Our mission is to support and encourage agencies working to bridge the digital divide. We help organizations anywhere in the world which provide training, internet access or computer resources to people who need digital access.
Our goal is to work with those agencies to improve existing programs and provide help starting programs in unserved areas. Our vision is that everyone has access to digital technology and training.
The digital divide is what separates individuals and communities from the technology and training needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.
It is almost impossible to do anything these days without having some computer literacy: applying for a job, taking the GED test, communicating with family. We help by providing resources and information about successful endeavors to bridge the digital divide.
Here is a video depicting the “homework gap” and the impact of the digital divide on education.
Our primary goals are:
- gather and share information relevant to non-profit refurbishers and technical training agencies regarding programs, processes, and resources.
- encourage initiatives in underserved communities to bridge the digital divide.
- build on existing structures to identify and address needs which aren’t being met.
We provide the following services:
- Maintain and grow this web-site as a forum for sharing of information
- Maintain a directory of organizations with similar missions
- Document, maintain, and publicize best practices
- Raise and provide funding for working together
- Provide mentoring and support for agencies that are just getting started
- Heighten awareness of the digital divide and promote the efforts being made to address it
Our accomplishments include:
- Launching in March, 2015, as an Illinois corporation recognized as a US 501(c)3
- Partnering with nineteen agencies working to bridge the digital divide. For a full listing, take a look at our partner agencies page.
- Running as a transparent organization, including publication of our monthly board meetings with recognition by GuideStar as a silver level participant.
- Writing white papers by gathering information from our partner agencies, looking for common themes, and analyzing the results. Our first Anatomy Of Best In Class, in July 2015, includes an analysis of the clients of different agencies. Our second, Lessons from Starting a Bridging Agency, March 2016, extracts some key practices learned from our partner agencies. Our third, Computer Refurbishing Process, December 2016 describes the PRC’s process as a complete example.
- Participation in industry conferences including sharing information gained through attendance. See write-ups from prior conferences in our newsletters.
Our current tasks include:
- Reaching out to existing agencies to develop a relationship, learn what they have to offer, and provide value to those agencies. (Watch our partner agency list grow.)
- Documenting and sharing information about programs, processes, and resources to publicize existing programs, facilitate collaboration and improve the capabilities of each of the member agencies. See our web pages under Training and Initiatives & Resources.
- As part of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, building connections through meetings and conferences like the NDIA Summit in Kansas City in 2016 and the planned one in May, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Regular newsletters informing partner agencies of time-sensitive information of potential value.
- Adding to our partner profiles.
- Barry’s reflections, where he shares useful information about starting and running a nonprofit.
We welcome your input, and look forward to a meaningful future.
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