Tech notes – Advocacy portal launched

By Todd Cohen

* OMB Watch, a research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C., has launched, a Web site featuring tools for nonprofit advocacy.

* One Economy Corp., a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that aims to help low-income people use technology to improve their lives and take part in the economy, has teamed up with the Allstate Foundation in Northbrook, Ill., to launch an online tool at to teach consumers about insurance.

* The Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School University in New York City has teamed up with Living Cities to launch an online service at offering resources for leaders and managers who want to build high-performing community-based organizations.

* Arts Council Silicon Valley in San Jose, Calif., has launched, a local arts and cultural web site that is the first consumer product in a $1 million, three-year marketing push funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami and David and Lucile Packard Foundations in Los Altos, Calif.

* The Cisco Systems Foundation in San Jose, Calif., is giving $2.5 million over five years to the national office in Seattle of Community Voice Mail, which provides free, personalized 24-hour voice mail access to people without a phone.

* The SBC Foundation in San Antonio, Tex., awarded $9 million to more than $680 nonprofits in 13 states and Washington, D.C., to integrate technology into their operations and outreach.

* IBM Corp. in Armonk, N.Y., donated computer systems valued at more than $300,000 that United Way of New York City will distribute to 55 nonprofits.

* Public Interactive, a Boston-based firm formed in 1999 that provides Web-based technology for public broadcasters and is backed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies, has signed up its 103d station.

* The Arizona Community Foundation says its new web site at has helped reduce its competitive grant cycle to 65 days from four months.

* Matt Florence has resigned as director of TechSoup, a nonprofit tech portal operated by San Francisco-based CompuMentor, so he can pursue a career writing fiction.

* Erica Roberts, a former director of the Millennium Commission, the distributor of the lottery in Britain, has been named the first chief executive of GuideStar UK, the new charity building a charity-information web site for British charities.

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