Monday, May 31, 2010

David & Lucille Packard Foundation

David and Lucile Packard believed America to be the home of a unique type of organization dependent upon private funding and volunteer leadership. Together, universities, national institutions, community groups, youth agencies, family planning centers, and hospitals constitute a great American tradition that complements government efforts to focus on society's needs.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David Packard (1912–1996), the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987). Throughout their lives in business and philanthropy, the Packards sought to use private funds for the public good, giving back to a society which enabled them to prosper.

Guided by the business philosophy and values of Mr. & Mrs. Packard, this foundation invests in innovative people and organizations to improve the lives of children, enable the creative pursuit of science, advance reproductive health, and conserve and restore earth's natural systems. The significant economic downturn has affected all sectors, impacting our grantees and their resources as well as our own.

Areas of funding include:
  1. Children, Families, and Communities Program - seeks to ensure opportunities for all children to reach their potential. The goal of this subprogram is to promote positive youth development through after-school programs for all elementary and middle school-aged children in California.
  2. Local Grantmaking Program - provides support to community organizations which offer important cultural and social services in local geographic areas of historical importance to the Packard family. School-age children need safe places to go after the school day ends that offer educational, enriching activities. The Foundation recognizes that after-school programs are a bridge from the school day to after-school hours where learning can be reinforced in fun, creative ways. After-school programs also provide parents an alternative to their children staying home alone, unsupervised, during the hours of 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., when they are most vulnerable to engaging in negative behaviors.
  3. Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Funds - seek to strengthen the organizational effectiveness of grantee organizations, provide program-related investments to further program goals and objectives, and improve the practice of philanthropy. The Foundation support projects of current Foundation grantees to improve management, governance, and leadership by developing strategies, systems, structures, and skills. Also, the Foundation makes grants to help advance and support the field of private philanthropy.
I hope that this funding information is helpful for you and your organization!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Intel Computer Clubhouse Network

The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is an after-school community-based technology learning program that enables youth in underserved communities to acquire tools necessary for personal and professional success.

A Computer Clubhouse is more than just a safe environment for youth; it is also a creative place where a "community of learners" — young people working with adult mentors and staff—use technology as a tool for learning and creative expression. The supportive learning environment within the Computer Clubhouses enables young people to build skills as well as self confidence.

The philosophy of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is "beyond access," a place where young people use professional hardware and software to create computer-based projects inspired by their own ideas. The Computer Clubhouse Network operates as a program of the Boston Museum of Science in cooperation with the MIT Media Lab.

There are 72 clubhouse locations around the nation. Is your BDPA chapter co-located with one of them? If so, does your chapter have interest in trying to create a strategic alliance with the Intel Computer Clubhouse leadership?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010 Best Companies for Blacks in Technology

National BDPA and, the source for diversity talent, awarded the 2010 Best Companies for Blacks in Technology Award to the following companies:
  1. Allstate Insurance
  2. American Airlines
  3. Compuware
  4. Eli Lilly & Company
  5. Health Care Service Corporation
  6. IBM
  7. Intel
  8. Merck & Company
  9. Prudential Financial
  10. State Farm Insurance
  11. US Navy
  12. Wal-Mart Stores
  13. WellPoint
  14. Wells Fargo
BDPA Corporate Sponsors and Supporters were asked to complete a comprehensive survey that was used to rate their performance in the areas of Tenure, Promotions and Terminations, Career Path Programs, Minority Vendor Programs, and Community Outreach.

"These companies deserve special recognition for promoting a significant number of African Americans into their IT management ranks and for their outstanding community outreach and minority vendor programs," said Milt Haynes, National BDPA Past President.
One of these 14 companies will earn the prestigious Epsilon Award for being the 'best of the best'. Epsilon Awards are presented annually to the top companies in the nation that promote a workplace and environment that supports the advancement of Blacks in the information technology industry. Epsilon Awards will be presented later this year at the 2010 National BDPA Technology Conference to be held in Philadelphia, PA on July 28-31, at the luxurious Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel.

BDPA, a national organization, is the premier organization for African Americans in Information Technology (IT). Founded in 1975, BDPA is celebrating a 30-year commitment to closing the digital divide.

"We are very pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions that these companies have made for Blacks in Technology," said National BDPA President, Yvette Graham. "In this economy, many African Americans in technology are concerned about opportunities for both employment and advancement. It is important to recognize those exceptional companies that have provided African Americans with challenging and fulfilling career opportunities in Information Technology."

"BDPA is the voice of African Americans in IT," said Dan Honig, Chief Operating Officer of " is honored to be working with BDPA because it is committed to closing the digital divide and helping African American IT professionals advance. We are very pleased to recognize these companies that are truly practicing workplace diversity in their IT and Supplier Diversity departments.
2009 Best Companies for Blacks in Technology [link]
2008 Epsilon Award Winner, Health Care Services Corporation [link]
2007 Epsilon Award Winner, IBM [link]

Is your company on the list? Who do you think will win the Epsilon Award as the 'best of the best' company for Blacks in technology this year?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation

The Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation will provide funds to initiate and sustain projects in the Greater Milwaukee community. The Foundation will focus on programs and projects that serve low-income and disadvantaged individuals, women, children and the elderly. The Foundation will support charitable organizations that address these concerns through arts and culture, community and social development, education and health. The Foundation believes that access to educational opportunities will enable youth and adults to become productive and contributing members of society. The Foundation encourages the development of educational programs and systems which are responsive to emerging community needs. Priority will be given to programs for low-income and at-risk youth.

Initial applications will be reviewed on the following schedule:
  • Applications Received by January 15 - Application Reviewed by May
  • Applications Received by May 15 - Application Reviewed by September
  • Applications Received by September 15 - Application Reviewed by December
Generally, applicants will be notified of action taken by the Board not later than the end of the month in which the application is reviewed.

Initial application will be in the form of a letter of intent (maximum 2 pages) sent here:

660 E. Mason Street, 4th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Telephone: (414) 227-1205

Your letter should include information about the organization, the names of all collaborating organizations, the estimated total project budget, the amount being requested, 501(c)3, information on activities to raise funds from other sources in the community, 990 and current audit (if available). Please attach your organization's mission statement, operating budget, a list of Current Board of Directors and a list of all persons involved in fund raising for the organization. Note that requests for a special project must also include a description of the project, objectives and the project budget.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Letter of Inquiry * IBM Corporate Contribution

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Chicago chapter member Curtis Cade partnered an effort to obtain funding to support the chapter's annual education banquet. BETF submitted a letter of inquiry to the IBM community affairs leadership in Chicago under the company's IBM Community Grant program.

IBM volunteers must be working with an eligible community service organization for an average of eight hours per month for five consecutive months to be eligible for either a cash or equipment grant.

"Our new Community Grants program strengthens IBM On Demand Community by leveraging the full strength of IBM innovation and technology," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "We fully expect that the volunteer efforts of our employees, combined with IBM Community Grants, has the potential to make a lasting impact on organizations that provide some of society's most important services."
We anticipate that we'll have an answer for our Chicago-based funding request in the very near future. However, you don't have to wait. If you believe in what BETF or BDPA Chicago chapter are doing then you are encouraged to make a secure online donation right away!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Social Venture Partners Seattle

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Seattle advances the common good by engaging and connecting a community of philanthropic leaders, strengthening local nonprofits, and catalyzing efforts to accelerate system change. Their vision is that SVP will become the most effective way for an individual to create positive social change in Puget Sound and beyond.

The priority area most relevant to BDPA is called 'Out of School Time'

Out-of-School Time Giving Priorities - Youth spend less than 25 percent of their waking hours in school. Time spent out of the classroom has a tremendous impact on academic achievement, healthy development and successful transition to adulthood. Social Venture Partners is interested in partnering with nonprofit organizations who offer programs that engage youth in safe and constructive activities during out-of-school time, including before and after school hours, evenings and weekends. Programs should provide youth ages 5 to 18 with one or more of the following:
  1. quality time with caring adults
  2. activities to develop social, life and leadership skills
  3. academic enrichment
  4. opportunities to contribute to their communities
SVP invites King County non-profit organizations to apply for the Out-of-School Time grant. All letters of inquiry will be due in February, 2011. If your organization meets SVP’s Out-of-School Time Giving Priorities, be sure to read the Grant Guidelines and How to Apply sections of their website.

This funding opportunity appears to only be open to BDPA Seattle chapter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Value of BDPA in Today's Marketplace

BETF executive director Wayne Hicks is one of the guest speakers for BDPA Columbus chapter today.   Here is his presentation handout:

Would you care to share your thoughts on this topic? Where do you find value in your BDPA membership?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative

The TAG Education Collaborative, formally the TAG Foundation, was formed by TAG to strengthen Georgia's future workforce by uniting Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) resources with leading education initiatives while emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

TAG seeks to strengthen Georgia's STEM workforce and strengthen the middle and high school resources for delivering STEM education. This is a good fit for our BDPA chapter in Georgia.  TAG would also like to attract more students to STEM disciplines in post secondary education.

TAG has a number of programs including:
  1. WebChallenge - This is a high school program designed to reward students who work in a team environment to develop a product that is capable of making a difference in their community by using their creativity and technical knowledge. Students participating in the 2009 program earned more than $21,000 in college scholarships.
  2. Summer Internship Program - This is a program for rising high school seniors to provide them with an opportunity to apply theory, knowledge, and acquired skills through work experience utilizing equipment, instruments, techniques, and information not available in their classrooms. The participating students receive a $1,000 stipend for a five week internship. These students earned almost $40,000 in stipends during the summer of 2009.
  3. Access to Information & Technology - This is a program designed to provide middle and high schools with the resources needed to deliver STEM programs in a 21st century environment.
  4. Future City Competition - This is a middle school program run by Southern Polytechnic State University. It provides a fun and exciting educational engineering program that combines a stimulating engineering challenge with a "hands-on" application to present the student's vision of a city in the future.
I'm hopeful that TAG and BDPA Atlanta chapter can find a way to work together in the coming weeks and months.

