Fall-Winter 2002-2003

The CTC Support Project: Local Support, National Implications
by Trang Le

When CTCNet was awarded a grant from State Street's Global Philanthropy Program in July of 2000, we intended to pilot a Floating Help Desk that would involve roughly 14 CTCNet affiliates in the Boston Metropolitan area.

Matt Crichton, Trang Le, and David Smith
At the Support Project workshop on planning with Matt Crichton, CTC
VISTA Project: CTCNet Project Coordinator Trang Le and David
Smith from Solutions at Work.

During the project planning process, we realized that to create a replicable support model that would consistently address the volunteer and operational needs of CTCs, we would need to include services that reached far beyond the level of support offered by a simple help desk. The Technical Volunteer Matching Program was the first component of the project to be implemented in the summer of 2001, established for recruiting local, skilled technical volunteers to provide participating CTCs with direct and onsite technical support in response to a CTC's specific requests for service. Since then, the CTC Support Project has developed in size, capacity, and scope appropriately reflecting the technical needs identified by CTCs and currently also includes:

  • Quarterly Workshop Series—Intended to help the staff and directors of our participating centers deepen their knowledge in various areas that cannot be addressed through the use of volunteers.  The topics of each workshop/training are specific issues that the CTCs themselves have identified and are struggling to resolve.
  • Technical Help Desk—Addresses short-term and specific technical needs without the presence of an onsite volunteer.  A local phone number and email address have been set up to answer day-to-day technical questions.
  • Consultant Directory—Consists of approximately 20 local consultants who are experienced in providing consultation services to nonprofits.
  • Online Resources—Contains project's background information and resources that are useful for both volunteers and CTCs such as volunteer management policy, technology plans, assessment tools, curriculum materials, and more.

The CTC Support Project, a pilot program in the Metropolitan Boston area run by CTCNet from 2001 - 2003, has concluded its work. The project has served as the basis for the CTC Support Handbook, which can be found here.

Trang Le and Marissa Martin are Project Coordinators at CTCNet.

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