The mission of the nonprof-IT program is to empower local nonprofit organizations with comprehensive information technology support by creating internship opportunities for UW-Milwaukee students.
Most nonprofit employees have specialized skills and talents to serve the community, not technology. A recent survey by The Community Corps reveals that 88% of nonprofit organizations in the United States have little to no in-house IT resources. Without IT resources and support nonprofit organizations struggle in an increasingly digital world. The average semester project can result in a cost savings of $10,000 or more for participating organizations.
According to a 2018 report by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), 94% of hiring managers said they would be more likely to hire a recent graduate who has had an internship. Student teams work with nonprofit organizations to assess their technology needs and goals as they develop, implement, and evaluate a customized strategic technology plan under the supervision and tutelage of UWM faculty/staff and mentors from the Greater Milwaukee business community. Over the course of semester-long projects, teams provide their expertise in areas such as website development, social media campaigns, graphic design, and technology assessment and recommendations.
Each team of students has a business mentor from the local business community to provide guidance and mentoring during project completion. Some of the companies Nonprof-IT has worked with are Direct Supply, Northwestern Mutual, Molson Coors, Associated Bank, and Chortek.
Over the course of semester-long projects, teams provide their expertise in roles such as designer, programmer, developer, analyst, and project lead. By collaborating with nonprof-IT, these organizations secure the specific assets they need to be successful – such as a new website, a social media engagement plan, or a secure network – allowing them to focus their energy and resources on the communities they serve.