West Seattle Helpline: Creating a technology map
Our AmeriCorps VISTA team member, Elissa Thomas recently received a thank you letter from West Seattle Helpline in regards to our Tech Assessment Program. Learn more about the difference this program made to one small poverty-fighting nonprofit...
With my time at HandsOn Tech winding down -- only 8 days left -- our major projects have been wrapped up and classes for the year are over. I received a thank-you email from Tara Byrne, executive director at West Seattle Helpline, that she wanted me to share. Tara and Nadine from WSH participated in the Tech Assessment Cohort from April through June to learn more about their organization’s technology needs.
West Seattle Helpline is a social service agency that provides information, referrals, and one-time limited financial assistance to help working families in need. Through my tech assessment I learned that West Seattle Helpline has a common challenge experienced by nonprofits of similar size: organizational databases are varied and lack integration. Information is stored in various spreadsheets and databases, and, as a result, it can be difficult to find specific information easily. On the other hand, WSH has embraced social media as a part of its online communications. The nonprofit has a Facebook presence, and social media links are on the organization’s website. The website was recently updated and can be updated by staff.
During the course of the cohort program, Tara and Nadine attended our training workshops to learn more about social media and websites for nonprofits. They learned how to create a simple social media policy and an editorial calendar that encompasses all of WSH’s online communication channels and includes measurable goals and metrics tracking. They are excited to develop greater integration between the Facebook pages, websites, and newsletter would help build a stronger fan base and increase the visibility of West Seattle Helpline’s important work.
Tara had this to say about the Tech Assessment program:
"NPower's Hand's On Tech AmeriCorps team has been extremely beneficial to the West Seattle Helpline. With their guidance and expertise, we have been able to greatly upgrade our technology, creating systems that are more efficient and better serve our clients. Prior to this program we felt lost in regards to many of the opportunities out their to greatly improve our technology. Faced with limited resources ourselves, accessing insights and advice was limited.
This program has helped us answer those questions through workshops, face to face meetings, and over the phone conversations. The Hands On Tech team has helped us get the most out of resources such as Google Apps and Facebook. They have provided great insights on web design and databases.
The Hand's On Tech team created a Technical Assessment and Strategy Map that the West Seattle Helpline uses as a guide to work towards getting the most out of technology to assist the community. We no longer feel lost, but are excited about where this new technology will take us. Thank you NPower's Hand On Tech AmeriCorps Team!"
Thanks for those kind words, Tara! Our team wishes you and West Seattle Helpline all the best.
- Elissa Thomas