ARMONK, N.Y., June 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the addition of a new portfolio of software, services and consulting grants to respond directly to the needs of local non-profit organizations to improve their effectiveness.
These new IBM Trailblazer Grants open up IBM's innovation technology and the deep expertise of its employees and make them available to the local non-profit sector. Through consulting and technology tools in areas such as social networking, project management, strategic planning, leadership and collaboration, IBM's Trailblazer Grants will help local non-profit groups to reach farther into their communities, connect with populations in need, and more efficiently and effectively manage their organizations.
These new localized software, services and consulting grants leverage IBM's expertise in the communities it engages, and mirror the type of assistance it provides to its clients. In a pilot phase, these grants have been distributed to 30 non-profit organizations and schools in the United States with 150 more groups around the world set to receive grants in 2010. These new grants enable local, non-profit organizations to receive for free some of the same services and tools that for-profit businesses routinely are able to obtain, allowing them to operate more efficiently in the current economic environment and position for future community stability and growth.
"In a tough economy, non-profit organizations have the dual challenge of shrinking budgets and increasing requests for help from people in need, particularly in the case of local groups that are part of the social safety net," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "IBM has a long history of commitment and engagement with communities as a local, good corporate citizen. These grants respond to the very real challenge of helping community agencies improve their productivity and effectiveness."
These IBM Trailblazer Grants help recipient non-profit organizations to build up their IT infrastructure and their leadership, management and technology skills. The solutions were developed with non-profit partners, and designed to help them enhance their ability to meet the needs of their communities. By leveraging IBM's strength in these areas, the new grants align closely with the needs of small-to-mid-sized non-profit and educational organizations. Some of the early recipients of these grants have offered perspective on the relevance and impact these offerings can have:
"The extent to which IBM has helped us to think more strategically through the Strategic Assessment grant is the extent to which we will be better able to improve public education and to help students, teachers, families, community members, and teachers in the Philadelphia community, so that all of our students have access to college and careers." - Carol Fixman, Executive Director, Philadelphia Education Fund
"We're using the social media tools we gained from this grant in order to both reinforce key financial aid information delivered during our in-school advising sessions and reach out to new students in need of guidance about how to afford college. We learned from IBM how to employ tools like Facebook and Twitter to create a network that will connect us with these students and help them form a community with each other as well – this will keep them engaged from their freshman year of high school all the way through to successful completion of college." – Kevin Mitchell, Development Director, ACCESS, Boston
"This grant helped us build skills at Safe Horizon for better management of some of our most complex projects in serving victims of violence in the New York City area. Our mission is to provide support and prevent violence for victims of crime and abuse, their families and their communities. With improved management, we'll be better able to coordinate and execute on projects across our organization, from facilities management to legal contract reviews to operations." – Ariel Zwang, Chief Executive Officer, Safe Horizon, New York
"At Greenlights, we are working to connect the Central Texas community and enable local non-profit groups to manage their business and governance issues. In tough economic times like these, small groups that have the passion to do good work may not always have the business tools and skills they need to stay afloat. With the knowledge and tools we've received through our project management consultancy grant, we're helping our local community nonprofits to do more with less, serve the increasing numbers of local populations in need, and thrive in a tough economy." – Ann Starr, Director of Education, Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, Austin
The IBM Trailblazer Grant offerings include a range of services, software and technology including project management, social media, leadership and collaboration and strategic assessment. As well as data back up, resiliency and hacker vulnerability services, along with donation of key software tools such as LotusLive and Lotus Foundations.
For more information on IBM Trailblazer Grants, go to: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ibmgives/