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Monday, January 26, 2009

Help For Area Non-Profit Organizations

As our nation's economy falters uncertainly, our non-profit organizations become more necessary than ever - and yet donations to those organizations are at peril when people are just getting by financially. What can the Library do to help your non-profit organization? Do you need help spreading the word about what you offer and who can benefit from it? Help receiving donations and asking for volunteers?

The Library has always extended a helping hand to non-profits in the area by making public meeting rooms available and providing space for promotional materials, even services - take our collection area in the atrium, for example, where we collect eyeglasses for the Lions Club, food items for the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines and personal items for troops serving overseas, via our local VFW Post. This year, we'd like to increase the assistance we offer to non-profit organizations, by offering specialized training and equipment for building and maintaining Web sites and, if things go as planned, for creating promotional videos as well.

Would you and your organization like to get in on this new initiative? Our first training session will meet on Thursday, April 16, 2009 from 7 - 8:30 PM, in the Library's Computer Lab. If you think it will be too difficult or technical for you - relax. The session will focus on using FREE, user-friendly blogging software to create an exciting, modern and easy-to-update Web site for your organization. If you can point and click a mouse, and type somewhat well, you can make a Web site with this technology. This first session will get you started, but each participating individual/organization will be able to schedule follow-up sessions to receive personalized help.

The first gathering will also give me, DPPL's Web Services Librarian, a chance to meet representatives from area non-profits to determine what else we can do to help. For example, I would love an opportunity to teach non-profits how to film, edit and upload videos online, because a short, creatively made video can speak volumes about the importance of your services. Plus, uploading a video onto the Internet can introduce your organization to the entire world! Come out and talk with me on April 16 and let me know if that's an idea that appeals to you.

So, non-profits, give me (Karen McBride) a call at 847-376-2806 or email and sign up for this informational session on April 16, 2009. Can't make that session? Contact me anyway and we can talk about other options. Know someone who might be interested? Please pass this blog post along to clubs, religious groups, fundraisers, service groups - anyone who'd like some help developing a basic but useful (and FREE) Web site for an organization.

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