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Change Happened: Big Data for a Better World 2017

25 Nov

Northeastern Ohio nonprofit innovators met for first annual Big Data for a Better World Conference on November 16 at Hyland Software’s sprawling Westlake, Ohio campus. Leading Hands Through Technology (LHTT) and Workman’s Circle teamed up to offer the event for local nonprofits to discuss how analytics could be used to help their organization’s stay profitable and sustainable. The conference, sponsored by Hyland Software and Kent Displays, captivated the attendees offering participants the chance to ask the panelists and keynote speaker questions.

Panelists included Leon Wilson from the Cleveland Foundation, David M. Holmes from the Foundation Center and Jason Therrien from Thunder::Tech. Moderated by Marc Majers, the founder of LHTT, the session focused on questions ranging from where a nonprofit should start with analytics to how an organization should continue to grow their metrics. Mr. Wilson focused on planning funding for nonprofits so they can ultimately gain traction with their mission. Leon stated that in order to start and grow metrics, organization’s need to carefully plan how they are going to generate donations and funding. Mr Holmes, a veteran of the Foundation Center, highlighted that there is a plethora of free resources to help organizations understand how to increase their reach. David gave examples of groups that walked into his center wondering how to strengthen their efforts and left with a solid game plan. The key to strengthening their efforts was first determining what they wanted to achieve. Jason spoke about using analytics as a bargaining chip to negotiate with other groups; it is amazing how most groups do not understand the value of their data and how they can use it. An organization must harness the power of their own information to effectively change minds.

The panelists stressed that nonprofits conduct an information audit and realize the what they are first own. Once organizations determine the information they have, then they must figure out what to focus on. Start with a goal and then map out a plan to accomplish it – a goal without a plan is just a wish. Find low hanging fruit and get small wins. One of these starting points is website analytics. Mr. Therrien specifically cited an organization that used Google Analytics in conjunction with Google Maps to pinpoint where donations are coming from. After doing the geographical overlay exercise, the organization identified that a high target donor area was not giving because they never canvassed the area. The group also stated that “Big Data” and “Data Scientists” are buzz words and each organization needs to define what these words need. “Big Data” from one organization to another can mean something totally different – do not get lost in the tech jargon.

Todd Packer, co-creator of the event and volunteer from Workman’s Circle, introduced the keynote speaker Kambiz Ghazinour, PhD from Kent State University who lead an intriguing session on how organizations should pay attention to how they encrypt their data. The keynote started by defining how “Big Data” was introduced during the dawn of the Internet and then moved to how it has evolved today.

Kambiz lectured that companies have time and time again run contests to challenge the world to crack their data and the Internet easily figured it out. The professor stressed that with just a few pieces of information like a date of birth, gender or ZIP, a person can be quickly identified. He referenced two examples from NetFlix and Yahoo; the two tech giants thought they had done enough to protect their customer’s identity, but that was far from the truth. Dr. Ghazinour stressed that nonprofit organizations must protect their constituents data at all costs and follow strong tactics to reduce risk of breech. He said, “Anonymization is difficult so any privacy guarantee must be proven and established formally, minimally.” If you would like review the presentation, please continue on SlideShare.

On behalf of Workman’s Circle, Leading Hands Through Technology would like to thank the speakers, sponsors, volunteers and the attendees of the first annual Big Data for a Better World Conference. If you would like to sign up for upcoming LHTT events or donate to the cause, please contact us.

 

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Big Data For A Better World

1 Nov

Does your non-profit need direction on how to properly handle analytics? Are you trying to figure out where to begin with the information you are collecting about your customers? Come to a discussion on how to be effective with the information you are collecting in this big data world.

Join us on Thursday, November 26th to discuss this topic with other non profit professionals in the Cleveland area. This is a conference on how finding and funding projects that use complex information help people and our planet. Meet researchers, technology experts, development professionals, non-profit leaders and activists to share ideas and experiences with the power and potential of big data for constructive social change.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-data-for-a-better-world-tickets-38077441653

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How To Start A Nonprofit On The Fast Track

17 Jul

Do you have an idea that sparks the creation of an organization devoted to positive change for the good for all people? Whether you already have a nonprofit that you’ve registered in your state or you are thinking of creating one, you will still need to apply for federal tax-exemption. There are benefits to creating a nonprofit organization and the biggest is being able to accept donations. 

For recognition as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3), you need to traditionally complete the 1023 form. The process can take up to six months to hear back. However the government recently released a faster process to receive your nonprofit status in as little as tweleve weeks called the 1023EZ form.

How to get your non-profit started tax-exempt organization:
1) Complete the 1023EZ online application
2) Pay $275
3) Have less than $50,000 in assets
4) Have a mission statement

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1023ez

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Adopt Your Perfect Pet With Petfinder

10 Jul

Are you looking for a house pet? Have you searched your local animal shelters and pet stores with no luck? I recently had a friend tell me how they found their pet using Petfinder. The site allows you to search for dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, birds, fish and barnyard animals in your local area. If you are interested in a pet, you then simply click a button to ask for more information and a representative will follow-up with you. You can also sponsor an animal with the Petfinder Foundation which will allow you to make a donation.

If you are not sure you want to adopt a pet just yet, the site also offers a host of articles about adopting cats and dogs. For example, if you plan on bringing home a dog, the site offers articles on what do in the first 30 days. You can also read their blog and watch videos.

Search the site to adopt your perfect pet!
http://Petfinder.com

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End Hunger In America

27 Feb

Are you looking for a good cause to donate your efforts? Have you considered No Hungry Kid? The organization is working to eliminate the child hunger epidemic in America. The site says, “1 out of 5 kids in America don’t get the food they need which impacts their health and threatens their futures in profound ways.” You can help by signing up to support the cause. Each time you dine out at participating restaurants, you’ll help feed children who don’t have enough to eat.

https://www.nokidhungry.org/

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Winter Swimming Safety Tips

9 Dec

Do you know how to survive in rough water conditions? Watch this tragic story about a man who lived to tell about a life changing swimming accident. If you are drowning, you need to flip, float & follow. Flip over on your back, float to keep your head above water and follow the current.  

Because I Said I Would is a nonprofit organization that gives you the tools to keep your promises and make a difference in the world. It’s nonprofits like this that LHTT supports and wants to help.

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Make a Splash & Save a Child’s Life

3 Aug

Did you know that ten people a day drown in the US? Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children under 5. Drowning is preventable. Have you considered signing your child up for swimming lessons?

This month’s featured nonprofit is the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative. It is a national child-focused water safety campaign which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Olympic athletes visit local establishments to raise awareness of water safety and the importance of swimming lessons.

For more information on this nonprofit, please follow the link below.
usaswimmingfoundation.org/makeasplash

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Toyota’s 100 Cars For Good

1 Jul

Do you know a non-profit organization that needs a new car? Toyota has an annual program called 100 Cars for Good that provides non-profit organizations vehicles to assist them in performing their community service. Yes, Toyota gives away 100 brand new vehicles! How do you qualify? The organization needs to explain how a new Toyota would help their organization.

Up to 2,500 nonprofits can register to participate. Toyota will announce 250 finalists. Then 150 finalists are selected by the public and the top 100 voted win. The 50 finalists who are not selected will each receive a $1,000 donation from Toyota. Winners can choose a new Toyota Highlander, Prius, Sienna, Sienna Mobility or Tundra. Each vehicle comes with a 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Even if organizations don’t become a finalist, Toyota suggests joining the 100 Cars for Good program to just help build awareness of the group’s mission.

http://www.100carsforgood.com

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What’s The Impact of An Hour of Coding?

28 Apr

Have you thought about getting your kids into computer programming at an early age? Code.org suggests that just an hour of coding can change the direction of student and push them into a career of technology. The site says, “The Hour of Code is at its core not about learning a brand new skill in just one hour. One hour isn’t enough to learn how to code. It’s about increasing access to computer science by breaking stereotypes and opening doors. Somebody may learn programming concepts like loops, conditionals, or basic debugging through the Hour of Code. But a much more important goal is for students and teachers to learn that computer science is fun — you can start at any age, in any classroom, even if you don’t have a computer.”

Discover how to get your child into computer science.
https://code.org/about/evaluation/hourofcode

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Pencils Of Promise

4 Feb

Pencils of Promise is a non-profit organization that believes everyone deserves access to quality education. They are working to reshape the landscape of education guided by opening new schools around the world. Not only do they build schools, they also offer scholarships and supporting teachers. The difference with this organization is once they build a school, they continue to support it. If you are want to make difference in a student’s life, consider donating to Pencils of Promise.

https://pencilsofpromise.org/

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