- $120 million worth of technology donations
- Increasing capacity in 12,000 nonprofits
- First National Directory of Nonprofits and Charities
Connecting Up this week celebrates its 30th year of developing the capacity of the non-profit sector in information systems.
The Adelaide-based social enterprise has had a national and international impact, becoming a lynchpin for the non-profit sector through its tireless efforts to encourage and enhance their use of technology. Microsoft, Symantec and Cisco are just a few of the industry leaders now supporting the uptake of of technology among community organisations and charities such as Lifesaving Victoria, Lifeline Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation, Cancer Council, Guide Dogs and many, many more.
While today many of us take information systems for granted, in 1981, the year Connecting Up (then Community Information Support Services - South Australia, or CISSsa, and later, CISA) was founded, IBM launched the world’s first personal computer.
The South Australian Government funded the creation of the local nonprofit community organisation to produce SA’s directory of community services, which became known as the “Yellow Bible”.
Three decades on, the annual Connecting Up Conference provides a globally recognised forum for national and international opinion leaders.
The Connecting Up team combines experienced information managers who have been with the organisation since the earliest days to young social media experts. The organisation now employs 15 staff and is still growing.
Connecting Up CEO Doug Jacquier says: “Connecting Up has been driven by two central energy sources: the desire to bring to the public good information about services there to help them, and a passion for ‘helping the helpers’ to get better at what they do. The work that we do means that nonprofits and charities can, for example, protect more children, support more families, save more of the environment, and give people with disabilities better lives.
“In the context of the Commonwealth Government’s moves to better recognise, support and regulate the nonprofit and charitable sector, Connecting Up’s programs will be even more vital to sustaining the work of the small to medium sized community organisations that are at the coal-front of making Australia a better place to live.”
Through its partnership with TechSoup Global, major companies and funders, Connecting Up is set to have a growing impact in supporting the sector throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The technology donations program, delivered in partnership with US nonprofit TechSoup Global, has upgraded the technology of over 12,000 nonprofits and charities in Australia and New Zealand and saved them over $120m in technology costs into the bargain. Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec and other IT industry leaders have been key players and supporters along the way. This week saw the launch in Singapore of TechSoup Asia, where Connecting Up is a foundation partner in a bold move to bring technology donations and information to nonprofits throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
CU’s 30th birthday celebrations will coincide with another game-changing move, the launch of the CU Directory, Australia’s first ever comprehensive national Directory of Nonprofits and Charities. Two years in the making, it will launch with over 50,000 detailed listings of Australian nonprofits and charities, a figure that’s expected to double within two years.
“We have arrived at this point because of the hard work and inspiration of a staff group dedicated to making a real difference, the strategic insight of our Board (sourced from across Australia and chaired by SA technology pioneer, Bruce Linn), the ongoing support of governments and business, and the active engagement of the nonprofit and charitable sector themselves,” Mr Jacquier said.
"We are here to connect people and organisations to current and accurate information that will help them make a difference in their community, whether it’s a neighbourhood or a nation."
Connecting Up Australia is a social enterprise that works to strengthen the nonprofit and community sector in Australia by providing a variety of information, products, resources and programs.
Our services are available to approximately 600,000 organisations across the nation. We also help to develop relationships with business, community and government sectors for capacity development.
For more information, visit http://www.connectingup.org
The DonorTec program is operated in partnership with TechSoup Global.
For more information on Connecting Up’s DonorTec program, visit http://www.donortec.org
Shai Coggins, Manager, Communications & Web Content, Connecting Up
P: (08) 8212 8555 ext 212