Background by gabyion


									                   CTC Toolkit
     A (hopefully) helpful list of resources for Austin-area
              Community Technology Centers

  Prepared by "Evaluating Community Technology Centers" Policy
Research Project at LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at

                              Spring 2002

                                    CTC Toolkit
        In addition to doing academic research, our team wanted to use our
research knowledge to help local CTCs. This tool kit includes resources for meeting
needs that we were told about by many of the CTCs we worked with. CTCs are often
busy doing the day-to-day work of running an organization – we as students had time to
"pull back" and put some effort into helping with broader concerns.

        This resource guide includes helpful websites for CTC teachers, staff dealing with
funding concerns, and volunteer recruiters. We've also created a guide to writing press
releases and an address book of the local CTCs we've worked with to encourage
networking. And we highlight several Austin-area organizations that can help nonprofits
not just survive, but thrive.

       Page 3: Address book
       A directory of the Austin CTCs who have shared their time with us, including
       hours of operation and populations served.

       Page 4: General Resources
       Austin-area organizations and our favorite websites.

       Page 5: Educational Resources
       Websites for kids that encourage learning as well as game-playing, and sites for
       teachers to find project ideas, curricula, and information about teaching with
       technology. Includes websites for GED and ESL practice.

       Page 8: Volunteer/Intern Recruitment
       Contacts and procedures for recruiting volunteers and interns from local
       universities, corporations, and the community.

       Page 12: Media Kit Guidelines and Press Release Template
       Guidance for creating materials to share your organization's accomplishments.

       Page 15: Grantwriting Resources
       Austin resources and web sites that help nonprofits find money.

                      General Resources for CTC Staff

Key Austin Organizations

Austin Community College Center for Community-Based and Nonprofit
The center offers tons of workshops, publications, networking opportunities, and a stack
of other resources to assist nonprofits in Austin. Best of all, almost all of their services
are FREE. Can anyone say "free staff development?"

Texas Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO)
TANO is a membership organization for nonprofit organizations in Texas. Members
receive TANO's newsletter and the newsletter of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center
(NRMC), free consultation with NRMC, and discounts on goods and services. TANO is
also an advocate in promoting the visibility of the nonprofit sector in Texas.


America Connects
America Connects is a nonprofit organization. This section of their website offers
resources to organizations interested in developing their technology offerings. Sections
include: starting a CTC, sustaining a CTC, capacity building, partnerships, technology,
education, disability inclusion, workforce development, economic development, program
design and digital divide.

Tech Soup
Tech Soup offers comprehensive guidance for nonprofits who use technology. Their
focus is on use of technology within organizations, but they also have a section on CTCs.
Articles are practical as well as general, and offer something from everyone whatever
their level of technological skill.

                              Educational Resources

Sites for Kids and Parents

Playing games is fun and helps a child learn about computers, but they shouldn't skimp
on other learning. Here are a few sites that combine fun and learning.
This site has educational activities for kids, parents and teachers. For the kids, there are
brain games such as playing the piano, tic-tac-toe that helps you practice math, and a
game where you feed bananas to a gorilla by correctly identifying parts of speech. For
parents, they have quizzes about characteristics of children at different stages of
development and online parent-kid challenges. Teachers can use the site to find learning
games appropriate to the age group they are working with and give paperless quizzes.
This site has information for students, parents and teachers. For students, Discovery
offers lessons on history and culture that are designed to be both engaging and
interesting, homework help, and science fair project ideas. Teachers can access pre-
designed lesson plans or create and store their own. Parents who home school can get
lessons at this site, and all parents can use these resources to help their children be more
successful in school.
This site includes sections titled Play, Laugh, Think, Create, and Talk. Each section is
interactive, so participants can post their own words: anything from jokes to creative
work such as brain teasers. The site offers ideas for art projects and printable crossword
puzzles as well as computer games.
Austin's local PBS station hosts resources for adult learning, family learning, an online
classroom, and kids' space. They have several online educational programs for kids, such
as "Don't Buy It! Get Media Smart!" and "It's My Life."

Resources for Teaching with Technology
Virtual Resource Site for Teaching With Technology
This site offers two training modules for educators who want to integrate technology into
their classrooms. The first module covers technical skills for selecting and using different
types of electronic media, from PowerPoint to streaming media. The second module
focuses more on how these media can be used in a classroom, with an emphasis of
encouraging interactivity in learning.

Teaching with Electronic Technology
This comprehensive site offers articles on the effects of technology in education, ideas for
class projects, links to journals that discuss teaching with technology, and high quality
online resources for a variety of subjects.

The TLT Group
TLT stands for Teaching, Learning, Technology. The TLT Group is a non-profit
organization that works with subscriber institutions to improve teaching and learning
through use of information technology. Their website offers many free resources, from
high-level conceptual articles to materials from their workshops.

