Looking at a room of 30 people from all walks of the nonprofit sector, I wasn’t sure my planned session was going to work. The participants represented very diverse causes – from HIV intervention and prevention, cultural restoration and preservation, empowerment of rural farmers, faith-based child protection, food wastage, disability rights, to LGBTQ and gender rights. Would they be able to relate to each other’s challenges, goals and missions?
That first session, and the four more over the next few months worked. Feedback from participants were positive, “This is exactly what we needed : someone to help to identify our pain points, and map out a plan to help us achieve our goals.”
Others echoed the same sentiment: “It is easier when we map out the goals, determine the most important one, then list the things we need to do to achieve the goal. It was helpful to learn to prioritize, and see how much technology is needed in each action. Otherwise, we just don’t know where to start, or how to start.”
Having designed and facilitated five workshops for a variety of nonprofits from 15 countries in the region, including the Federation of Micronesia, an important theme has become clear:
As TechSoup continues to empower civil society around the world, it has also become part of our goal to help the nonprofit sector map out a sustainability path. By helping nonprofits list out their goals, map and prioritize major steps in their action plan, it is also imperative for TechSoup to help them understand the role of technology in achieving their goal. Ideally, this reduces the fear of having to embrace and implement technology, all at once.
Over time, we hope that these nonprofit organizations with great visions, can take the lessons learned from the small workshop sessions and use that to pave successes ahead.