IT experts give their time
TECHNOLOGY buffs are hacking charities’ computer systems – but it’s all for a good cause.
A group of IT professionals and graphic designers are volunteering their time and expertise to solve non-profit organisations’ technology issues for free.
The initiative, created by impactNPO, aims to save charities thousands of dollars and hours of their time. Heart Kids NZ, Child Poverty Action Group and Sustainable Coastlines took part in the first Auckland event on September 14.
IT experts give up their weekend to help non-profit groups solve any technologyrelated issues.
Grafton-based charity Heart Kids, which supports children and their families affected by congenital heart disease, will now save about $8500 over the next year, just by changing its website provider.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved, impactNPO team member Richard Scott-WillHarknett says.
‘‘As an IT professional you are often working hard for an organisation with little recognition and with work that’s not always that fulfilling,’’ he says.
‘‘This gives the IT community a chance to give back to worthy non-profits.’’
Heart Kids receives no government funding, so is reliant on fundraising for all its services.
The initiative proves that supporting a charity doesn’t just mean writing a cheque, Heart Kids’ fundraising and marketing manager Kerry McLeod says.
‘‘Not everyone is able to do that – the weekend was a really great example that volunteering time, resources, skills and energy, actually does have a tangible impact.’’
The yearly savings could fund eight children to attend one of its annual camps or an extra six months’ worth of supplies and support for parents with children Starship Hospital.
‘‘We’d been pulling our hair out over some of our IT challenges. We’d known that we needed to work on it for a long time but we didn’t have the resources and the knowledge to help ourselves.’’
McLeod recommends other not-for-profits grab the opportunity with both hands.
‘‘I can understand some of the reservations some of the charities may have – often we’re looking for longer-term commitments,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s really hard to know what you are going to achieve in a weekend but I
at was blown away with what was achieved in that short space of time.’’
Sustainable Coastlines general manager Camden Howitt says his Eden Terrace environmental charity decided to take part to ensure it maintains a strong online presence.
‘‘The value of digital literacy in the non-profit space cannot be underestimated and impactNPO is taking positive steps to support this,’’ he says.
‘‘One of the weekend’s unexpected successes was that it introduced us to a new volunteer developer that has offered ongoing support – a huge win for our charity.’’
Organisers hope to run another event. Any nonprofit organisation or IT professional can apply. Go to impactnpo.org for details.
Rebooting systems: Heart Kids fundraising and marketing manager Kerry McLeod and communications co-ordinator Kit Odlin.
Sustainable Coastlines general
manager Camden Howitt