Tech help available

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Fifty grassroots nonprofits in Guilford County will get technology assistance over the next year, thanks to a pilot project being launched by a partnership that includes Oregon-based NetCorps and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

The effort will include tech planning, implementation and training, and will be offered by NetCorp, which has operated in the state since 2001 and now has opened a Greensboro office.

The pilot, to focus on small environmental and social-justice groups, grew out of a similar effort in 2003-04 that also was funded by the community foundation.

That earlier effort provided tech training to about 60 nonprofits, and also worked closely with six groups to put technology into place and develop long-term tech plans, says Shelly Bowers-Roghelia, managing director of NetCorps’ Durham office.

The new office is headed by Aliya Abbasi, an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America, or VISTA, who will meet with nonprofits who contact her and work with them to prepare project proposals or refer them to the NetCorps office in Durham or Oregon.

NetCorps also offers “clean machine” services to help nonprofits get rid of computer viruses, spyware and spam.

Other partners in the pilot project include Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas, which provides the Greensboro office for NetCorps, and the Community Technology Centers Network, which supports the AmeriCorps VISTAs.

NetCorps generally will charge nonprofits a nominal fee on a sliding scale based on the scope of the project and the size of their organization, says Bowers-Roghelia, who formerly headed the “Teaming for Technology” program at Triangle United Way.

That program in 2004 refurbished more than 1,600 donated computers and gave them to schools, nonprofits and low-income families.

For information, call Abbasi at 336.772-0527.

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