Lawrenceville United approached HandsOn Tech to help with a variety of technology issues. LU staff expressed interest in getting assistance with three primary areas, among other things: 1) email and internal communication 2) data collection and management, and 3) website and social media.
HandsOn Tech members worked to determine that staff were using an older, in-house Microsoft Exchange server. Because the server was locally based, power and internet outages would cause emails to be lost in transit to staff. Data was also collected and stored locally on the same server and the website was difficult to edit and update.
After the assessment, VISTA member Julie Yorkshire worked with Becky and Lauren at LU to migrate all their emails to a cloud-based platform. In this case, LU decided on Google Apps through the Google for Nonprofits program. In addition to email in the cloud, staff can now easily share calendars, contacts, and documents with one another. And all this data is now backed safely and remotely accessible from any computer or mobile device.
For the website, skills-based volunteers moved the existing site to WordPress, an easy-to-use content management system. This new site will allow LU staff to more easily edit and update the site, and gives the site more flexibility and options. Most recently, a skills-based volunteer is working with LU to move their locally-hosted database to a cloud-based system. Like Google Apps, this cloud-based system will allow for easier access to data, and eliminate any worry about data-loss due to local hardware failures.