Matching need with expertise is not a new idea. Telco Together’s “Skills Exchange” is successfully creating a safe and fun environment where charities and tech volunteers can get together to solve small scale IT problems.
Last week it was Melbourne’s turn with the latest Skills Exchange hosted at Cisco, Melbourne. The event brought together a group of enthusiastic volunteers from Cisco, Telstra, Vocus, Future Squared, Rutledge AV, Service Stream, and Elabor8.
Over the 2 hour event the six charities presented the story of their charity and pitched an IT issue that’s limiting their ability to assist their community.
Pitching charities included:
- Mission to Seafarers (caring for the welfare of international seafarers)
- Deaf Children Australia (empowering deaf and hard of hearing children to reach their potential)
- Children’s Cancer Foundation (enabling children with cancer to access the world’s best treatment and family support)
- Positively Transforming World (supporting low-income and disadvantaged developing countries with health and education)
- Pets of the Homeless (assisting vulnerable people and their pets by providing essential pet care during times of hardship)
- Community Housing Industry Association (Victoria) (assisting those on low income with housing)
All the charities were matched with two IT volunteers willing to help scope the problem and provide guidance to resolve it. The issues the charities presented ranged from assistance with an IT building assessment for a capital works program, to selecting an online membership and events system, to advice on a document management system.
The high energy event demonstrated the success of the Skills Exchange. The facilitated process carefully matches the problems pitched by charities to volunteers with diverse skills. The process works to meet both the needs of the charity sector and the volunteers. The charities appreciate the free technical help and expertise, while the tech volunteers (who are often limited by time constraints – 2 days of volunteering leave), appreciate the small scale and ease of the projects.
Sue Dight reflected the charity sentiment of the event saying, ‘It was a great experience from start to finish. The Mission to Seafarers Victoria looks forward to working with the team to deliver our project.’
More information on the Skills Exchange
For more information on the Skills Exchange program and to register your interest in upcoming events go to www.telcotogether.org/SkillsExchange.