On behalf of the Developer, IT Pro and Community Affairs Teams here at Microsoft Canada I am pleased to announce the launch of MatchIT. This is a new Canadian online initiative designed to help bring together charities and non-profit organizations who have IT needs with Canada’s Technical Communities who are looking to give-back to the community by volunteering outside of their day-to-day jobs.
What started out as a discussion on how we could support our Citizenship and Community Affairs efforts in Canada has evolved into the first national program to virtually align technology opportunities from charities with our key technical audiences (Developers, IT Pros, Students and Hobbyists).
To help us engage Canada’s charities and non-profit organizations, we have joined forces with Imagine Canada (www.imaginecanada.ca) who supports and coordinates this sector.
What is MatchIT?
MatchIT is an online environment where charities and not-for-profit organizations can connect with Developers, IT Pro’s, Designers, Students or other technical individuals willing to volunteer their time and expertise to bring technology solutions to these organizations. Our goal is to enable them to be more effective with their limited resources and focus their efforts on having a positive impact in society.
What does MatchIT do?
MatchIT will allow charities across the country to post virtual "want ads" describing opportunities to our audiences that have inputted their volunteer profile to assist these organizations. Through a unique taxonomy process developed by our friends at Navantis, only true matches will be put forward to awaiting volunteers, so users will not have to wade through all the opportunities to find a good fit.
In addition to assisting in aligning these volunteer opportunities, Microsoft Canada Community Affairs will provide the applicable Microsoft software to the charities where appropriate.
How are we promoting this?
Starting today, we will be getting the word out in a number of ways:
- Imagine Canada has announced MatchIT in their newsletter
- It will be included in the monthly MSDN and TechNet email newsletters.
- MSDN and TechNet Events (such as the upcoming EnergizeIT event in Toronto)
- Blogging – across all of our community team blog sites (like Canadian Developers and Canadian IT Pros)
- Via the MVPs and User Groups
- 3rd Party Events (like MESH)
How can I get involved?
First and foremost - help us spread the word! The more volunteers with technical skills we have ready for opportunities, the better as the need for technical assistance in the charitable sector is astounding. If you know a Developer or IT Professional looking for ways they can help Canadian communities, or if you are interested in applying your technical skills to incredible Canadian charities in a volunteer capacity, simply visit http://matchit.imaginecanada.ca/MSImagine/Home.aspx and "Sign Up"!
I would like to thank Wendy Rogers (Developer Marketing), Kerri Connolly (IT Pro Marketing), Gavin Thompson (Community Affairs), Thomas Lui (Microsoft Consulting), Dean Bedwell (Manager, Developer Marketing) and Navantis for all of their great work on making this concept a reality!!
This initiative is one of many aimed at connecting with our audiences in new and innovative ways. Along with activities like green-powering our events we hope we can appeal to Canada's technology communities on topics that are important to them.
Most importantly, we are excited at the unique potential that MatchIT brings to volunteerism in Canada!