Put together programming with a #nptech focus and deliver it on a gorgeous private island in Muskoka. Marina contacted us at Framework and we put our heads together. We played around with the idea of an unconference style workshop where we hammered out the biggest problems facing the non-profit sector when it comes to technology use and adoption. But we realized quickly that we already know what these problems are:
- Too little time to research the options
- Lack of widespread digital know-how for building nimble ITC architecture
- Scarcity of support for technology-specific capacity building
Instead of rehashing those same problems we decided to try and do something very specific to address them. Based on the Timeraiser Plus Programming, we built out a strategy for an Extreme Makeover - Nonprofit Edition. Over two days we would delve into one nonprofit's internal systems: database, file storage, digital marketing, budgeting and online registration. The goal was that they would leave Wasan Island operating at 50% increased capacity.
In just 24 hours we received 50 applications from non-profits who were eager to be selected for the makeover. After narrowing the list to three organizations, and doing phone interviews to assess readiness, need and availability, we chose Connected in Motion, an organization whose mission is to create a culture of support and engagement through experiential educational programming for adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
Over just two and a half weeks we conducted extensive exploration with the CiM team to understand what they do, who they serve, and the tools they use. By the time we left for the island last Tuesday, we knew that we’d be able to do some pretty amazing things over our two day stay. Especially given the help we had on hand.
The Salesforce Foundation stepped up big time! We were connected with 6 fabulous volunteers who would be on-hand to implement a brand new database. Volunteers from Grantbook and Allied Properties also took a hands-on approach to building out file storage architecture and making sure peripheral tools integrated seamlessly with the new database.
When we arrived on the island, we were floored. Wasan Island, owned by the Breuninger Foundation, is more beautiful and tranquil than any of us could have imagined. We quickly got to work in all the beautiful spaces the island provided . Over the next two days, on the dock, in the yoga room, on the deck, and in the boat house we implemented meaningful solutions alongside the Connected in Motion team. They participated at every stage so that they had ownership over the processes that were put in place.
There are some wrapup now that we have left Wasan (and it’s not nearly as nice working at a desk than on a dock!), but in the next week we will hand over the keys to a brand new, digitally forward Connected in Motion. We'll also be writing a white paper that captures all of the details and learnings of conducting an exercise like this one. Look out for that before the end of 2014.