PBS TeacherSource: Technology and Teaching
This PBS site offers information on online professional development, quick tutorials on
computer setup and use, and specific ideas for lessons in several subjects that integrate

National Education Association: Focus on Technology
The NEA site prints a "letters to the editor" column where teachers ask questions and
share projects, short articles on technology and education topics, a message board for
communicating with other teachers, and a searchable database of Internet links submitted
by teachers, kids, and parents.

Designed for university professors, but this site section called "Teaching: Integrating
Technology" is a must-read for all teachers who work with technology. Each teaching
guide in this section approaches a goal of teaching, such as encouraging discussion and
supporting active learning, and discusses how technology can help teachers achieve that

Project-Based Learning with Multimedia
This project has developed articles, assessment guides, planning documents, and a
collection of examples of project-based learning that have incorporated technology.

Education World: The Educator's Best Friend
The best site for anything related to teaching. The site is divided into sections by subject
matter for every subject and grade level. Teachers can find resources for lesson planning
and curriculum as well as links to current education policy issues. Check out the
"Technology in the Classroom" section at

Sites for GED Information
Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials
The official GED web site, which gives information about the test and locations of testing
centers. This site is also helpful because it is full of practice tests and helpful hints. This
would be perfect for either student or teacher.

FAQs about the test and a self-administered practice test. Again, this would be a great
site for a teacher interested in giving practice tests or for students who would like to
practice on their own. It could be used as homework, and in-class test, or simply just as

Sites for ESL practice
The Internet ESL Journal
Monthly web journal for ESL teachers. Great to see what is going on in your field and
what those around you are doing.

BYU-Hawaii Language Center
Offers grammar and vocabulary exercises. This site can be used for either adults or for
youngsters depending on your aims. The practice exercises can be used for fun, for
homework, or just practice. It is a great way to integrate language acquisition skills into
computer technology skills.

Activities for ESL Students
Offers English grammar and vocabulary quizzes, bilingual quizzes in English and 18
other languages, and tips for teachers on using quizzes. This is a great site for teachers. It
can lighten their load of preparation - the quizzes are right there for you. Mostly used for
younger students.

English Exercises for ESL Students
Bulleted list of online English exercises. Another great site to help teachers with their
lesson planning. The exercises are already prepared for you. You can use this at the
beginning of class and it will serve two purposes. You can have students practice their
language skills and their computer skills.

     Resources for Volunteer Recruitment and Management

Key Austin Organization
Directors of Volunteers in Austin (DOVIA)
DOVIA is a membership organization for professionals who are volunteer coordinators.
They offer seminars in volunteer management to both members and non-members for a
small fee. Monthly meetings for members also include skill-building workshops. Their
website lists a number of useful Austin-area resources for working with volunteers.

General Resources for Volunteer Recruitment

Key Austin Organizations:

Capital Area United Way Office of Volunteers
Phone: (512) 323-1898
Agencies can post volunteer opportunities through the United Way database, which is
arguably the "biggest" volunteer recruitment avenue in Austin.

Retired Senior Volunteer Persons (RSVP)
Contact: Fred Lugo, (512) 854-7787
RSVP maintains a clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities in Travis County that could
benefit from volunteering by older Americans.


Organizations can post volunteer opportunities at the following national sites:
Also includes the ability to post virtual volunteering opportunities.



Corporate Volunteer Recruitment Contacts
Austin Chamber of Commerce, 478-9383

Austin-American Statesman, Loretta McArti at 445-3709

GSDM, David Rockwood in Community Relations at 427-4736

Motorola, 933-6000

Wells Fargo, Sheri Bebee in the Charmain/CEO Office at 344-7000

University Resources for Volunteer Recruitment
Austin Community College: Volunteer Recruiting
Contact: Liz Smith
Student Life Department
Austin Community College
1212 Rio Grande Street
Austin, TX 78701
Volunteer recruitment at ACC is still fairly new, but there is a "Make a Difference"
project which promotes volunteering to students. Liz has worked with Austin FreeNet to
help them recruit volunteers, but she is also interested in hearing from other CTCs. An
ACC volunteer recruitment fair is held in the fall on each campus in conjunction with
back-to-school activities, and nonprofit organizations are invited to attend. To get into the
ACC "system," please send information about the agency to Liz by postal mail. CTCs can
also contact the Program Director of the Computer Science program, Mary Kohls, at or 223-3185. She is particularly interested in student volunteering
and is the mentor for a honor society that does service projects. ***The biggest asset that
ACC has to offer as a volunteer recruitment source is the number of languages spoken by
its students. They have a large international population that is worth tapping into.***

