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Creating and Managing a Municipal Website
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Guide This article was written with insight from Tess Gauthier, Project Coordinator from the Snelling Center for Government and based on a presentation given at the Vermont Connected Summit. One of the... more
6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Organization's Use of Digital Tools
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Guide Digital tools have the potential to revolutionize the operation of any organization, while at the same time befuddling even the most tech-savvy people. As the Nonprofit Adviser for the Vermont... more
How Organizations Can Use Online Tools To Collaborate
Almost all of the digital tools that we have discussed in previous articles have focused on how to reach to reach a wider audience. But it is also important to consider two-way communication methods, so that people collaborating on a project, or... more
Connected Nonprofits
This article was written by Kate Jellema, Marlboro College Graduate & Professional Studies, who facilitated a discussion at our Vermont Connected Summit on how nonprofits can keep pace with technology. The good news: 55% of people who engage... more
Vermontivate! On Line For The Real World
This article was written by Kathryn Blume, Co-Founder of "Vermontivate!" and a panelist on our morning session called "Nonprofit Problem Solvers." The big question that started the whole thing off was: How do we get Vermont as a whole community... more
The Value of Human Centered Design in Vermont
Participants at the Vermont Food Systems Hackathon used concepts from Human Centered Design to develop their ideas. One of the things that makes our summit unique is that by organizing our sessions into four tracks (Educating for a Digital World,... more
Diverse Groups Will Use #VTStrong In Social Media To Encourage Vermonters To Volunteer
On Thursday, August 14th, VCRD’s Vermont Digital Economy Project facilitated a discussion with an impressive group of representatives from several nonprofit organizations that are part of Vermont Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD),... more
Does Your Nonprofit Need a CRM to Manage Its Contacts?
As an organization grows, sometimes using excel spreadsheets to keep track of donors, volunteers, and other contacts is not enough, and more powerful and complex tools for managing contacts become both necessary and convenient. These types of tools... more
Google Ad Grants: Free Advertising For Nonprofits
One free tool that we have discussed before that can be very helpful for a nonprofit, no matter what its size, is Google for Nonprofits. In previous articles we’ve written about how nonprofits enrolled in the program can have free email using a... more
How One Vermont Supervisory Union is Integrating Digital Tools
  The Vermont Digital Economy Project has been very active in promoting digital skills-building through its Internet Intern program at 24 Vermont libraries and by making digital workforce training available to hundreds of Vermonters. Despite its... more
Announcing the Summit, "Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont’s Digital Economy"
Find the Most Up To Date Information on the Summit by Clicking Here. As the Vermont Digital Economy Project winds to a close, we are happy to announce that its end will only be the beginning of an ongoing conversation around technology, digital... more
Vermonters Raise their Voices in Support of Net Neutrality at Senator Leahy’s Hearing
For the past few months, the media has been awash with stories about net neutrality. Recently, these stories became particularly salient for Vermonters, when Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, brought a... more
Create Your Nonprofit Continuity Plan in 5 Simple Steps
You may have seen my previous article about Pat Corcoran, the founder of IBM’s Business Continuity & Resiliency Services Group and one of the world’s premier experts in business continuity. After completing the hands-on disaster preparedness... more
What Rural Vermont Downtowns Can Do With Super-Fast Internet Bandwidth
I recently attended the 20th Annual Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference deep in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. This year’s conference had the theme of “Preservation and Community” and was held at the lovely renovated Town Hall building in... more
Vermont Grown Travel App Open For Business
ViewBoost Co-Founders Doug and Roger Allbee at the launch of the app on May 7th at the Vermont Visitor Center in Williston.ViewBoost Kiosks at Vermont Visitor Centers contain the same information as will be found in the iPhone app. A kiosk has... more
How An Online Game Helps Students Learn about Lake Champlain
Games have always been a great tool for teachers to engage students and make learning fun. For example, they have been used effectively to help students understand such diverse topics as historical events and environmental issues. I fondly remember... more
What Can We Learn from the UK’s Push for Digital Skill-Building?
The graphic above is used in the UK’s small business digital skills survey Vermont’s Digital Skills Roundtable was formed last year to discuss our readiness to fully utilize the power of the Internet not just at the basic level, but also at the... more
Scheduling Posts: A Time Management Tip for Using Facebook
“There’s only so much time in a day!” That’s a common response from my nonprofit clients when I advise them that their community organization should be posting on Facebook 3 to 5 times every week. And, to be honest, many of them are ready to... more
How Can Technology Affect Sustainability Practices?
This past Saturday at the ACORN Sustainable Living Expo, I presented with Michael Wood-Lewis, co-founder of Front Porch Forum, on the question of how technology interacts with community to create sustainability. The discussion was rich with concepts... more
How to Reach Your Facebook Fans
Many organizations assume that when they post something to their organization’s Facebook page, everyone who has liked the page will see it. This is not the case. Just as your Facebook friends don’t see everything you post, neither do the fans of... more
How Vermont’s Emergency Managers Leverage Media for Emergency Outreach
Vermont's emergency managers have embraced social media and digital communications to keep Vermonters as informed as possible and recently added messages on Front Porch Forum to their outreach strategy. That's why we asked Mark Bosma, the Vermont... more
Vermont’s Cultural Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning
This Piano came from the famed Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont. It is Vermont’s oldest professional theater (est. 1935) and is a living testament to a community’s belief in the arts. On a snowy Valentine’s Day afternoon, more than a dozen... more
The VCRD Website Got an Update!
