Aspiration

New Strategic Approaches to Nonprofit and Board Governance

The Principal of Internaut Consulting is the creator of the nonprofit social enterprise aspirationtech.org. A decade ago he founded the organization dedicated to new approaches in nonprofit software development through a variety of services including facilitations, product development services, training and its unique web 2.0 social network platform for nonprofit software developers, clients and service providers called Social Source Commons. Aspiration is a true hybrid nonprofit with a self-sustainable strategy offering services to others in the sector.

The Principal of Internaut Consulting has continued to provide ongoing governance support over the last decade as founder and board chair of Aspiration.

 

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Paladin Data

Marketing & Nonprofit Business Development Strategy

Paladin Data and Braiker Media, its marketing consultant, needed to repurpose a unique software solution it had developed for the government sector which had the potential to support the philanthropic and nonprofit sector as a program management tool. They wanted to better understand these sectors, what their needs were and how well their new tool aligned with them.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to explain the dynamics of the sector and how it related to the software product Paladin Data had built. This included the specific dynamics and segmentation of the markets as well as the potential client base and how to interact with it. Research on the current level of nonprofit and philanthropic technical capacity was also provided.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Global Library Program Eastern European Expansion Strategy

A program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation designed to provide free public internet access in libraries for the general public and particularly the disenfranchised in rural and urban areas. The program needed a full spectrum of support for its entry into Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to provide in-country research, create and review country proposals, and engage in strategic and implementation planning to evaluate the potential for a number of new countries in Central and Eastern Europe to participate in the program. Work also included refining program administration and procurement RFP’s once countries were selected, and then reviewing and selecting 3rd party country program implementers. Internaut Consulting was additionally contracted to provide ongoing strategic advice related to the entire program in Central & Eastern Europe and did on the ground pre-program assessment in Kyrgyzstan, Bulgaria and the Ukraine as well as desk research for Poland, Romania and Mongolia.

Internaut Consulting separately retained to assist the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with their ICTD internal information gathering initiative by creating research reports for them on the state of non-profit capacity and the state of ICT in Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia including Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

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Media Development Loan Fund (MDIF)

Strategy to Better Integrate its ICT Products & Services Arm

The Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) [now Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF)] supports independent news media in emerging democracies. The Center for Advanced Media in Prague (CAMP) functioned as the technology products and services arm of MDLF. As CAMP and MDLF services evolved somewhat distinctly from each other MDLF wished to evaluate how to better integrate its technology products and services arm into its core business and what client groups to best target.

Deliverables:

Internaut Consulting was engaged to assess MDLF-CAMP’s client technology offerings and how well they complimented MDLF’s overall strategy through a series of 360 interviews with MDLF staff, developers and clients. Internaut Consulting also provided recommendation’s to refocus CAMP to target clients that MDLF wished to primarily focus on, and better align MDLF-CAMP priorities with those of its parent MDLF. The result was a complete restructuring of MDLF’s technology servicing arm and the eventual spin off of MDLF-CAMP into its own self-sustainable entity servicing these clients and others.

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Robert Sterling Clark Foundation

Cultural Exchange Repository & GIS Mapping

The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation focuses on ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive health information and services, strengthening Cultural Institutions and improving the Performance of Public Institutions in New York. It required support and technology expertise for its cultural exchange database initiative. It needed a way to visualize its one and two way cultural exchange programs managed by a variety of grantees in a compelling and consistent manner and make it available online.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to assist the foundation to research online global cultural organizations, databases, social networks and translation services for a cultural exchange database project related to its Arts portfolio. It assessed potential partners, technology platforms and methodologies for developing a global cultural exchange database. Finally, it selected an online mapping tool and developed consistent online GIS maps with unique templates for the foundation’s one way and two way exchange programs, and linked them to the foundation’s web site.

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Carnegie Corporation

Facilitation of Libraries in Africa Program & ICT Education Proposal Evaluation

Internaut Consulting was retained to evaluate a number of capacity support proposals and international education and technology proposals for a couple of Carnegie Corporation program areas over a number of years.

Internaut Consulting was also retained to facilitate the Carnegie Corporation’s five year strategy objectives discussion for universities and libraries in Africa hosted by its International development program.


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John Templeton Foundation

ICT Strategy Development & Facilitation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for research and discoveries relating to what scientists and philosophers call the “Big Questions”. The foundation required an internal technology strategy evaluation consisting of benchmarking its current status, evaluating its ICT staffing and assisting the new Director develop strategy.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to facilitate the Templeton Foundation IT strategy project meeting of all stakeholders to discuss what they currently liked about their technology implementation strategy, what they didn’t like and what they expected from it in order to build consensus around overall approach and priority definition. This was a precursor the step, a more comprehensive effort to benchmark the foundation’s technology efforts against other foundations and third party entities, assess its strengths and weaknesses and make appropriate recommendations.

Through a series of user interviews, survey, and facilitation Internaut Consulting benchmarked the foundation’s efforts in about 20 areas against those of other foundations of similar size and scope. It identified where the foundation exceeded, satisfied or was wanting in its ICT efforts. Internaut Consulting then reviewed current IT trends, explained them and developed a proposed integrated ICT strategy for the foundation going forward. This resulted in the hiring of an internal ICT director and most of the strategy recommendations being adopted. Internaut Consulting was then recalled to assist the new director in developing an operational plan and prioritizing initiatives to carry out the new strategy.


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New York Foundation for the Arts

Online Presence and Revenue Channel Strategy

The New York Foundation for the Arts required an overhaul of its online presence to replace its difficult to navigate, buggy and information heavy website. The site was basically a hierarchical information broadcasting tool with limited interactivity and social networking capacity. The website made it difficult for users to find the rich resources NYFA offered.

NYFA also needed to increase its sustainability based on it’s offerings. NYFA also required help integrating its many databases around its online presence and support defining new products and services that would attract constituencies while not alienating them. It needed to maintain its free content offerings in addition to maintaining the standards of its well regarded training and fellowship initiatives. Finally, NYFA needed to extend its brand both domestically and internationally to include international cultural exchanges.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to work with NYFA as its advocate in conjunction with its branding strategy and web development vendor. Internaut consulting assisted in collecting user requirements, participated in hiring its new CIO and assisted NYFA’s new CIO navigate the systems life cycle of a large technology overhaul and software development project. It also assisted in defining its new and modified revenue channels based on NYFA’s user demographics and current product/service offerings. It helped extend NYFA’s domestic brand to an international audience by defining the system and management requirements needed to support it.

Internaut Consulting was also retained to provided specialized IT career Coaching for the CIO of NYFA as part of a broader organization-wide career coaching assignment led by by Meryl Moritz Resources to better define organizational goals and collaboration among staff.


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