DonorTec is a software and hardware donation program for charities and nonprofits. Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA) operates the program, which has saved Australian non-profit organisations over $10 million in just over six months.
The www.donortec.com.au program is a conduit for technology companies to donate goods and services to Nonprofit organisations, freeing core funds for community services and training. Key donors are Microsoft and Cisco, with others to join shortly.
Microsoft alone will donate more than $20 million in software in 2007 through the program, while Cisco is another major partner with donations in the millions of dollars of its networking products.
DonorTec markets the program and so far has been the most successful country partner in the global program…
despite its success, the number of organizations who have accessed the program is still just a small fraction of organisations that we estimate would be eligible for the program. So it is very important that the word spreads to help as many groups as possible save on their IT expenditure. Groups that could not afford to upgrade their systems can now afford to do so!
DonorTec started taking registrations in March this year and over 2000 organisations are now registered which is still just the tip of the iceberg of estimated numbers of eligible organisations in Australia – a sector which is at least 3% of Australia’s GDP and larger than the IT sector itself.
Organisations that have received donations range from rural financial counselling services that support drought-stricken farmers, to seniors learning about computers, to Aboriginal youth development to Employment services, for example:
Renmark Paringa Community Centre has had a welcome hand of help from the IT donations program, DonorTec. The Coordinator, Cheryl Ingerson says,
“We have a very small budget and the donations have allowed us to upgrade our computer systems and maintain the important employment, training and life programs we are running.
It is just fantastic that some companies have the insight to reach out to people who couldn’t otherwise afford this technology.”
DonorTec supported the Kurbingui Youth Development Association in Brisbane to access the program with its first online shopping experience to order and receive donated Microsoft products.
Kurbingui manager Sue Perel says that receiving the goods was ‘like Christmas’, enabling the association to plan its programs for the next year knowing they will have the resources to do it.
“….the saving is immeasurable, DonorTec lets us plan ahead for developing programs and know that we have the resources on hand instead of waiting for a funding opportunity. Our training area requires continual maintenance and updating, which is very costly, so we depend on donations of used computers from government departments.”
Leigh Hubbard, Executive Officer of the Asbestos Diseases Society of Victoria, says,
“We had a small server and two new PCs installed several weeks ago (with Microsoft software) and the ordering, delivery and installation went seamlessly. It has not only saved us many hundreds of dollars but revitalised office morale! Being able to avoid all that spam and get on the net quickly is such a boon to our office!”
Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West www.rfcs-cw.com.au
provide free financial counselling and other information services across the region to provide support for farming families and small rural business who are suffering financial hardship especially important right now with Australia’s severe drought.
Louise Fisher of RFCS-CW says,
“The donated technology has made a real difference to enable us to update and support the provision of the services desperately needed by farmers doing it really hard at the moment.”
Yothu Yindi Foundation is an Australian Non-profit working to eradicate unemployment in Yolngu (Aboriginal) communities and increase opportunities. They provide programs of education, training, employment and enterprise development.
Allan from the Yothu Yindi Foundation says,
“We hope to keep our traditions and identity but also create a bright future for our kids through access to education and employment which is so reliant on computer technology.”
Nan Bosler, President of the Association of Senior Computers Clubs Australia www.ASCCA.org,au says,
“We seek to empower seniors to use computer technology. Learning is a lifelong Experience!”
The program distributes the absolute latest products including exciting new releases such as Microsoft CRM system and Live Communications Server. There is a small administration fee for this service to cover costs but this is a tiny fraction of the retail or even educational pricing for these products e.g. Microsoft Office Professional 2007 for $24.10ex.
Eligible organisations can make one order per branch or office location per year, so it is very important that organisations plan what they need and maximize their donation orders each year.
Eligible categories include: (see more detail at www.donortec.com.au):
Arts & Culture
Counselling and Referral Services
Environment and Conservation
Human Rights Activities
Instructional and Training Activities & Training Material Development
Other Community Activities
Public Interest Legal Services
Rural and Agricultural Services
Sports, Athletic, Recreational and Social Activities
DonorTec is part of a global network of partners soon to be in 35 countries including the UK, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Poland, South Africa and India.
CISA CEO, Doug Jacquier, says that his organisation, which has offered directory and IT services to South Australian non-profits for more than 25 years, began to take a national role when it became a voice for Australian nonprofits over time through coordinating the needs of the sector, organising networking and training events, programs and resources and it set up the first Connecting Up non-profit technology conference in 2004.
CISA’s Simon Gee will travel to Hong Kong next month to assist with the rollout of the service, and CISA’s DonorTec service will expand into New Zealand later this year.
Doug and Simon just returned from the Global Partner Summit in San Francisco with exciting new developments including new donors for the program. DonorTec is also actively seeking new Australian company donor partners to be part of this major push to increase accessibility for the non-profit sector to develop its ICT capacity.
This is an exciting program to assist Nonprofits save and build their ICT capacity. You can check out the latest newsletter for further information and updates at www.donortec.com.au or register or for more information.
Media contact: Karen May firstname.lastname@example.org