WASHINGTON, DC; Nov. 6, 2015 – 501cTECH announced the selection of Hopecam, the Arc of Northern Virginia, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors as the winners of the 2015 Technology Innovation Awards. The announcement was made at 501cTECH’s annual Celebration of Technology Event, held at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center. The Technology Innovation Awards honor DC-area nonprofits with $7,500 to put towards bringing innovative technology projects to life. Now in its twelfth year, these Technology Innovation Awards have helped over two dozen resource-strapped nonprofits overcome monetary restraints and so that they can have a greater impact in the community. A record number of applications were received for the awards this year. Our process focuses on identifying applicants who have a measurable impact on the community. The Awards were the highlight of the Celebration of Technology, which was made possible by generous sponsors including Accenture, CenturyLink, BAE Systems, Clark Construction, Amazon Web Services, Capital One, Deloitte and SapientNitro, who recognize that investing in nonprofit technology is critical to the success of the nonprofit community. Artwork created by students of Project Create, a 501cTECH’s Small Nonprofit Transformation Initiative beneficiary, added to the festive atmosphere. The artwork served as a reminder of how technology can change lives and create opportunities, one person at a time.
Technology Innovation Award Winners
The three winners fell into each of the following categories: PreK-12 and STEM Education, Skills to Succeed and Workforce Development, and Veterans and Military Families.
Hopecam uses technology to connect children in treatment for cancer with their communities. With the award winnings, Hopecam will be able to expand the reach of their program to purchase software and technology tools that can be donated to families with children undergoing cancer treatment. First and foremost, Hopecam provides children with cancer with a tablet, email address, Skype account and internet hubspot that they can use to see and talk with their friends, family and classmates. When provided with webcameras and internet access, children with cancer are empowered with more tools to overcome social isolation and maintain a sense of belonging. Beyond that, this technology encourages a more empathetic and compassionate community, as friends and classmates are informed and educated about the challenges faced by children with cancer. Hopecam’s use of technology has an enduring and repeatable impact. It’s not about brand new technologies, but about applying existing technologies in innovative ways.
The Arc of Northern Virginia promotes the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) through facilitating and supporting their inclusion and participation in the community. The Arc of Northern Virginia’s technology innovation award will serve as seed money for the development and launch of EmployMate, part of “Empowering Employment” suite of apps for iPads, tablets and smartphones. In conjunction with TravelMate, which helps people with ID/DD navigate public transit, EmployMate will help people with ID/DD retain meaningful employment. Specifically, it will facilitate the creation of new connections to companies in the DC region. The Empowering Employment suite fills a void in existing systems and is expected to impact 72 trainers and 720 individuals with ID/DD over the next two years.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors supports those grieving the death of a loved one serving in our Armed Forces. Each year, they hold TAPS Annual Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp during Memorial Day Weekend in Washington, DC, which sees over 2,000 participants. The award will cover the implementation cost for a new mobile application that will improve the interaction of staff, volunteers and participants, by offering easy access to event-related information including seminar resources, speakers and the schedule. It will also facilitate immediate feedback on sessions and information, allowing staff to respond to issues immediately so the event can run more smoothly. The application will help an already established impact analysis system, so that TAPS will be able to continue to support the community it serves in the most impactful way possible. The Celebration of Technology was also featured in Washington Life and Bisnow.