Spring 2003

Senior Corps Technology Resource Center
by Cori Kocher

Senior Corps is a network of programs that tap the experience, skills, and talents of older citizens to meet community challenges. Through its three programs —Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)—more than half a million Americans age 55 and over assist local nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations in carrying out their missions. (See the Senior Corps website.)

ETR logo


Where would Senior Corps program staff turn with a question about technology? To the Senior Corps Tech Center. The Tech Center, created by ETR Associates and funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service is the place for Senior Corps staff to discover how technology can help with both the day-to-day activities of running a program, as well as the larger program issues. The information presented on the website is applicable and available to any national service or community-based organization.

The Tech Center is organized into "Learning Paths," which are lessons centered around the use of technology to solve common program issues, and a Reference Library that provides hands-on answers in the form of quick articles.

The Learning Paths topics include:    

The Reference Library topics include:

  • Marketing
  • Backing Up Files
  • Online Fundraising
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Tech-Smart Office
  • Hardware
  • Volunteer Data Management
  • Legal Issues
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Networks
  • Volunteer Training
  • Software


  • Using the Internet


  • Virus Protection

The most recent addition to the Learning Paths, Online Fundraising, is about leveraging the Internet to your advantage by accepting donations online, using e-mail lists to publicize your program and finding funding opportunities online. In this Learning Path you can follow a lesson plan, or use the resources available to create your own learning experience. The self-assessment provides a program the opportunity to see if they are indeed ready to raise funds online.

The "Tips, Tools and Templates" section provides quick access to the essentials of the course, such as a comparison table of the services available to help with online fundraising efforts, a fundraising plan worksheet to help plan an online fundraising campaign or a website building tip sheet. The Learning Path also includes a section with real-life case studies and examples, and a section with web links and books available in our technology lending library for further study.

Open discussion boards are available with dedicated forums for the Learning Path topic areas where Senior Corps programs are welcome to share ideas, ask questions and get answers to challenges on the topic area at hand.

The Reference Library has recently doubled in size to include many articles on website building and e-mailing, as well as articles on computer network basics. For example, the website building area includes articles such as:

  • Planning Your Own Website
  • Website Design Tips
  • HTML Starter
  • Online HTML Training Sources
  • Website Hosting
  • How to Choose an Internet Service Provider
  • Domain Names
  • Registering Your Website with Search Engines
  • FTP Basics

All of these resources are available to help national service programs and other community-based organizations learn how technology can improve their programs and make their office work more efficiently. Check out the Senior Corps Tech Center at: http://www.seniortechcenter.org.

Cori Kocher is the Senior Corps Project Liaison. She coordinates content for the Senior Corps Tech Center website.

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