University of Texas: LBJ School of Public Affairs Internship Program
Contact: Debbie Warden, Internship Coordinator
Phone: (512) 471-0289
LBJ School students seek paid, policy-related internships in the federal, state, local,
nonprofit and private sectors. The internship must be 40 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Internships are generally taken during the summer between the first and second years of
the program. LBJ interns in nonprofit organizations have assisted with research and
report writing, program planning, grantwriting, advocacy, and program evaluation. Some
LBJ funding is usually available to assist students who take unpaid internships with

University of Texas: School of Social Work Volunteer Recruitment
Contact: Jennifer Luna Idunate, LMSW
Director of Recruitment, Career Services and Alumni Relations
The University of Texas at Austin
1925 San Jacinto Blvd. (near Red River)
Phone: (512) 475-8131
Fax: (512) 471-9600
Social Work students are expected to do volunteer work for several of their core courses.
CTCs can email volunteer opportunities to Jennifer. The information will be sent out on
listservs to current students and alumni who are seeking volunteer opportunities. Social
Work Career Services is also the home of Austin Volunteer Network (AVN), a web
database that the students use to search for volunteer opportunities. Agencies may post
volunteer opportunities directly at the AVN ( If
CTC staff are interested in posting fliers about their programs and opportunities, there is
a student lounge at the school on the ground floor. The School of Social Work also has a
volunteer fair in August. Once CTCs post information to AVN, they will be added to the
mailing list and will receive information on participating in the volunteer fair.

University of Texas: Technology, Literacy, and Culture Internship Program
The TLC program is an "interdisciplinary concentration within the College of Liberal
Arts." The internship program is designed to give students a combination of digital
experience and the human side of working with computers. Information for potential
internship sponsors is found at

University of Texas: Volunteer Recruitment
Phone: (512) 471-6161
The UT Volunteer Center uses the "Volunteer Solutions" database to connect nonprofit
organizations and student volunteers. To register your organization and add volunteer
opportunities, go to the website and click on "searchable database" under "Find Volunteer
Opportunities." At the bottom of the search page, follow the link under "Are you a
Nonprofit?" to register and post volunteer information.

Southwest Texas: Volunteer Recruitment
To recruit volunteers at Southwest Texas, send an email to Lisa Monfredo at Please include the following information in your email: times and
days you need volunteers, specific volunteer tasks, what training is required, and any
other pertinent information. Information about special events that need volunteers can
also be sent and it will be posted on the Student Organization Website at Staff at the Southwest Texas Student Activities Center
will take information to volunteer opportunities events and send out to the distribution list

of about 250 people. If the Student Center adopts your event, it will be posted on their
website at

St. Edward's University: Volunteer Recruitment
Career Planning and Experiential Learning Department
Phone: (512) 448-8530
Fax: (512) 448-8549
The Career Planning Department at SEU organizes volunteer opportunity information for
students and alumni. Their Volunteer Opportunities Page is located at This website has a list of student organizations
that do service projects and a link to the "Volunteer Solutions" Database started by UT.
The department also hosts a volunteer fair annually in the fall - call for more information.

St. Edward's University: Internship Recruitment
Career Planning also assists organizations in recruiting interns. Many departments at SEU
encourage their students to do service projects or internships as part of courses or degree
requirements. 53% of all majors require internships. Examples include teams of business
students working with agencies to develop marketing plans and psychology students
working in agencies to provide client services. Career Planning staff can help you design
and market an internship. Fax your posting to them at the number above or call for more

                       Creating Your Own Media Kit

What is a media kit?

A media kit is an effective tool that can raise awareness of the programs available at your
center as well as serve as a medium for networking with possible funders or other

What is in a media kit?

A media kit contains four important pieces that can be stored in a simple folder with your
organization's name or logo and delivered to anyone who is interested in learning more
about your organization:

   1. A brochure or position paper that outlines the programs that your center offers as
      well as the mission/vision of your organization.
   2. A fact sheet that illustrates the community issues that your organization addresses
      - for example, a chart that describes the number of families in your community
      that do not have access to computers and other technology compared to
      surrounding areas in your city as well as nationally.
   3. A press release that describes some special event, such as the start of a new
      program, your center's receiving a grant, etc.
   4. The business card of the contact person at your center (e.g. a program or
      executive director).

Why use a media kit?

A media kit gives your organization the opportunity to make others aware of the positive
work that is taking place with at your center. If you are interested in promoting your
program in order to increase the number of participants, drop off your media kit at any
media outlet (newspaper, television, radio) with a press release about the beginning of
one of your programs so that you can receive free coverage. Not interested in
"publicizing" your programs, then you can use a media kit to send to potential partners.
For example, a media kit is an easy way to give potential partners information about your
center at a conference or meeting. Finally, you can use a media kit to acknowledge the
accomplishments of your participants. For instance, a press release sent to a community
publication could result in an article highlighting the accomplishments of a recent group
of graduates from your program. In general, think of the media kit as one more way to
"talk" about your center and all of its work with others.