Experiencing a Career Transition?

In a career flux, need a change, looking for a new opportunity? Post your resume to the BDPA Talent Management System.

The BDPA Talent Management System provides members with a way to post resumes and Corporate Sponsors with a way to post jobs.

Corporate Sponsors, your investment in BDPA creates positive exposure to technically diverse membership of African American information technology professionals and students. Our system is designed to offer corporations an opportunity to partner with BDPA to meet corporate goals and objectives for recruiting. BDPA programs are open to all corporations with a sincere interest in the vision, mission, objectives and goals of BDPA.

Click here to submit your resume now.

Recruiters, if you would like to take advantage of the BDPA Talent Management System, please contact us by email or phone (800.727-2372) for more information.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seeking Volunteers for BETF YouTube Project

BETF YouTube project manager Ura Puranda needs volunteers to help us jumpstart our multimedia efforts. My hope is that virtual volunteers from around the nation will step up to share their expertise with us. Here is recent status report from our BETF YouTube project:

What say u? Do you have ideas on how to help us market our efforts via video clips on YouTube?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

President Obama Nominates BDPA Member Malcolm Jackson to EPA Post

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Malcolm D. Jackson, a Senior IT executive, as the incoming Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Jackson was one of two people nominated on April 28th by President Obama. President Obama said,

“The American people will be well-served by the skill and experience these two exceptional individuals will bring to their roles. I am confident that they will be tremendous assets to my administration, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

Mr. Jackson recently served as the Senior IT Business Unit Director of CIGNA Insurance Disability Management Business, where he managed all IT aspects that supported short term disability, long term disability, life and accident insurance products and services. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Jackson also served as the Senior IT Business Unit Director for CIGNA Insurance Corporate Business Functions. During this tenure, Mr. Jackson directed the development of IT applications for Human Resources, Finance, Legal and Public Affairs, and Investments. In addition, Mr. Jackson had IT oversight for Corporate Owned Life Insurance, Reinsurance, and Settlement Annuities.

Prior to joining CIGNA Insurance, Mr. Jackson held various positions in the areas of IT, engineering, marketing and general business management at Monsanto, Quaker Oats, General Dynamics, and Shell Oil Company.

Throughout his career, Mr. Jackson has developed expertise in IT strategy, development of large scale enterprise resource planning, establishing performance metrics, and business process re-engineering.

Mr. Jackson is a member of NBDPA’s Chapter of The Year, the Philadelphia Chapter; a Board member of the Children’s Literacy Initiative in Philadelphia, and a Board member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association, where he chairs the membership committee. Mr. Jackson holds a B.S. from Jackson State.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins the entire BDPA-nation in our joy and admiration of Malcom for this remarkable career opportunity!   I hope that we see him later this year at the 2010 National BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia PA.

Letter of Inquiry * Anthony and Alvina Anderson Charitable Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Los Angeles submitted a letter of inquiry to the Anthony and Alvina Anderson Charitable Foundation. We're hopeful that they will support our youth education programs in Los Angeles.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grant Proposal: Fifth Third Foundation (Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Cincinnati chapter on a grant proposal that we submitted to Fifth Third Foundation. We are asking them to provide us with funding to support the chapter's Student IT Education and Scholarship (SITES) program.

Do you have any inside contacts with Fifth Third Bank that might be able to help us?

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation

Founded in 1982, the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation operates exclusively for charitable, educational and religious purposes to help improve the health and vitality of the Lutheran community, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans corporate communities and the Fox Cities of Wisconsin and the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

Grants are provided for projects and missions that reflect Thrivent Financial's charitable interests. Lutheran community grants support Lutheran nonprofits across the country in efforts that focus on strengthening the health and vitality of the Lutheran community. Areas of focus could include congregational vitality, stewardship, volunteerism, financial capacity and sustainability of organizations.

Corporate community grants provide financial support to nonprofit organizations in the Fox Cities of Wisconsin and the Twin Cities of Minnesota that address the changing needs of our communities, with a particular focus on economic self-sufficiency.

The Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation is a private foundation funded by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. As a 501(c)(3) organization with its own board of trustees, the foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational purposes and makes grants and gifts to 501(c)(3) exempt organizations. The Foundation does not provide grants to individuals.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Take Five: Betty Hutchins (Southern Minnesota)

One of the most effective leaders that I've met in over 20 years with BDPA is a soft-spoken woman who currently resides in Minnesota -- Betty Hutchins. One of the best decisions that I made as national BDPA president was to appoint Betty to serve as the national vice president responsible for member services. She created or implemented some powerful programs during her tenure ... such as the BDPA IT Institute.

