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Vermont Digital Economy Project Assisting Local Nonprofits in Plymouth

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2013-08-07

Rob Fish is assisting the Plymouth Historical Society in building a website. Part of the focus of this project is to share and collaborate with other organizations in the area. A free, skills workshop has been planned for Wednesday, Aug. 14th, from 6:30-8:00 pm at the former Plymouth Elementary School. The event is open to anyone interested.

During the month of August, representatives from community nonprofit organizations in Chester, Plymouth, Randolph and South Royalton are invited to participate in online skill building discussions aimed at using digital tools to build stronger and more effective organizations. The discussions are being organized by the Vermont Digital Economy Project, a project of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

According to Rob Fish, the project’s nonprofit advisor, “Vermont’s strength is a direct result of the strength of the community organizations that step up in time of need, or provide ongoing assistance to members of the community in need. These free events are a great chance for local nonprofits to get to know each other, share ideas, and learn about online tools that will assist them to better communicate their message, fundraise, and collaborate.”

Since late spring, Fish has been working with nonprofits in Bethel, Rochester, Woodstock and Ludlow. Assistance has included helping groups to create Facebook pages, sign up for Google Apps for Nonprofits, integrate online fundraising, and, for a few organizations, assistance in building or significantly upgrading their websites. The Woodstock based Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCPVT) is one of several local organizations (other examples) that benefited greatly from participating in the project.

“As a result of our work with Rob Fish and the Vermont Digital Economy project we will save $1,296 per year that we previously spent on phone, email and website. This is money that can now go directly to our local programs,” said Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCPVT) executive director Jacqueline Fischer. “In addition, Rob built our capacity as an organization through giving us the skills to manage our own virtual infrastructure. This investment in our community is considerable, since we make a little go a long way.”

The workshops are then followed by a series of free trainings and one-on-one consulting opportunities designed to assist local nonprofits in harnessing the revolutionizing potential of digital technology, from social media to cloud computing and more.

Workshop Schedule:

§  Chester Nonprofit Digital Skillshare Workshop - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – 6:00-7:30 PM, Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St Chester, VT 05143

§  Royalton Nonprofit Digital Skillshare Workshop – Thursday, August 8, 2013 – 5:00-6:30 PM, Building A Local Economy (BALE), 35 South Windsor Street South Royalton

§  Plymouth Nonprofit Digital Skillshare Workshop - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 – 6:30-8:00 PM Old Plymouth Elementary School, Route 100 Just North of Plymouth Town Office.

§  Randolph Nonprofit Digital Skillshare Workshop – Thursday, August 15, 2013 – 6:00-7:30 PM, Vermont Tech Enterprise Center Business Incubator Location: 1540 VT Route 66 Randolph

Organizations attending the workshop or requesting one-on-one advising help are requested to fill out a short needs assessment survey prior to the meeting. The survey and information on future workshops can be found at http://vtdigitaleconomy.org/

Created by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) in response to the 2011 floods, the Vermont Digital Economy Project’s mission is to construct more resilient communities, by helping Vermont communities, businesses, and nonprofits better use online tools as a way to speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters.

For more information, please contact Rob Fish at rob@vtrural.org. Additional information on nonprofit advising and other services offered by the project can be found at http://vtdigitaleconomy.org/

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