For charitable foundation’s annual report

Help!!!? Help Desk!!!?

“Help desk? I just got this weird error popping up on my screen.” “Help desk? I’m using Excel, and I want to turn my spreadsheet into a graph for a board presentation.” “Help desk? I’m having difficulty printing, and I don’t know if it’s the computer or the printer.”

ABC, an independent affiliate of DEF, answers questions about technology for nonprofit arts organizations with annual budgets under $500,000. Astute ownership and use of technology – like wise strategic planning – permits nonprofits to manage their business side so the show can continue to go on.

ABC’s Technology Connectors program helps cultural groups by investigating and devising tech solutions, focusing on services that many such groups can use immediately and simultaneously. “Technology can boost business for performing-arts groups and art centers,” says Neil Vormano, ABC’s director of technology services. “We’ll create databases to track membership and tickets, manage fundraising and register students for classes, among other things. We’re looking at a simple, Web-based tool for agencies to determine the technology they need. That mini-assessment would also give us valuable data.

“The help desk came first because it was screaming to the top of the list. It’s a toll-free number to free support on software and hardware; it provides answers for groups who don’t know where to turn.

“It’s great to develop these sector-wide solutions,” says Vormano. “They allow us to bring the latest in best practices to arts and cultural organizations, who often don’t have access. We’re trying to get these organizations to view technology as a force that enables them to better serve their mission and constituencies rather than as boxes and wires that pose a troublesome barrier to productivity.”