In any case, I'm pleased that Betty agreed to participate in the Take Five Interview Series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? I learned about BDPA my last year of graduate school and joined the Atlanta Chapter after attending the NBMBAA conference in New York and the BDPA conference in Philadelphia (I believe). The warmth of the members from BDPA was so much greater than the NBMBAA members. Although there was no comparison in the two conferences, at NBMBAA, I saw Maya Angelou and Jesse Jackson, who were plenary speakers. And, I met Michael Baisden and Dr. Kunjufu at the book workshops. It appeared BDPA needed my help more and I felt more of a connection to the BDPA vision. So, I joined the Atlanta Chapter and worked with them to start the Chattanooga Chapter, then moved to Rochester and worked to start the Southern MN Chapter.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? The most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA has to be the young lives that the organization has touched. The many scholarships that BDPA Chattanooga, BDPA Southern MN and National BDPA has presented to students over the years is so remarkable and impactful. Also unique to BDPA is the great training and skills shared with the students in giving them another lucrative career choice that they may not have already considered.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? A defining moment in my life was my taking the programmers aptitude test at Blue Cross and passing it to be accepted into the Programmer Trainee Program, finishing the program in record time with some of the highest scores in the program and entering the world of Information Technology.
  4. Who is your hero and why? My heroes are my parents, who are both deceased. They instilled in me such a great work ethic and desire to be the best at everything that I could never repay them for all that they did. Because of them, I have a Bachelors degree and an MBA and today, my salary far surpasses even their combined income. I hope that they would be proud of not just what I have personally accomplished but by all that I give back to others through organizations like BDPA and United Way. I hope that they would be proud of the community acknowledgements that I have received like the Spirit of Caring Award and the Mayor's Medal of Honor.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? BETF has supported the BDPA scholarships for many years and is doing an outstanding job of continually improving. I have donated $100 or more each year to BETF for several years now and in the past this amount has been upwards of $250 or more. I very much respect the contributions of the foundation and hope they will achieve the goal of an endowment to support 4-year scholarships to BDPA scholars in perpetuity. I know we must help in whatever way we can.

If I were picking my all-time BDPA team -- Betty would be on it. What thoughts went through your mind as you read Betty's answers?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grant Award: Yahoo! Employee Fund ($5,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that we have won a $5,000 grant award from the Yahoo! Employee Foundation. Our grant proposal, in support of the youth education programs hosted by BDPA New York chapter, was submitted earlier this year.

Eric Hamilton was the Yahoo! employee who served as our internal champion on this fundraising effort.

BETF is honored to provide fundraising services for BDPA (local and national). Our hope is that others appreciate our nonprofit efforts and will step up as virtual volunteers or online donors.

For now, we just hope that you will share a smile and pleasant moment as we celebrate this grant-writing success with Yahoo! Employee Foundation!

Monsanto Fund Grants (Deadline: July 1)

The Monsanto Fund, the charitable arm of the Monsanto Company, provides support to nonprofit organizations in communities around the world, with priority given to communities where the company has employees, facilities, or strategic business interests.

Funding is focused on four areas:
  1. nutritional improvement through agriculture
  2. the environment
  3. science education
  4. support of company communities
Eligible applicants, which include U.S. and international nonprofit organizations, governmental units, private schools and hospitals, and medical research organizations, must qualify as tax-exempt public charities or the equivalent, and provide proof of tax-exempt status. Grant requests must be for a minimum of $25,000.

The next application deadline is July 1, 2010. Visit the Fund's website to access application guidelines and regional contact information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Matching Gift * BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) received a donation to support the BDPA Baton Rouge chapter from BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana. The letter that came with the check read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks,

We have completed processing of the matching gift request recently received from Glenda Chappell and [the BDPA Foundation]. I am pleased to inform you that [BETF] has met all of the qualifaction requirements for the matching gift program, and our check is enclosed.

As you know, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana will match personal contributions from eligible participants to qualified non-profit organizations as outlined in our matching gifts program guidelines. More information regarding our matching program can be found on our website,, in the Community section at the top of the screen.

We appreciate the efforts you are making in our state and wish you success.

Paula M. Neck
Employee Giving Administrator

My hope is that all BDPA members that are working in Corporate America will take a close look at their company intranet to see if they would be eligible for volunteer grant or matching gift. In the meantime, we appreciate the work of Glenda Chappell, BCBSLA and BDPA Baton Rouge chapter!

National Lab Day

Today, scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians from across the country will team up with K-12 schools for project-based learning experiences and more.

But National Lab Day (NLD) is more than just a day. National Lab Day is a long-term program and collaboration between STEM professionals and K-12 classroom teachers. Even if you haven't signed up for this year's NLD, take a look at the website and projects, and register your chapter or nonprofit organization for NLD today.
  • Read NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle's commentary in this week's Education Week titled "Making Science Labs a Priority"
  • Read the blog from OSTP staff on the White House website about the May 6 NLD event in New York City
  • Read the e-mail from Energy Secretary Stephen Chu encouraging Dept. of Energy scientists to get involved in National Lab Day
  • Read the U.S. House of Representatives resolution (H.Res.1213) introduced by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), which recognizes STEM education and supports National Lab Day.
Any thoughts on whether National Lab Day is something that BDPA (45 local chapters or national office) can support today or in future years?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Math Wiz Adds Web Tools to Education to New Limits

Thirty-three-year-old Salman Khan recently quit his job as a hedge fund analyst to devote himself to an unpaid job teaching math on the Internet. He has posted 1,200 lessons on YouTube, which appear on an electronic blackboard, and range in subject from basic addition and advanced calculus to science and finance.

