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In this issue:

December 5, 2002

Free or Low-Cost Computers

ACF Supports Food Pantry Project

Tech Conference for Nonprofit Leaders

Surviving the Funding Slump

Verizon Wants You to Apply for Free Training! 

Did You Know? Our Secrets for Better Computing

Register for Upcoming Classes

Training  Schedule 






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CharityAdvantage Offers Free or Low-Cost Computers, Laptops, Monitors

The CharityAdvantage Computer Program assists nonprofits with technology through computer donations and a computer purchase assistance program. The deals look good (a Pentium II computer for $300 and laptops for as low as $50), so it might be worth looking into.

When purchasing computers through programs like this, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • Start small. Order one or two things from the company. Make sure you are happy with their service for at least 2-3 months before you make large commitments.
  • Make sure you know whether the equipment you are purchasing is new or used. Remember that computers have a life expectancy of 3-5 years.
  • When getting used equipment, make sure that the memory capacity is sufficient: a minimum of 128 MB Ram and 4 GB hard drive. If the equipment you want does not have these minimums, you might want to budget for memory upgrades. If you are using Office 2000 and Office XP, you probably want to upgrade the memory to 256 MB Ram.
  • Don't forget connectivity! If your organization uses a network, then the computer should have a network interface card (NIC), sometimes called an Ethernet card. If you need to access the internet through a phone line, then you will need a modem.

Full details are at

If you work with CharityAdvantage, please share your experiences with us. And remember: Project Connect does not endorse any agency; we simply provide information as a public service.


Akron Community Foundation Supports Food Pantry Project

The Board of Trustees of the Akron Community Foundation has approved a grant of $10,000 to Info Line so that Project Connect can add five additional pantries to the food pantry network.

Through the generosity of the Community Technology Fund and the GAR Foundation, Project Connect successfully implemented a pilot project to connect 15 food pantries in 2002. Response has been highly positive, and the project has had a significant impact on the pantries’ service delivery and reporting processes.

As a result of their participation, pantry volunteers and staff are able to do their jobs more efficiently, thereby serving more clients with less effort. Participating pantries are be able to computerize functions that have previously been done manually, such as ordering food supplies from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. And training and technical support ensure efficient use of the technology and connectivity.

Although the direct beneficiaries of this project are the staff of the participating food pantries, improvements in business operations, service delivery, and mission fulfillment will also significantly benefit the clients and families they serve.

Our long-term strategic goal is to make this opportunity available for all 81 Akron-area pantries interested in participating. We are sincerely grateful to the support of the Akron Community Foundation which will allow us to add 5 more pantries to this project in 2003.


Making Sense Out of a Wired World: OANO's Technology Conference for Nonprofit Leaders
December 16, 2003

Executive directors face a different set of technology issues than other staff members. Most executive directors are hired for programmatic rather than technological expertise, and in the technology arena are placed in the position of making decisions about staffing, hardware, software, policies, and planning in an information vacuum. OANO is hosting a one-day Technology Conference for Nonprofit Leaders on December 16 from 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM in Columbus. Sessions include:

  • Integrate Your Technology Plan with Your Strategic Plan
  • Your Technology Partner - Who to Hire and How to Make it Work
  • System Integration for Increased Productivity
  • Beyond the Basic Website
  • Technology Benchmarks and How to Get There
  • Success Stories

Hotel rooms are very inexpensive ($56 per night), so the trip can definitely be worthwhile. For more information, visit or contact Rick Moyers at 614-280-0233 or .


Surviving the Funding Slump

In "Surviving the Funding Slump: Advice from a Grantmaker," Dynell Garron, author of The Funder’s Checklist: An Inside Look at How Funders Evaluate Proposals and Nonprofit Organizations offers eleven guidelines to help nonprofit organizations work effectively with funders during turbulent times.

His advice includes, "Be prepared to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. Have a compelling thirty second introduction prepared and well-rehearsed. Be ready to quickly turn around an effective Letter of Inquiry (LOI). The LOI is to grant seeking what the resume is to a job search -- a critical first step. It must compel a funder to request a full proposal."

For the full article, visit


Did you know ...

Tabs are wonderful for lining up text in columns. But how many times have you had to tab two, three, seven times in order to get something to go where you want it? Learn to set tabs and you can avoid this messy practice! The best news is that it is VERY easy to do. So ...

Word 1 & 2

bullet First, make sure you see the horizontal ruler at the top of the page. If you don't see it, then go to View/Ruler and make sure it is checked.
bullet Highlight the text you want to apply the tab formatting to.
bullet To set a tab, simply click on the ruler! A black L will show up as your tab marker. Easy, eh?
bullet To move a tab, simply click on the tab marker, drag to where you want it, and then let go.
bullet To delete a tab, click on the tab marker and drag down.
bullet The box to the left of the ruler is your tab tool. The L means a left tab. If you click on it once, it turns into an upside down T. This is a center tab. Click on it again and it turns into a backwards L. This is a right tab. Play around with these tabs to see how they differ and share with others how this can make your work easier!


Register for Upcoming Classes

Register for upcoming classes as soon as possible. Call 330-315-1335 or e-mail . Cost is $40 per person for staff and volunteers of member organizations;$60 per person for staff and volunteers of non-member organizations.

bullet Intro to Computers 1: The Basics
12/11/02 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
bullet Intro to Computers 2: Increasing Your Efficiency
12/18/02 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
bullet Intro to the Internet
12/19/02 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Visit for to see our training schedule for January - March 2003. Or call us at 330-315-1335 and we'll fax you a copy.


Verizon Funds Training

The Verizon Foundation—the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications—is helping northeast Ohio nonprofits improve their use of computer technology by paying for their Project Connect training. Each eligible organization can apply for training for 3 staff members per organization; 3 classes per application; 3 applications per year. For directions on completing the application, visit

For the latest training schedule, visit



If you would like us to mail you a newsletter with the most recent schedule and a list of all our services, please call us at 330-315-1335 or e-mail .




As always, we are interested in hearing from you to learn how we can best meet your technology and connectivity needs. Give us a call at 330-315-1335 or e-mail us at

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