In May 2009, TechSoup Global and Microsoft Corporation jointly sponsored the 2009 Microsoft-TechSoup “Show Your Impact!” Contest. Below are the winners of that contest which was open to any US 501(c)(3) or public library or Canadian charity that had received donations through the TechSoup Microsoft Software Donation Program. In that contest, nonprofits were asked to submit their project into one of three categories. Find the impressive winners of each category below.
The winners in each category are:
- Stable and Secure Technology: Raising the Bar - Serving Hunger and Poverty in Cincinnati (Freestore Foodbank)
- Optimize Mission Delivery: nytheatre.com (The New York Theatre Experience)
- Transformations to Maximize Impact: ReliefPoint (The Pangea Foundation)
Stable and Secure Technology: Raising the Bar - Serving Hunger and Poverty in Cincinnati
The Freestore Foodbank, the third largest food bank in Ohio, provides a full array of services to assist the Cincinnati area’s most vulnerable citizens with housing, food, clothing, transportation, access to healthcare/treatment programs, identification, referrals to job training and other social services agencies, and other every day needs. Their food services program serves over 160,000 individuals a year through different programs focused on both the urban and rural poor, and undernourished children, providing hot food and food pantries.
The Freestore Foodbank used Microsoft Technology donations through TechSoup to: 1) establish a server-based network between its locations, 2) standardize their desktops so everyone was using the same operating system and version of Microsoft Office, 3) move everyone onto a common email platform, and, most critically, 4) use Data Protection Manager (DPM) software for making shadow copy/replica backups of files. The efficiencies achieved through standardizing and securing the basic technologies that underpins their work has significantly impacted the Foodbank’s ability to serve an increasing number of clients, expand programs, and bounce back with little disruption in service when windstorms in September 2008 left one of their centers without power for four days.
Optimize Mission Delivery: nytheatre.com
The New York Theatre Experience, (NYTE) uses new and traditional media to highlight, nurture, promote, and advance the work of thousands of indie/nonprofit theatre practitioners making groundbreaking and foundational art in New York City. NYTE has an annual budget under $100K, one full-time staffer, and an extensive team of nonprofit theatre professionals as volunteers. The NYTE website, nytheatre.com, received more than 7 million hits last year from people coming to learn what is playing in New York theatres, buy tickets, and read artist interviews and production reviews.
NYTE has optimized the performance of nytheatre.com through the implementation of Microsoft technologies to make it easier to manage and make it more user friendly, displaying a greater breadth of information. MapPoint allows NYTE to geocode locations of more than 200 venues listed on nytheatre.com. Their SQL Server/VB 2005 system facilitates the management and mobilization of volunteers more effectively, most crucially during FringeNYC when volunteers sign up to review 1500 performances of more than 200 theatre, dance, puppetry, comedy, and dramatic productions over a 17-day period. The SQL Server database also enables the website’s "Trip Planner" feature to display a customized page showing exactly what shows are playing during a given period of interest.
The donated Microsoft software has enabled NYTE to optimize their user-friendly, feature-rich website to more effectively promote the work of hundreds of nonprofit theatre companies to an audience of 3 million people annually, and all at no cost to the nonprofit theatres themselves.
Transformations to Maximize Impact: ReliefPoint
In 2008, the Pangea Foundation, a provider of custom, software-as-a-service to nonprofits, developed ReliefPoint™, an online solution that serves as a single, unified communications platform for disaster relief organizations. The Foundation utilized Microsoft technologies to develop a robust, real-time intelligence hub for nationwide disaster relief coordination by integrating enterprise-class software, visual analytics, and interactive web 2.0 technologies.
Because ReliefPoint is securely accessible via the web, the various organizations involved in a specific disaster relief effort are able to input information directly into the software which can immediately be utilized by call center operators for communication it to the public. In addition, information about the origin and nature of the calls coming in from the public can be used to provide real-time trend insight to relief agencies and public officials. ReliefPoint has been used by disaster relief organizations responding to the 2008 Midwest floods, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike, the 2009 Santa Barbara fires and, most recently, the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) to transform how disaster services are delivered and reported across America.