And they are free.

Khan lives in California's Silicon Valley with his wife, a rheumatologist in training at Stanford, and their new baby. He got the idea for Khan Academy four years ago, when he taught a young cousin how to convert kilograms to grams. Many American students have trouble with math, and studies show they lag behind their counterparts in Asia and Europe in both math and science. With Khan's help, his cousin got good at math, and he eventually had a new career tapping into anxieties around the world.

Now he records his lessons from a converted closet in the back of his bedroom. Internet instruction, be it the Khan Academy or taped university lectures, could revolutionize education in remote Third World locations, where access to high-quality instruction is frequently unavailable.

This is the type of creativity that inspires BDPA members all over the nation. Is your chapter thinking about using the Internet to document, record and share information?

BETF Media Kit (May 2010)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to share with you our 2010 Media Kit. Please review it and let us know what you think!

Our thanks to BETF volunteer Martin Lindsey for the time, talent and effort that he put into creating this Media Kit for us!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grant Recipient: BDPA Richmond ($4,250)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) approved in full a request for $4,250 funding sent by BDPA Richmond chapter. The funds will be used "for high school computer competition (HSCC) expenses".

BDPA Richmond came in 14th place at the national HSCC championships held last year in Raleigh NC. Our hope is that this funding will help them compete more directly for the championship this year in Philadelphia.

Why Do I Continue To Be An Active Member in BDPA?

Cecil Jones is the past president of BDPA Columbus chapter. He recently shared his thoughts on joining or renewing your relationship with BDPA.

Why do I continue to be an active member in BDPA?

I just finished a consulting/training gig, using some of my corporate vacation days, that pays MUCH, MUCH more per day than I will EVER earn in corporate america. This gig came from a local BDPA member.

Last month, a BDPA member called me. They have gotten a promotion and needed guidance/support and motivation on a MAJOR corporate wide initiative. I had experience, documentation and templates that they were able to use.

I have always wanted to teach at a university. Immediately after a local chapter BDPA presentation where I was one of the panelists, I received an offer to not only teach but to be on their board. Working through BDPA afforded me this opportunity.

During one of those past recessions, my company where I had received STAR awards and walk on water reviews, started acting 'funny'. I heard from a BDPA sponsor HR rep there that it was being debated to include me in the next management layoff list. I found out that it was true; I was going to be placed on the list. I called yet another BDPA sponsor company HR rep, told them the situation. That HR rep got me into my new spot in their company within two weeks, after a dinner meeting with their leadership.

I have been presenting at national BDPA conferences for a few years. Immediately after one of those presentations, I received a training gig.

I have received a lot of mentoring. I have been able to assist others (BDPA members and HSCC students) helping to fulfill my commission and obligation to help our community.

When I took my technology certifications and PMP test, where did I get information on the exams and how to pass? BDPA!

When I hear members whine about not knowing what BDPA is about or that they receive no value, I think back to the 2000 and before, when we had $0 in the treasury and passed the hat to buy pizza and soda for meetings. Now we have sponsors. I think back to the Dayton and Cincinnati chapters that have been 'rebuilt' by individuals with vision. Ask Wayne Hicks about going from a 3 person chapter to a 300 person chapter in Cincinnati, sometimes. That was lonely but inspirational. When one sees that, you know the power of being on the right mission. You know that you have the ability to manage in anybody's corporation or organization.

I think about the telephoning, the typed and handwritten postcards that we sent to build membership. Now we have a website.

I think about the loneliness of being one of the few Blacks in technology in the department/divison (still occurring). We have BDPA for support and sharing.

BDPA is NOT perfect. It is as perfect as you have made it. Get into the middle of it. If you want to develop a recession proof network, join the Membership Management team. Find out what fellow BDPA members are doing, where they are working and what they are working on.

Why participate in BDPA? I think you know. What have you done for BDPA (or 'What have you given to yourself') lately?

Please feel free to call me at (614) 736-1100.

Cecil Jones, past president
BDPA Columbus Chapter

Cecil shared his reasons for being an active member of BDPA. Why do you support BDPA?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Week in BDPA (May 9-15)

BDPA has 45 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you will continue to support Our Cause!

Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :

We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

Corporate America Values Skilled Volunteerism as a Means to Social Change

Increasingly, corporations regard workplace volunteerism as a means to effect long-term social change and are offering their employees skilled volunteer opportunities, an annual survey from New York City-based Deloitte finds. [SOURCE]

According to the 2010 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey (4 pages, PDF), 84 percent of corporate managers believe volunteerism can help nonprofits achieve long-term goals. The survey also found that whereas 50 percent of respondents offered skills-based volunteer opportunities in 2009, 60 percent now report offering options for employee-selected projects, while 64 percent offer options that fit the companies' philanthropic focus. Top criteria for determining workplace volunteer activities include the potential to help mitigate a social problem, help a nonprofit organization function more effectively, help a nonprofit serve more clients, promote good corporate citizenship values, and enhance employee morale.

