Circuit Riders - Original Summary WAJones - Circa 2000

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Original slide deck showing lessons learned from the original W.A. Jones Circuit Rider project.

From my archive - Gavin Clabaugh

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology
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Circuit Riders - Original Summary WAJones - Circa 2000

  1. 2. “ Circuit Riders” A Model for Successful NGO Technical Assistance
  2. 3. Background <ul><li>The Need - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing market conditions – market failing most NGOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-profit organizations lagging in effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups struggling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology offers new solutions to old problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1996 TCN “Capacity Survey” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What the survey sought to measure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology seen as adjunct; not critical to program mission </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Background <ul><li>Survey Highlights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little formal recognition of technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Few internal training or support resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overburdened or conflicted “systems” staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no management support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No lack of technology but a lack of expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizations had the technology, but didn’t know how to use it </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Background <ul><li>The Pioneers - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1995 - W.A. Jones/TCN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One year LEV/ZEV project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1996 - Brainerd/Bullitt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OneNorthWest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1996 - Rockefeller Technology Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing Project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1998 - Multiple ongoing “rider” projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Artswire to DC Works </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1999 – Over 50 official “riders” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2000 … </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. The Model <ul><li>What is circuit riding? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue or project focused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-organizational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundation “authorized” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundation subsidized or funded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited scope </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. The Model <ul><li>What is a Circuit Rider? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evangelist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What they are not </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer geek </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary help </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. What Does a Circuit Rider Do? <ul><li>Demonstrates power of technology to leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Assesses the group’s technology capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Develops strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Implements technology to advance the group’s objective </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes collaboration between groups using technology & service providers </li></ul>
  8. 9. The Results <ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Total budget of $120,000 for 1.5 years (including travel) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fifty organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three-four days a piece </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100% Internet email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100% listserv participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide variety of problems solved </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Lessons <ul><li>Start off with a bang </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a small funding budget </li></ul><ul><li>Start focused, stay focused </li></ul><ul><li>Few are using what they have </li></ul><ul><li>Few are using what they have effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Management makes it or breaks it </li></ul>
  10. 11. Lessons <ul><li>Riders need their independence </li></ul><ul><li>Every Lone Ranger needs a Tonto </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Backroom support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LEV/ZEV succeeded due to TCN’s support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources & expertise to draw on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LEV/ZEV succeeded to to WAJ’s support </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. What the Groups Say: <ul><li>Biggest Barrier is Understanding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Knowledge cited more than equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Want someone to come to them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best if a disinterested ally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be from non- profit community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to translate “tech speak” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on solving real problems </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. The Future <ul><li>Current Rider Projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 riders on the range </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Annual Circuit Rider Roundup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsored by RBF, Surdna, Microsoft, Mott, Packard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Development of Circuit Rider regional centers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baltimore / Washington DC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Development of a circuit rider ranch? </li></ul><ul><li>The National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology… </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Use It - Lead by example and integrate electronic communication applications </li></ul><ul><li>Fund It - Support FITness as critical to achieving program goals </li></ul><ul><li>Teach It - Promote technology training </li></ul><ul><li>Lead It - Put a another ‘Rider’ on the Circuit </li></ul>The Challenge to You * Fluency in Information Technology *

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