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Bringing the 21st Century to All: Nonprofits Bridging the Digital Divide


As the year 2001 opens, many nonprofit organizations are working to ensure that the computer revolution leaves no one behind. Some give computers to the elderly, enabling homebound seniors to reach out to the world and regain a measure of independence. Others provide hardware to seriously ill children, making it possible for them to continue their education and stay in touch with friends.

Some nonprofits supply computer equipment to minority-owned businesses. Others ship hardware and software to schools overseas, making it easier for students to gain the education that will help them lift themselves out of poverty.

Community centers, schools, libraries, and youth centers provide access to technology for people who cannot afford their own computers. In computer labs across the country, children with learning disabilities and students who are struggling academically use specialized software programs to improve their skills. Adults study for the GED exam. People learn to speak and read English as a second language. Teenagers and adults learn to read.

Many organizations offer computer literacy classes and specialized computer training. In these classes, homeless individuals gain knowledge that will help them get jobs and break the cycle of homelessness and dependency. Single mothers and minimum-wage workers learn software programs or how to repair hardware so that they can compete for better-paying jobs. Computer-phobic seniors overcome their fears and become proficient at surfing the Internet.

The nation's nonprofit organizations are vital partners in efforts to bridge the digital divide.

This report was based on information in the GuideStar database.

suzanne-coffman-150x150.jpgThe preceding post is by Suzanne Coffman, GuideStar’s editorial director. See more of Suzanne’s sector findings and musings on philanthropy here on our blog. 
Topics: Technology Nonprofits