At the same time, the survey suggests that consistent communication, measurement, and accountability in employee volunteer programs are lacking. Fewer than half the corporations, for example, reported that they always discuss with nonprofits how the volunteer projects will help address short-term needs, create long-term social impact, or help the nonprofits function more effectively, while only 38 percent work with nonprofits to customize metrics to measure the impact of volunteer time.

"Nonprofit organizations are not just looking for more and more people to volunteer; they are looking for people who have specific skills and can help them accomplish sophisticated goals," said Evan Hochberg, national community involvement director at Deloitte Services. "The great news in the data is that companies have begun to look at volunteerism as a means to help accomplish social objectives, but that requires a different conversation than the one that might be had about organizing traditional, hands-on volunteerism events."
Corporate America Gives Workplace Volunteerism a Strong Vote of Confidence as Means for Long-Term Social Change.” Deloitte Press Release 5/03/10.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

For Thousands of Nonprofits, May 15 Is the IRS Deadline to Worry About

Last year, GuideStar warned, "Half a Million Nonprofits Could Lose Their Tax Exemptions." This year, the number is down to 350,000 or 400,000, but the rest of the message is the same: hundreds of thousands of nonprofits are scheduled to lose tax-exempt status because they failed to file annual returns with the IRS.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires the IRS to revoke the federal tax exemption of any organization that has failed to file three consecutive annual returns (Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990, or 990-PF). Nonprofits that wish to have their exemptions reinstated will be required to re-apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status. This process can take several months.

Read the rest of the GuideStar article...

8 Marketing Tips for Recession Stressed BDPA Entrepenreurs - Day 1 of 10

I came across this 10-part series of online seminars for recession-stressed entrepreneurs. The Foundation for the Advancement of Marketing Excellence in Entrepreneurs (FAMEE) helps small and medium sized companies improve how they grow profitable, sustainable, long-term customer revenue steams. They do this by providing free resources, training programs, and guidance to both entrepreneurs and consultants.

I've been operating my own business since July 2002.  As such, there were a number of important learnings shared in this 10-part series.  I thought it worthwhile to share with those entrepreneurs that follow my blog.

Curt Clinkinbeard developed this course for the FAMEE Foundation.  Curt owns his own company, Strive Coaching.  He is also the author of Customer Pillars.

Click here to see the Day 1 video.

The 8 marketing tips for recession-stressed entrepreneurs are:
  1. Keep your cool
  2. It's not the things you do that's different, but how well you do them
  3. Get close to your existing customers
  4. Resist the temptation to discount
  5. Look for opportunities to innovate
  6. Look for 'deals' to promote and expand
  7. Focus on what you can control (take a lesson from Alcoholics Anonymous)
  8. Be optimistic -- pessimism REPELS customers
Download a more detailed outline if you care to have something to use for notes.

My plan is to share the other nine parts of this online seminar over the coming days. I hope that you will take a moment to respond with your thoughts if you have time or inclination.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Grant Proposal: American Honda Foundation

National BDPA vice president Paulette Johnson-Davis worked with BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) to submit a $25,000 grant proposal to the American Honda Foundation.

The American Honda Foundation was founded to make grants to worthy national non-profit causes, programs and organizations that directly benefit the people of the United States.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letter of Inquiry * Comcast Foundation (NorthCentral Division)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Chicago chapter partnered on a letter of inquiry to Comcast Foundation. We asked their NorthCentral Division for permission to submit a $15,000 grant proposal in support of our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Letter of Inquiry * Comcast Foundation (Eastern Division)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Philadelphia chapter partnered on a letter of inquiry to Comcast Foundation. We asked their Eastern Division for permission to submit a $10,000 grant proposal in support of our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Wish us luck!

Andrea Grimes is the Future Face of Technology

Soulclap to Noire Digerati for pointing us to Andrea Grimes ... the Future Face of Technology! Andrea is a Ph.D. candidate in Human-Centered Computing at the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech University. Her research lies within the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW).

A member of Associate Professor Beki Grinter's Work2Play Lab, Andrea's research involves studying aspects of human life to design technology that resonates with existing sociocultural landscapes. Much of her work has focused on designing technology to address diet-related health disparities in the African American population.

To this end, she studies how culture shapes health behaviors and attitudes, and how health technologies can account for this relationship. Her work has involved designing and evaluating a nutrition-oriented mobile game and community-based information sharing applications. Her other research includes examining the future of human-food interaction research in HCI and designing technologies to support family health.

Andrea earned her bachelor's in computer science from Northeastern University.

Some of Andrea's awards and honors include the following:
This is the type of sister that we need to get engaged with BDPA. I challenge our BDPA Atlanta chapter to reach out to Sis. Grimes. For that matter, I challenge Andrea Grimes to find BDPA as well!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Congratulations to Kalamazoo Central High School for Winning Obama's Race to the Top Commencement Challenge

There is so much negative news that permeates the national scene nowadays -- oil spills, terrorist attacks, Wall Street greed, big city floods and so on. It is a tribute to President Obama that he continues to encourage programs and activities that promote the positive elements of our nation. Likewise, I appreciate the strong leadership of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.

