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Is Your Nonprofit Using Human and Technology Networks to Multiply Impact?

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in San Francisco. Hosted annually by the Nonprofit Technology Network, the conference is a gold mine of professional development and relationship-building opportunities for nonprofit staff who use technology for marketing, fundraising, operations, program delivery, and more.

Nonprofit Technology Conference

Cisco sponsored the Ignite Reception at NTC, where attendees had 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about how their nonprofits are using technology.

Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts operate at this intersection of human and technology networks, too. We know that by working with nonprofits, government agencies, or other businesses, we can accomplish much more than we could alone. And, by adding technology to the equation, we can multiply our impact even further.

Many nonprofits have similar experiences. They are collaborating–and using innovative, network-enabled technologies–to reach more people with better services.

If you work for a nonprofit that has used human and technology networks to multiply your impact, we want to hear your story.

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Socially-Conscious Businesses and Nonprofits Find Common Ground at 12NTC

Tomorrow I’m heading to the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in San Francisco with several colleagues from Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team.

You may be wondering, “What does a global corporation have to do with nonprofits?” I worked in the nonprofit field for ten years before I joined Cisco, so I can answer: Everything.

We are still in a down economy. Individual donors are able to give less, and governments have been forced to cut social programs. Businesses, especially technology ones, are often innovative, entrepreneurial, and run by people who think giving back to society is important.

For organizations struggling to solve the world’s biggest problems today, corporate involvement is essential.

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A Birthday Wish Can Change Everything for People Without Clean Water to Drink

“Roughly one-sixth of the world’s population, or 1.1 billion people, don’t have access to safe drinking water.”

“Eighty percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water.”

“People in the developing world walk an average of 3.7 miles (6 km) a day to collect water for basic needs.”

These are just a few of the shocking statistics I discovered in the past week on Twitter, leading up to World Water Day–today, March 22.

But, I also discovered that by making a birthday wish, I could personally help solve this massive problem.

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Bringing Worlds Together Over Cisco TelePresence

UPDATE: Molly’s story was on CNN today (3/8/12). Take a look!

Today Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team had the unique privilege of bringing together two seemingly different groups of people: children who live in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya and their “video pen pals” in Rome. Cisco hosted the event using its TelePresence technology to support the World Food Programme’s video series “Molly’s World: A Girl Films Her Life in a Nairobi Slum.” (Learn more about the Molly’s World video series in my previous blog post.)

We multiplied the impact of this event by broadcasting it live to a worldwide audience via CiscoTV’s Ustream channel on the World Food Programme’s Facebook page. Children in classrooms from London to Brazil to Australia submitted questions through Facebook and Twitter, and Molly and her friends answered them live via Ustream. Read More »

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Community Math: Multiplying Employee Power to Fight Global Hunger

Cisco’s 63,000 employees live and work in hundreds of cities globally. No matter where we are, we’re committed to using our expertise and conducting our business in a way that ultimately benefits our communities. That’s core to our culture. Our 2011 Global Hunger Relief Campaign, which just closed, raised a record $4.1 million. It’s a vital example of the power that arises when employees take action and leverage networks – both human and technology – to multiply our impact.

Over two months, our employees donated $1.6 million to more than 130 food agencies through Cisco’s unique global matching gifts IT solution, Community Connection. That tool allowed us to quickly aggregate and approve donations, and disburse matching funds from the Cisco Foundation and Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge’s TOSA Foundation, bringing the total delivered to $4.1 million. Employees also volunteered thousands of hours to food agencies, recording that time in the tool to deliver additional matching funds.

For 15 years, Cisco has united with food agencies to help serve hungry people. Our employees give significant time and expertise, along with corporate product donations, to multiply the impact of each dollar donated. So, although our campaign delivers critical support, it’s only part of a multi-layered community strategy that ensures nonprofits maximize efficiency and scalability by using networking technologies. That’s why, in part, agencies are providing 28 million meals with Cisco’s 2011 campaign proceeds.

When our network of employees connects to a common purpose, impact multiplies. We all can access a network – online or through friends, families and villages – to make extraordinary change. Learn more about Cisco’s work in communities around the world at our new CSR website, launched today.

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