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December 14 2011


What do these hacks have in common?

This month our friends at Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) led a global hack for humanity, bringing together close to 1,000 people to hack for social good in over 28 cities including Warsaw, where they worked in close collaboration with NetSquared and Fundacja TechSoup. Technologists teamed up with subject-matter experts to solve a wide range of social and environmental problems by building software applications.

Here are a few examples of the issues the hackers at RHoK Global took on:

  • Highlighting life-preserving resources for the homeless and homeless service providers, particularly food and shelter resources, in Philadelphia
  • Building a disaster preparedness system in Samoa
  • Supporting farmers through a technology powered seed saving project
  • Helping communities across the world affected by water scarcity, quality and access

Q. What do all these examples from RHoK Global have in common?

A. They rest upon RHoK’s problem formulation model, which starts by identifying, defining and refining problem definitions provided by subject matter experts and local stakeholders. 

I recently wrote a post on why problem formulation is important if you are trying to create technology-enabled solutions to address pressing social issues. 

So if you are working on a social problem that is looking for a technology-powered solution, take a few minutes and complete our problem definition template to take your project to the next level. 

(NOTE: If you are a Net2 Challenge alumni you can also enter the Net2 All-Star Invitational. Remember, submissions for both close on December 15).

Once we get your submission, we’ll help you clarify and crystallize your problem definition so that it's solution-ready. And while we can’t promise it will be selected, we’ll even pass on our favorite submissions to RHoK.

July 25 2011


TechSoup Launches Mirco-volunteering Initiative, Donate Your Brain

This post was authored by Becky Band Jain, a TechSoup guest blogger and volunteer.

TechSoup is launching a new micro-volunteering initiative called Donate Your Brain. It allows anyone, anywhere, to help nonprofits and other community organizations with quick answers and suggestions for their Internet, software, and other tech needs.

TechSoup's Donate Your Brain is a way for nonprofits, NGOs, libraries, government agencies and other social mission-based organizations to ask tech-related questions and get quick answers. Questions posted in our forums, LinkedIn group, or on Twitter will get a rapid response from volunteers. This new initiative is ideal for those of you who would like to get involved with providing tech assistance on the social networks where you are already active.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Search and save the hashtag #TechSoupDYB, and respond either via tweet or following a link to the forum post.

  • View questions & share answers in the TechSoup Global LinkedIn group.

  • Use GoogleAlerts or a similar service to let you know about any new forum posts, blogs or tweets that have been tagged with #TechSoupDYB.

See here for further instructions, or to jump in to the discussion. You choose which questions you want to answer, whenever you want to answer them!

February 11 2011


Greg Baldwin, President, VolunteerMatch.org

VolunteerMatch.org is a California based public benefit corporation using technology to make it easier for good people and good causes to connect. We support a diverse community of individuals, nonprofits and business leaders committed to volunteering. As a platform for engagement we find ourselves regularly collaborating to support social initiatives that cut across the traditional business/nonprofit/governmental spheres.

November 30 2010


Graduate sets up Volunteer Organisation in Sri Lanka. SL Volunteers.

After Graduating in 2008, like many fellow graduates, Lucy Nightingale from Manchester University struggled to find employment and with graduate unemployment rates hitting all time highs, Lucy dreamed of escaping the UK to leave the doom and gloom behind. The idea of idly travelling the globe, hopping from beach to beach did sound tempting, but Lucy feared it would not make her employment situation any better when she inevitably returned. After researching opportunities abroad, volunteer teaching seemed ideal, as it offered her the opportunity to experience another culture and at the same gain experience and skills.

read more

October 24 2010


Bit of Background

Before I begin writing about my experiences volunteering in Sri Lanka, I thought I would give a little background to my involvement with these projects. 

Since volunteering in 2005, in Sri Lanka, I have been planning my return trip. So with University out of the way, I got back in touch the society I volunteered with for 6 months. They were happy to hear that I was interested in coming back to teach English and volunteer at the orphanages. I slowly learnt that there enthusiasm for my return was partly because they had not received as much volunteer help for the past few years and in the past 8 months they have had no one come to continue previous volunteers work. 

read more

September 20 2010


Net2 Think Tank Round-Up: Finding Volunteers Online

For this month's Net2 Think Tank, we asked you to share your tools, tactics, and best practices for promoting your volunteer opportunities online. There are many tools and resources available - so finding the ones that work best for your audience, and finding the ways that you can use them effectively can be a task. Below is a list of networks, tools, and best practices that will help steer you in the right direction.  

read more

September 02 2010


Net2 Think Tank: Finding Volunteers

Let's face it: finding good volunteers is tough. A good volunteer can be a priceless addition to the team, but the process of matching the expertise and timing needs of the project to the skills and availabilities of potential volunteers can take time and resources away from your organization. This month's Net2 Think Tank is exploring ways that organizations can use the internet to make finding volunteers more efficient and effective. Share your tools, tactics, and best practices with the NetSquared Community!


read more

May 24 2010


Net2 Think Tank Round-up: Donating Time and Talent Online

For this month's Net2 Think Tank we hoped to help expand online giving to a broader focus than simply online fundraising. Through the wonders of new technology, the process of donating money has become dead simple. So, we asked you, what can organizations do to make online contributions of time, talent, and skills just as simple? Who's doing it right and what should others be doing?

Below is the round-up of responses we received. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

read more

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