I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the schools in my town was a finalist in the 1st annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. The President launched the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge back in February to give the nation's public high schools a chance to demonstrate their commitment to academic excellence, personal responsibility, and ability to prepare students to graduate ready for college and a career. The response was overwhelming. Over 1,000 schools submitted outstanding applications, and more than 170,000 people weighed in on the six finalists.

The six finalists -- Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, KS, Clark Montessori in Cincinnati, OH, Denver School of Science and Technology in Denver, CO, Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, CA, Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI and MAST Academy in Miami, FL -- are extraordinary schools, and each did a tremendous job over the past few months to demonstrate the unique aspects of their school.

In recognition of their extraordinary achievements, President Obama agreed to to provide a Cabinet secretary or senior Administration official to deliver the commencement address at each of the five schools not selected as the national winner.

Ultimately, there could only be one winner. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) joins with the Obama administration in congratulating Kalamzoo Central High School for winning the honors in 2010.

I encourage all of you to take a moment and watch the following video -- it contains spoken word and insights from Central High students on why they deserve the honor.

Getting a good education is critical to each student's future and to the future of the country. That's why President Obama has made unprecedented investments in education reform through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Race to the Top.

These investments are designed to raise the bar and spur innovative techniques to help schools and students achieve success. The winner of the Commencement Challenge and all of the finalists are excellent examples of these kinds of innovations and creative problem solving.

This is the type of energy that BDPA needs to continue to tap into with our Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program. We need to match up our 45 chapter cities with the 1,000 schools that submitted applications and see where we are co-located. We need to make a personal visit with our BDPA leaders to those co-located schools to see how we can help them in the coming school year.

What say u?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Get More Tangible and Impact-Focused

Are you having a rough time with your fundraising this year? The economic tsunami that hit America over the past 18 months or so put a hurt on BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) fundraising. That is why I am reading as many fundraising tips as I can. Network For Good (NFG) is a fertile source of ideas ... especially in their downloadable E-book.

Here is a very useful tip that may help your BDPA chapter or other nonprofit organization with fundraising efforts this year:

Here is another paradigm shift required this year: From need to impact.

Fundraising is not about what you need. Really. It is about what the donor - through you - can achieve.

Everyone knows you need money. So do the other 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States - as do the millions more around the world. If that's all you've got to say, you are just another organization with yet another appeal.

What is special about you? The answer can't simply be that your programs need support. It must be that with your donor, together you can achieve a difference that no one else can.

We should stop building our case for support around a need-based tax categorization and instead talk about how we make a difference.

So how do we talk about impact?

  1. By talking about individuals - one person or animal at a time. Avoid talking about massive numbers, mind-numbing statistics, or intangible outcomes. (There is plenty of research on why this is ineffective in conveying impact and motivating giving and it's laid out in Network for Good's recent eBook, Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: How People Really Think and What It Means to Your Cause.) Telling individual success stories will give people the emotional connection to your work that is so essential to the donor relationship.
  2. Online tools, from websites to Twitter, can be especially helpful in making that individual connection and showing the impact of your work.
  3. On your website, Facebook page, eNews and everywhere else, put these individual stories front and center. Then, to the side, provide a quick glance into how much of your donors' funds is going to that human impact - i.e., your programs.
The bottom line: Do the best job you can showing where the money goes, in a human, authentic, and transparent way -- in all your outreach online.

This tip is an eye-opener for me. I have alot of research on the critical shortages of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. However, I can see now that I need to put more attention into sharing the human stories of success that result from BETF scholarships and BETF funding.

What thoughts or ideas did this blog post bring to you?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program

Intensive science, technology and engineering instruction is generally reserved for students in middle grades and higher. But this year, some Chicago Public Schools' 1st-graders are getting a taste of these disciplines through in an innovative program that designers hope will set the stage for the city’s children to be globally competitive.

The program is the brainchild of Kenneth Hill, who created a program in Detroit that starts with kindergartners and goes through students’ senior year in high school.

Last fall, 65 1st-graders and their parents became the first to participate in the Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering program. For four weeks, students from seven schools in low-income neighborhoods spent three hours on Saturdays studying chemistry at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Read the rest of the Catalyst Notebook article here.

Rethink and Restructure Your Donor Relationships

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) seeks continuous improvement. We have to improve if we hope to raise funds necessary to provide scholarships and pay for technology-based education programs around the country. As such, I thought that this article by the folks at Network For Good (NFG) was excellent.

If you lead a BDPA chapter or other nonprofit organization then I encourage you to download the NFG e-book and enjoy the following tip:

The biggest thing that needs to change for nonprofit organizations this year is how we think about our donors. We are in the midst of an enormous generational shift that has major implications for our work. The Greatest Generation of older, civic-minded Americans who wrote checks out of a sense of duty and trusted charities to use their donations wisely is moving on. The torch has passed to a far more demanding series of donors, who view their giving as an investment, and want to be informed of the progress.

That means it's not enough to declare a need and send a thank-you.

