The year before last, I heard about Connecting Up from my former pastor in relation to cost-effective licensed copies of Windows 8. I did some online research on this not-for-profit organisation and found that it supplies technology to the non-profit organisations at prices that fit well within these organisations’ budgets so they are not making “bricks without straw” and ran an article about them on HomeNetworking01.info.
Subsequently, I had decided to organise an interview of some sort with Connecting Up to find out how they are approaching this goal and contacted Mathan Allington who is their Community Engagement Coordinator.
How are they providing cheaper IT resources?
One question I raised was how they are going about providing these organisations access to cost-effective technology. They supply refurbished recent-issue computer equipment along with hardware and software that is either donated or offered at a discount to non-profit organisations. This includes the ability to license a regular computer to Windows 8.1 Pro for AUD$10 per computer ex tax or a Dell Latitude E5510 (Intel Core i3 370M horsepower, 15” screen, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb hard disk, Windows 7 Pro) for AUD$235 ex tax. These are provided to organisations that are approved by Connecting Up or participating suppliers as non-profit organisations.
How are you approaching the non-profit organisations?
Another question that I raised was what kind of outreach was Connecting Up doing to expose themselves to the non-profit sector? They mainly engage in database-driven email marketing along with social-media-based campaigns such as some Facebook-based presences that they use to touch particular organisation groups. As well, they run events and training that are pitched at this sector.
For example, they run regular webinars with their membership and run face-to-face events on a reasonably-frequent basis as well as running blogs on their Website. They want to work on ways to reach more of the non-profit sector such as establishing presence at various conferences that these non-profit organisations run or attend.
When do non-profit organisations come to you for help?
Another question I raised was whether there was difficulty in encouraging a non-profit organisation to think towards newer technology especially when they are running with older technology that they see as being “good enough”. Mathan and I reckoned that the time that these organisations consider themselves in need is when they are seeking newer equipment that is to replace current equipment that is about to break.
What I have gained from this interview is that Connecting Up is making an effort to make sure that a group of organisations who are normally at risk of using inappropriate resources for their information and communications technology are able to benefit from appropriate resources without it placing a significant dent in their cashflow.