Technology Innovator of the Week: Asian American LEAD (AALEAD)

AALEAD-logo 2Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) is the leading community organization that provides educational enrichment and youth development programs to low-income and underserved Asian American youth in the DC-area.

They deliver specialized after school programs, one-on-one mentoring, academic support resources, and life skill development for students.

501cTECH has chosen AALEAD as its Technology Innovator of the Week to highlight some of the ways social media has helped their organization have a greater impact on the community.

How does technology make your work life easier?

Technology helps AALEAD communicate in a creative, fast, and exciting way with our youth and the community.

How has technology changed the way your organization does business? Do you use technology to increase donations? Recruit more volunteers? Tell your story? Tell your client’s stories?

By providing fast, convenient and compelling ways to learn about our work, AALEAD has been able to build stronger relationships with our supporters. AALEAD’s supporters can stay up to date on how their contributions and donations are impacting the youth we serve. They are able to see first-hand, although it may not be in person, the work that is being done. AALEAD uses social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube) to engage our community. By posting quotes, photos and videos, several times a week, we keep our community, including funders, up to date. We also use our blog and monthly newsletter to stay connected. We have brought the community closer to our work and given them an opportunity to see the work we do. Frequently posting current or live updates allows community supporters to feel close and connected to the work we do as they witness activities and events as they happen. AALEAD believes in the power of storytelling, but not everyone is able to sit down to listen our stories. Technology and social media have allowed us to effectively reach and powerfully impact individuals and organizations and also raise funds with simple photos, video clips and text.

How do you use technology to achieve your mission?

AALEAD has been able to build even stronger relationships and deepen the impact on the youth we serve and create more meaningful and quality programs. In addition to meeting in person and communicating by phone, AALEAD staff also use social media to stay connected and maintain clear and open communication with youth. Staff members are more accessible and visible to youth who see AALEAD as a supportive family. While we have been successful with a phone call or meeting youth in person, the use of social media has also made it easier to organize events and activities. Our staff use social media to communicate with our alumni, parents and mentors.  We are also able to provide quality programming that focuses on technology and how our youth can use technology education and leadership to impact the community at-large. AALEAD has empowered our youth to use their understanding and interest in technology to become leaders in the community at-large. Through our past Digital Connectors program AALEAD youth provided over 1,000 trainings on digital literacy and technology to community groups and members. Not only has the innovative use of technology and social media positively impacted our organization and the youth we serve, we are positively affecting the community around us in the process.

What’s your favorite technology innovation? Are you a social media fan? Is there a piece of hardware or software you can’t live without?

We love social media here at AALEAD! We really love the idea of being able to post photos, videos, and quotes to show what we are doing during programs, at weekend events, and spotlight accomplishments.

Topics: npTech, nonprofit technology, social media, AALEAD, Asian American LEAD, Technology Innovator of the Week

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