Make contact. We want you.

    Other related notes:

    Determine next steps after pilot

    Meet with committee weekly on progress

    Have plan for addressing negative feedback at all stages of the game

    Have google group for planning committee to post happenings

    Have audience discussion group online, get ichat accounts, meet regularly for required education

    Provide laptop to teachers?

    Hold Fund-raising events simultaneously

    Workshop locations, draft

    Posted in discovery stages, education, organization, physical presence by forgr on March 6, 2008

    Some potential locations for the workshops… does this cover Grand Rapids appropriately?

    Google Map markers show the first few “Public Schools” in the area.

    locations.jpg

    The Digital Divide Network, A project of TakingITGlobal

    Posted in benchmarks, discovery stages by forgr on February 17, 2008

    The Digital Divide Network

    Mission Statement: The Digital Divide Network strives to be the online destination for individuals interested about and actively overcoming the Digital Divide. It is a storehouse of information for practitioners of all levels, and provides a community environment for the open discussion of the problem and the sharing of best practices.

    “The Digital Divide Network is the Internet’s largest community for educators, activists, policy makers and concerned citizens working to bridge the digital divide. At DDN you can; build your own online community, publish a blog, share documents and discussions with colleagues, and post news, events and articles. You can also find the archived discussion lists of the DIGITAL DIVIDE listserv. Membership is free and open to all, so join today!”

    logo.gif

    Meraki

    Posted in wifi by forgr on February 8, 2008

    This morning while flipping through older issues of Good Magazine I found this little gem:

    Meraki’s mission is to bring affordable Internet access to the next billion people. Meraki’s new approach to wireless networking empowers individuals and groups to bring access to local communities, anywhere in the world.”

    “Meraki is based in Mountain View, California, and is backed in part by Google and Sequoia Capital.”

    Check out the hardware here, and take a look at some of their proposed solutions for networking an entire city here:

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    Community Internet Map

    Posted in Uncategorized by forgr on February 5, 2008