                             Press Release Template

                                Your Logo Here
Contact Information:
Program Director Name
Address for the site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (date) Put the date that you want the information

“Title Here” (Example: New Students Anxious to Get an Upper Hand on Technology)

CITY, STATE (Example: AUSTIN, TX) – This is the opening paragraph, and it should be
really brief but explain all important points. This paragraph should be anywhere from 3
to 5 sentences. It should include the event that’s going on, the date, time and important

The next paragraph goes into more detail. For example, this section could explain the
importance of the event and why it’s taking place. This is a good place to mention that
the program and its participants depend on grants and other outside funding. In general,
remember that most important information should be placed at the beginning of the
article - information at the end is less likely to be read.

Another section could talk about the need for your particular program(s). This is where
you’ll go in detail about how it got started and what services you offer. Once again, you
should keep paragraphs at about 3 to 5 sentences in length.

The very last paragraph is called the “boilerplate.” It is usually no more than 2 to3
sentences. Example: The Digital Workforce Academy strives to meet workforce
demands in the digital economy by providing technology skills to underemployed
members of our community. The academy is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that
fosters community revitalization through education and technology training.


(This mark lets the reader know that it is the end of the article.)

Notes on Press Releases:

      Be as brief as possible, but include all important information.
      If it’s over two pages, be sure to include a keyword that describes the article
       (example: program opening) and page # on top left corner.
      Use quotes when possible. If you can quote a prominent community leader
       making positive remarks about your center, then you can show support for your
      Include pictures if you can, but keep them separate from the release.
      Times to use a press release: an important event, a reaction to some news event, in
       local papers to show participant accomplishment, or just on your own website to
       let people know what you’re doing.
      Publications may copy directly from your press release to create an article. Make
       sure the press release puts your best foot forward.

                                Funding Resources
Our research team has noted the importance of diversified funding in the survival of a
CTC. We have also found that many CTCs have not had time to develop sufficient
grantwriting skills "in house" to build a diverse funding base. The following resources
can be helpful in the grantwriting process.

Regional Foundation Library
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Lake Austin Centre, 4th Floor
3001 Lake Austin Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703
Phone: 512-741-5041
Fax: 512-471-2999
Hours: Weekdays, 8-5, except UT holidays
Contact: Allison Supancic
The RFL of the Hogg Foundation is a library where grantseekers can research possible
funding sources. Allison or other library staff are happy to meet with new library users
and give them a free "tour" of the collection as well as advice and strategies for using it
efficiently. Appointments are preferred, but not required, because all visitors can get
personalized attention that focuses on their funding needs.

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Austin Chapter
Contact: Claire Verrette Mathias at (512) 370-1665 or
Dues: $25 annually
This group meets monthly for speakers, mentoring, and networking. Anyone who does
fundraising as part of their job is welcome to join.

State Grants Team
The State Grants Team in the Governor's Office has a "Grant Alert" email list and lists of
government and non-government funders by issue area. The State Grants Team also
provides grant writing training to state agencies, political subdivisions of the state, and
other entities on a cost recovery basis. The Grants Team's proposal writing training
workshop is designed to familiarize novice and intermediate-level proposal writers with
the various aspects of proposal writing. To schedule a training or if you have questions,
please call Ron Ayer at (512) 463-8465.

The Foundation Center
This site helps people to look for the grant maker by supporting more than 2,000
annotated links to grantmaker Web sites. Its links are categorized by four grantmaker
types: Private Foundations, Corporate Grantmakers, Grantmaking Public Charities, and
Community Foundations, and all annotations are searchable except those of Community
Foundations. The sections "Finding Funders" and "Learning Lab" are the most useful,
according to staff at the RFL. They also have an email list called "Philanthropy News
Digest" that publicizes news about funding trends and one called "RFP Bulletin" where
information about new grants is posted by funders.

Their database of nonprofit organizations can be used to look up information on potential
funders, and also look up other organizations that have received grants you're trying to
get and see how they compare. Staff at the RFL says that most organizations are willing
to share copies of their successful grant proposals if you call or email, so researching past
recipients is a good strategy.

Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations is a nonprofit membership organization for funders. You can
use their site do to research on what funders fall into different "affinity groups," which
translates to "issue area they want to fund."

The Grantsmanship Center Magazine
To subscribe:
This is a FREE printed newsletter with information about grantwriting and financial
management. These people know everything, and they're more than willing to share their


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