Comnet Community Centers (C3)
The Children and Youth Comnet Community Center (C3) program addresses the organizational and professional needs of nonprofit agencies by networking and building new resources around a specific service area. The Children and Youth C3 provides an interactive online community tailored in online content, membership, and information technologies for nonprofit professionals serving children and youth. Online communities provide email, listservs, image and data exchange tools, note posting, and membership management. The goal is to create an interactive online community that supports the development of new technologies while expanding the current use, integration and application of technology in nonprofit organizations.
Technology Trends in the Nonprofit Sector
In the 1999 Survey Report on Selected Nonprofits and Information Technology, respondents indicated that the information technology needs of nonprofit organizations are becoming more sophisticated. Specialized internet content delivery and opportunities for online collaboration are the next steps in supporting the use of information technology among nonprofits in Michigan. Online communities support this type of content delivery and online collaboration. The Comnet Community Centers (C3s) will enable nonprofit professionals to utilize information resources, technology solutions, and advice from colleagues specific to their clients, operations, and services.
Many internet service providers (ISPs) now offer enhanced Web hosting for a very small fee. Since Comnet is not an ISP that provides email and internet connections, more nonprofits are taking advantage of a single relationship for their internet service needs. The services that are not offered by these low cost ISPs are technology assistance, planning, training and creative new solutions tailored to organizational issues. To fill this gap and remain competitive against the other entities that are providing similar stop gap services, the future success of Comnet is linked to the development and functionality of innovative technology uses and applications with support, training, and user-driven content. And as the focus of technology provision to nonprofits changes, Michigan Comnet is addressing many of the information technology needs of nonprofit organizations. For example, the Web site acts as an online resource directory for nonprofit professionals and the general public and their services include Web hosting, virtual library, nonprofit database directory projects, community calendar, job postings, and other online tools.
The Comnet Community Centers are the most unique and viable aspect of Comnet's new services. The information available in the C3s will be member driven while the Comnet staff will manage the community. The Children and Youth C3 intends to further the development of systematic transformations in social services by supporting the use of new technology in nonprofits. Communication and information sharing among the participants will allow agencies and researchers to provide better services to their clients, children, and youth.
Last updated: 5/22/05
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