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Interested in Skills-Based Volunteering? Learn about Tech Soup’s NetSquared Tech4Good Groups!

August 2017- Erica Woods, Manager of Contractor and Community Relations, Principal

Skills-based volunteering is becoming increasingly popular, and there is no shortage of information technology and digital marketing professionals who are interested in giving their time to share their knowledge with nonprofits in need of technology guidance as well as building social good products! The biggest challenge to them is often "who can I help that needs my skills? Which channels or platforms exists where I can engage and support/volunteer?"

There are so many wonderful organizations and initiatives out there, such as:

  1. Project management for change and their annual project management day of service events
  2. Year Up
  3. Humanitarian toolbox
  4. Operation code
  5. STEM, robotics, etc. programs in middle and high schools
  6. Civic or charity hackathons/codeathons hosted in many cities

Another opportunity, if you live in an area that has one, is through Tech Soup's NetSquared Tech4Good/Nonprofit Tech groups. Tech Soup is a non-profit based in San Francisco who supports over 400,000 nonprofits across the world, primarily through product donations, educational webinars, and other educational related content to assist nonprofits with their information technology tools, knowledge, and strategy.

NetSquared groups, a Tech Soup program, are essentially technology user groups/clubs geared towards helping nonprofits. With over 50 groups in the world, and about 30 in the US and Canada, their goal is to have meetings that bring together technology professionals and nonprofits in an effort to provide real-time advice and troubleshooting/bug fixes. The goal is for nonprofits to have better technology platforms and a roadmap for keeping their technology current and effective in supporting their mission!

There are about 30 US cities who currently have active NetSquared Tech4Good groups; including: Austin, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City, Raleigh, Orlando, Naples, Houston, Portland, Columbus, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Paul, New Orleans, Boston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Most of these groups are on MeetUp and have a social media presence. Time commitment as a volunteer can be what you want it to be, from two hours a month if you're able to attend that months’ meeting, to more hours if you offer to help a nonprofit outside of NetSquared meetings/events! Many groups, such as Baltimore, also host mini one day codeathon's where a group of programmers will build some pro bono websites for a small group of nonprofits!

Have you been looking for ways to share your knowledge through skills-based volunteering? Learn more at netsquared.org. Get connected with your local Netsquared group if there is one near you! If there isn't one already, and you're interested in launching a group, contact Elijah van der Giessen, a NetSquared Community Manager at Tech Soup, via eli@techsoupglobal.org.

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