Maybe you’ve noticed, but our website just got an overhaul. The old VCRD home page vs the new VCRD home page Throughout the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we have been working with nonprofits and small Vermont businesses to help them to take... more
How We Can Help Farmers, at NOFA and Beyond
Digital tools have become essential to farmers. From Amanda Andrews at Tamarack Hollow Farm, who used Kickstarter.com to raising the necessary funds to move her farm off of a flood plain and is using Instagram to promote the farm, to Eric... more
Using Digital Tools in Farm & Forest Businesses
Stepping up the use of digital tools can be a game-changer for small agricultural and forest products businesses. The integration of farm and forest mobile applications has been shown to save both time and money, while improving productivity by... more
Sign Up for VT Alert, Vermont’s Emergency Notification System
Alerts like this one, can be emailed, texted, and sent by other methods. Just sign-up at www.vtalert.gov. The Digital Economy Project was created to support the use of digital tools for disaster resilience. We're always happy to see the State of... more
Nonprofits in the White River Valley Get Website Upgrades
Juli Reiderer, Park House Exectutive Director, looks at her organization's new website An empowered organization is a successful organization. For a nonprofit to be successful, it must have control over its message. For most organizations, a... more
Use Your Facebook Page to Solicit Donations and Subscriptions Online
Here at the Vermont Council on Rural Development, we are in the process of asking for donations to fund our great ongoing work, including support for programs like our Community Visits Program and our Working Landscape Initiative. As we looked at... more
IBM Donates Expert Disaster Preparedness Consulting to Vermont Nonprofits
Earlier this month, two IBM specialists in business continuity and resiliency services conducted two Disaster Preparedness for Nonprofit Workshops in Vermont. The workshops were donated to the Vermont Digital Economy Project through IBM’s Service... more
Building Inclusion Through Digital Literacy
This year, we were excited to be a part of Tech Jam, a technology-focused job fair that also serves to showcase how well Vermont is succeeding at creating and adopting to new technologies, from being the home of companies such as Dealer.com and... more
Discussing Technology and Open Data at the Woodstock Digital Media Festival
On November 1st, the Vermont Digital Economy Project will be facilitating a discussion at the Woodstock Digital Media Festival on open data, a subject that will be introduced during a presentation by Eddie Tejeda. Eddie is a 2012 Code for America... more
Art + Kids + Critters + Contests = Social Media Success
When discussing social media with nonprofits, the number one question I am asked is: “How can I get more people to like my organization’s Facebook Page?” There are a few basic first steps, including inviting your friends, using the build audience... more
Bethel Emergency Management Volunteers Leverage Neighbors and Technology
A goal of our grant is to assist towns, business and nonprofits in using technology to be more prepared in the case of another disaster. This effort includes encouraging communities to learn to communicate with their residents through social media... more
Digital Tools Bring Increased Access to Quality Healthcare for Rural Vermonters
Last week, I participated in a Broadband Access Roundtable Discussion for Vermont’s healthcare providers co-hosted by the USDA - Rural Development and the Vermont Telecommunication Authority (VTA). The half-day event was attended by almost two dozen... more
The Value of a Facebook Like
In a recent post, Pat Ripley of VtSBDC laid out some of the reasons why it is important to have a Facebook presence. In addition to the ability it affords businesses of reaching more customers and nonprofits of reaching more interested people, it... more
Social Media Presence is Expected Part of Any Organization’s Online Strategy Today
This article is written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce for VtSBDC Social media has become as much a part of daily life for Vermont small business owners and nonprofit organizations as a symbol of storefront signage, careful accounting... more
Recent Storms Give Vermont Chance to Test New Emergency Notification System
The driveway to my house, in Ludlow near the Plymouth town border, became a river during Tropical Storm Irene. I have to admit that all of the rain we’ve gotten lately has made me very nervous. As a Tropical Storm Irene victim, I am paying... more
Building Digital Inclusion into a Hackathon
This past weekend was the National Day of Civic Hacking. While for many of us, hacking brings up ominous images of security systems being overridden and important data being stolen, a hackathon is quite the opposite. During a hackathon, a number... more
Success with Social Media: The Bethel Historical Society
Heidi M. Nikolaidis, of the Bethel Historical Society, received help from Rob Fish on the society's Facebook Page. Here's what she learned: A few weeks ago we first heard about the grant from the Vermont Digital Economy Project. We filled out... more
Okemo Chamber Models Digital Tools: Mobile Apps, Workshops, Social Media, and More
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is busy scheduling small business workshops in several flood-impacted towns. Grant-funded workshops are already on the calendar for Waterbury, Wilmington, Bethel, Halifax, and Ludlow, with... more
Mobile Technology: Its Benefits for Individuals and Organizations, and its Drawbacks
At the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we're passionate about using new technologies to improve disaster resilience and spur economic growth in Vermont. Mobile technology, from the ease of accessing the Internet on a smart phone to using text... more
The Effective Use of Internet Tools During Disasters
Our hearts go out to everyone who was injured or affected in the unthinkable attack on the Boston Marathon last week. Each of us here at the Digital Economy Project had friends or loved ones at the Marathon or in Boston. While shocked and... more
Microsoft Digital Literacy
Our partners at Microsoft have developed a Digital Literacy program that helps to bridge the digital divide. We’re working with them to integrate their curriculum with efforts already in place in the Vermont State Libraries. What comes out of this... more
Keeping The Youth in Vermont
I’ve been struck by census data on rural communities that shows that some rural towns across the country are rapidly urbanizing and others are losing population, especially young people. Vermont is ranked as one of the two oldest states in the... more
The Benefits of Public Internet Access
One of the most requested items in our application was the "downtown Wi-Fi Zones and Hotspots". As a member of the Millennial Generation, the benefits of having a free and public wireless zone are intrinsic to my mode of operating. A public internet... more
Citizenville: how new technologies can empower local governments
Over the next 18 months, VCRD’s Digital Economy Project will be working to help Vermont communities, businesses and nonprofits become more resilient to natural and manmade disasters. The project will also explore ways to systematically use... more