Remote Technology in the Pandemic: Rebalancing Toward Equity and Access – Non Profit News – Nonprofit Quarterly

We like to think that most nonprofits are concerned about their reach toward individuals who might struggle to connect with their offerings, at least in the best of times. Not all leaders think that way, but organizations that value equity of access must consider the plights of those who might be systematically excluded from engagement efforts. If the pandemic forced us onto new and unfamiliar ground, now is the time to assess and balance how technologies have affected our reach, for better and for worse.

We wanted to know how technology use has changed in volunteer management, especially through the pandemic. So, we assembled a research team at Arizona State University and set off on an ambitious research project to survey and interview volunteer managers across the U.S. and Canada about their technology use. Although we did not start with a particular emphasis on equity and access, this theme came up regularly in our conversations with the field.

To be sure, the pandemic has thrown a wrench into ways that nonprofits have engaged their stakeholders over the past couple years. That wrench is key to the Big Theme and Conclusion of this article. In short, when we are forced into action, we do not always have time to be thoughtful and properly strategic. We can only hope that we later have the time, information, and bandwidth to make new, better decisions.

We have observed that even the most thoughtful nonprofits made knee-jerk decisions in the pandemic that connected better with some stakeholders than others. One person we spoke with described the sudden adjustments at her food bank:

We had never used a platform virtually before. We need hands on deck, so having to close our volunteer program was a challenge for us—emotionally, losing such a large part of our community—but we also had to find a way to keep them connected so that they would come back when our doors reopened. And so, we kind of scrambled to learn things like Zoom.

A volunteer resource manager at another human service nonprofit that we talked with noted the challenge that comes with the decision to suddenly embrace information and communication technologies. “I would say that we made the best use that we could of the tools that we had,” she said, “but I’d say about 10% of our volunteers are not tech savvy and so they got left behind.”

Talking with Volunteer Administrators

Volunteer programs are some of the most front-facing operations of nonprofit organizations. They solicit community members to volunteer, bring them into mission activities, and broadcast their work to the public. Volunteer operations were hard-hit in the pandemic, with many nonprofits shuttering contact with volunteers entirely. One CVA who organizes volunteers in the Dallas metro area lamented the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations. “Pre-COVID, we could have 10,000 volunteers across the entire city and all the different departments,” she said. “But now we are limping along. We’re open, but a lot of the volunteers just have not returned yet.”

Another CVA who spearheads …….


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Generative AI like viral ChatGPT lands on DISA technology watch list – C4ISRNET

WASHINGTON — ChatGPT, a bot launched by OpenAI in November that produces human-like conversations and content, including surreal art and computer code, has caught the eye of U.S. defense officials.

And the tech that underpins the viral bot, generative artificial intelligence, was recently added to a Defense Information Systems Agency watch list, according to Chief Technology Officer Stephen Wallace.

“We’ve heard a lot about AI over the years, and there’s a number of pl…….


35 Obsolete Technology Things To Prove How Much The World Has Moved On And Changed – Bored Panda

All it takes is one good vintage image to make you stop and reminisce about your youth. That’s the power of a good photo—it opens the door to a deep yearning for the ‘good old days’ and reminds you of how things used to be. A simpler time and, arguably, a better one, too.

The ‘Retro Tech Dreams’ Twitter page hits hard with a heavy dose of nostalgia. The account documents and shares pics of vintage technology, computing, and the web that might strike a chord with those of you Pandas who were kids back in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. As you continue scrolling, upvote the photos that got you daydreaming about your childhood.

Meanwhile, here we are, dusting off our…….