Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: 17 days ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices. This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Best ways to serve low-income, high risk pools during COVID-19. Need some tech ideas

  • 1.  Best ways to serve low-income, high risk pools during COVID-19. Need some tech ideas

    Posted Apr 15, 2020 16:01
    Good afternoon,

    I manage the technology resources for a nonprofit specializing in providing services to low income communities.  One of our services is LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), a service that pays direct payments to utility providers if the client qualifies.

    We see over a thousand clients annually, a lot of them being over 65 with preexisting conditions.  Currently, utility companies are not disconnecting clients for nonpayment during this time, but we know that will eventually change.  Thus, the need for us to game plan our strategy to help these vulnerable populations is now.

    My thoughts as of now--I'm looking for a turnkey, relatively easy to use, web-based app where we can communicate with our clients remotely, via chat and video for document, income, and ID verification.  Similar to a TeleHealth-style system.  Clients can upload necessary documents into this same app, and we can review the files from a dashboard.  It needs to be simple and support Android and iOS platforms.  Most of our seniors do have capabilities or access to smartphones, and if not, we can provide resources to make that happen.  The goal is zero contact points between our staff and the clients we serve to protect the health and safety of both parties.  Additional funds and exceptions due to COVID-19 will be granted to my knowledge.

    We are working up a process for clients that cannot do any of the above mentioned, but that will require a change in our office configurations.

    Any advice on applications or strategies would be greatly appreciated.

    Nathan Curry
    IT Director
    Decatur, AL
    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard

  • 2.  RE: Best ways to serve low-income, high risk pools during COVID-19. Need some tech ideas

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hello Nathan,
    Does your organization use SharePoint?  If so, you can use MS Teams for video teleconferencing with your clients and OneDrive to allow clients to upload documentation.  OneDrive has a file request feature that allows you to set up a folder where others can upload files using a link that you provide. These users can't see what's in the folder - they can only upload files to it.  My company provides IT support for a non-profit that is very similar to yours.  They also specialize in providing services to low-income communities, providing services that also include LIHEAP.  We have developed a SharePoint application for them which allows clients to submit a Request for Assistance application and also upload documentation to apply and qualify for services.  Here is a link to the specific page on their website to allow you to get a better idea of how it works:  The links in steps 1 & 2 are to MS Forms which are stored in SharePoint.  Step 3 is the document upload feature that I mentioned.  Staff processes the applications as they are received.  This process is completely online.  Contact to clients is made via phone or teleconference via Teams.  So, if you do have SharePoint I would suggest that you take advantage of the platform vs. going out and making a purchase as SharePoint is more than capable of doing what you need.

    Kimico Myers
    TeamLogic IT – Columbia
    810 Dutch Square Blvd., Suite 234
    Columbia, SC 29210
    803-638-8662 Ext. 2 - Office
    803-603-0318 - Cell

    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard