Have you ever wondered how nonprofit organizations, NGOs, and small businesses obtain computer / IT technical support? Yes? I have too. You see, I believe that many small nonprofit organizations and businesses have very lousy IT support, and don’t know where to begin in increasing its quality. While I do not (yet) have hard statistics, I believe that many of these organizations can, and are willing to, better utilize technology in their offices and in achieving their mission.
Before I wrote another blog post that I published recently, I was planning on writing a more general post about an idea that I have been spending a considerable amount of time on over the past 2-3 months, although this idea has been brewing in my mind for over a year and a half.
I recently sent the following letter to some 200+ recipients, most of whom do NOT work for any nonprofit organization, but who I was hoping would be able to help me spread the word that I designed a survey and was looking for nonprofit organizations & NGOs to fill it out:
I value the work of nonprofit organizations such as yours and would appreciate your insight related to your technology needs. My name is David White, and I am the founder and sole proprietor of Develop CENTS, which provides IT services including consulting and web hosting solutions to individuals and small businesses.
For over a year, I have been considering launching Develop CENTS into an organization that will provide affordable information technology services to any organization in the world doing community development. Areas of service could include IT consulting, server administration, web hosting solutions, office computer maintenance, and much more. My idea is to provide a combination of these services with professional attention to detail and understanding based on my experience with both IT and community development concerns.
As I launch this venture, I ask myself whether another technical support organization is needed. I believe that my vision is unique by laying a groundwork for very close interaction with churches and NGOs in order to best address their technology needs. I also believe that the technology used in the international community development sector is not as supported as well as it should be.
As I complete my business plan, I have designed a brief survey that I am hoping you will take a minute or two to complete. Your results are completely confidential, and your help will be greatly appreciated. If you know of other NGOs or churches anywhere in the world who might be willing to take this survey, I would appreciate your passing it on to them. (Edit: The link has now been removed).
If you do not represent an NGO or church, please do not fill out the survey. Instead, if you do know anyone who meets this criteria, please forward this email to them.
Recently, I have been working hard to network with people and to obtain advice from those who have experience in what I am trying to do. For various reasons, I am strongly considering to begin launching Smooth Stone Services into full time operations in June of this year and to find a part time job until I am able to have enough clients in order to keep me busy.
If you are in Boston, and you think that you know of a nonprofit organization or small business that could use my help, why don’t you tell them about me? I would greatly appreciate the reference. You can also contact me at our website with any suggestions or recommendations.
A couple weeks ago, I met with a SCORE adviser, and plan to meet with him again soon. I have also been writing a business plan for over a year, and recently have been work on a Cash Flow Projection and have been putting together a budget into multiple Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
I also obtained my MA Driver’s License recently – so I am an official, legal Massachusetts resident! Now, let’s hope that I am able to either find a job, find a part time job, or successfully launch a business in June. (Edit: In November, 2012, I moved back to the South East, to end up in Chattanooga, TN. Sorry, Northeast!)
I would appreciate any prayer, advice, networking connections, referrals, or other words of encouragement that you may be able to give as I continue to pray and think about this enormous venture. My heart, and my long term goal is to see CENTS working internationally and for me to personally be involved in and working within small communities in developing countries. I want to help the poor help themselves, and I believe that I can do this by providing quality technology services to nonprofit organizations and NGOs throughout the world.
This was edited on Monday, Dec 13, 2012 to change the name of the business from Smooth Stone Services (old) to Develop CENTS (new business name), to fix a couple links, and to provide clarification that I no longer live in Massachusetts.