By Dan Moshe
Among the many nonprofits Tech Guru is happy to serve, CHOICE, Inc. has been around long enough to establish some very deep roots in Minnesota. The private nonprofit provides employment and educational opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities.
Making Life Meaningful
“Our mission is to create partnerships and programs that enrich the lives of people we serve,” says executive director Michael Kraines. CHOICE, Inc.’s community benefits with employment, fun, and meaningful opportunities for their members with intellectual disabilities. The MacPhail Center for Music and the Cowles Center for Dance are two organizations that have partnered with the nonprofit, just to name a few, to bring some truly unique experiences to the people CHOICE serves.
Adults can enter the programs after age 21 and can receive services with CHOICE, Inc. for as long as desired, some even until retirement. The organization has been in existence for 45 years.
Michael Kraines’ involvement with the organization began 25 years ago. He started working in direct service, fresh out of college, having wanted to go into the nonprofit world. He was asked to be executive director four years ago, and he’s “enjoyed it all along.”
Time for Tech Upgrades
Because the previous executive director wasn’t too into tech, Michael had a lot of catching up to do once he took the reins. “We were all working with standalone computers,” he says. Tech Guru came along when Holly Pounds, one of the key staff, was at a tech conference. Michael found the price to be “really reasonable,” and they got started together. Thanks to the improvements CHOICE has made with Tech Guru, “We’ve surpassed many of our colleagues now.”
Tech Guru helped CHOICE, Inc. transition to Google Apps for Nonprofits. Michael notes that, “There’s a lot of function to the email, calendar, and information exchange – and it’s FREE! It’s been a big deal, and a game-changer for us.”
CHOICE, Inc. also improved its use of cloud storage. The nonprofit already used Dropbox, but “Dan showed us how to make better use of it, and Micah came out and did an in-training to bring our staff up to speed. It’s great to save money on storage and backups.”
Michael has attended some Lunch and Learns and says, “you always learn something new. Even if you learn one thing, it is worth attending.” Michael’s favorite aspect of working with Tech Guru might be when the company remotely assists with a tech problem. “I see the cursor moving around on my screen,” says Michael. “It’s like a ghost is doing it. You’re authorizing him to hack into your computer and fix it. It’s really cool!”
Visit CHOICE, Inc.’s website to learn more about what they do or to make a contribution today!
Help Us Give Another Nonprofit a Boost!
With one week left to before the application deadline on November 7, help us spread the word about our Technology Makeover Challenge. One Minnesota nonprofit will win a two-week tech overhaul and one year of support. Details and application link can be found HERE.
Dan Moshe helps business owners in the Minneapolis area with all things tech, and is the CEO of the Caring IT company Tech Guru. He cares about your business as much as you do!