Consider how to reorganize your fundraising efforts with a focus on the donor experience at each touch point with your organization. Here are some steps to take:
  1. Have a Be Your Donor Day. Go to your website. As the donor, ask yourself: Is it apparent what your organization does? Do you see something that forges an emotional connection? Are there tools to share what you are seeing via social networks, right on the home page? Are the voices of donors and supporters clear in the content? Does the website feel like a community or a brochure?
  2. Donate online and offline. How and when are you thanked? What happens after that? Call information to ask for your 800 number and your local number. Call both and see what happens. Sign up for e-News. Tweet your support. What happens?
  3. Do a "walk" online and in the shoes of your donor at least one once each quarter. It will surprise and perhaps horrify you. That's okay. It will very quickly uncover where you are failing to make the donor feel amazing about his or her support of your organization - and supply the insight needed to improve the situation.
  4. Pay particular attention to your online tools. Are you using them to enhance the donor experience or are they lacking? If they don't work well, fix them or stop using them.
Here's the good news: If you make your donors feel appreciated through your website, you will truly stand out. Most nonprofits aren't focused on their donor experience online. When you start doing that, you will be a wonderful anomaly. You will delight, engage, and entrance the people you want to reach.

I'm looking for one or more volunteers that may want to work with me to implement these ideas for BETF. Interested?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grant Proposal: Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation (Charlotte)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Charlotte chapter to submit an online grant proposal to Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation. We asked them to provide us with grant funding of $5,000 in support of the chapter's Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Wish us luck!

Take Five: Hayward West (Philadelphia)

Hayward West is president of the 3-time defending BDPA Chapter-of-the-Year. He is a strategic leader who can help take BDPA to the next level in Philadelphia and around the nation. His chapter is hosting the upcoming National BDPA Technology Conference on July 28-31, 2010.

I'm pleased that Hayward took time to participate in our Take Five Interview Series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I first got involved with BDPA as recruiter for Deloitte at the 2002 National Conference in Orlando. Our CIO, Larry Quinlan, sent a team of us to recruit for open positions in our team. It was my first interaction with the organization and I was very impressed with the High School Computer Competition. After seeing the work of the students and meeting some of the national officers, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. I joined that year.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - The most rewarding work is working the students. Their enthusiasm is contagious. My goal is to fill the pipeline with next generation of technologists. To expose as many students as possible to the world of technology and all it has to offer in terms of a career.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - A defining moment in life was when I became a father. It was at that point that I knew It was time to set aside my selfish ways and plan for the future. I became more focused and determined to break the cycle and begin family traditions.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My hero is my mother. She made me the man I am today through her strength, compassion, sacrifice, and perseverance. Those are the qualities that I strive to emulate everyday. Never accepting any excuses and failure not being option. Even with limited resources she was able to give me everything I needed to be successful.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? Yes, Donating to BETF is wise investment in the future of our students. The organization does a phenomenal job of preparing out youth for college and beyond. The organization works hard and is very successful in bridging the digital divide by enhancing the lives of the under-served from classroom to the boardroom.

Please share some love in the COMMENTS section with Hayward!

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, May 2010)

BDPA is focused on Taking Membership to the Next Level in 2010-2011.  That is part of the strategic plan created by the national leadership team earlier this year.   BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is committed to do our part.   In fact, we are willing to provide funding for 100 student memberships ($2,500 value) if one of the national officers reaches out to us via this blog post! 

Membership is the lifeblood of any organization.  Some of my fondest memories in BDPA revolve around recruiting and retaining members while in officer in Detroit and Cincinnati chapters.   Back in 2004-2005 we were bodacious enough to set a goal of having 10,000 members ... an average of 222 members per chapter!  We used to think big back then.   Can you envision BDPA with 10,000 members in 2010?   If we can dream it, we can acheive it!

Let's take a look at where we are today by celebrating the 10 chapters with the most membership!  The 45 BDPA chapters in BDPA-nation average 32 members (down 2 from last month).

There is some great news in the membership numbersBDPA Los Angeles (president, John Malonson) is the 7th largest chapter in the nation.  This is the highest ranking for that chapter in its 28-year history.  Congrats to BDPA Los Angeles chapter VP-Membership Management Rodd Amos and his team for working so hard to acheive this milestone! 

BDPA Dallas (president, Chris Johnson), BDPA Detroit (president, Markita Wade) and BDPA New Jersey (president, Coram Rimes) each dropped a place in the standings ... but, all three maintained their spot in the Top 10 rankings.

BDPA Chicago (president, Pamela Sexton) maintains its place as the largest chapter in the nation for the 37th month in a row!

The top ten chapters in terms of membership as of 5/1/2010 are:

  1. Chicago
  2. Triangle
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Atlanta
  5. New York -
  6. Southern Minnesota
  7. Los Angeles - (jumped 3 places since last month)
  8. Dallas - (dropped one place since last month)
  9. Detroit - (dropped one place since last month)
  10. New Jersey (dropped one place since last month)
The first two (2) chapters on this list are in the BDPA Century Club with at least 100 members. BDPA Chicago chapter tops the list with 225 members!

Feel free to ask about the ranking of your chapter. In the meantime, we would love to know what you think about membership in BDPA?