Google Fueling Nonprofits with Free TechnologyBy: Shawn Hess - June 22, 2012
Google has been working with the HandsOn Network to help U.S. nonprofits partner up with tech savvy individuals who are interested in supporting a cause.
HandsOn Tech is an initiative focused on helping nonprofit groups make a difference. Working with members of AmeriCorps VISTA, Google and the HandsOn Network will be placing twenty-eight workers in eight cities across the United States in order to help technology serve charitable organizations better.
Google comments on their work with nonprofits on their blog site:
Last year, we funded 24 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA positions. These VISTA members provided technology training to more than 1,300 small, poverty-focused nonprofits nationwide. Further, these VISTA participants engaged skilled volunteers, including lots of Googlers, to assist nearly 200 nonprofits in creating individualized, comprehensive tech plans that will help them to work more efficiently.
The program has been so successful that we’re expanding—it will now include one additional city and 28 new VISTA positions, with the goal of reaching even more nonprofits. The new HandsOnTech VISTAs will start in August with a one week training at our campus in Mountain View, Calif., where they’ll learn about cloud-based tools from a variety of technology companies including the Google For Nonprofits suite that allows many nonprofits to use free online advertising, Google Apps and YouTube channels. Once they are armed with tech know-how they’ll spend the rest of the year in two and three-person teams serving nonprofits in the Bay Area, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
Last Year the projects Included the following:
* Migrating Dreams for Kids, a Chicago nonprofit empowering at-risk and disabled youth, to Google Apps—enabling them to more efficiently and effectively collaborate without the restriction of limited office space.
* Building a dynamic website and social media strategy for Doing Art Together, a NYC-based nonprofit providing hands-on programming and GED prep for under-resourced youth.
* Using Google Maps and Fusion Tables to help Atlanta’s The Drake House create a map that helps staff better visualize the local homeless population in order to more effectively distribute their services.
Google and HandsOn Tech are presently working on getting volunteers and coordinating the projects, they will actually be accepting applications until the 27th of June. We’ll keep you up to date on any new information coming out of the partnership. It’s a great way to give back to the community and get technology into the hands of organization who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it.