Monday, April 27, 2009

LIVE Post from the NTEN National Technology Conference

This is a LIVE blog post from the NTEN National Technology Conference.
This is the premier conference in the Nonprofit IT world. In a down economy, the conference sold out - it's that valuable of an experience.

Right now Clay Shirky is speaking, author of Here Comes Everybody - really society-shaking observations.

'We spend more time & energy finding out if something will fail, than we would have if we just tried it.'

'In social media, the intention of users has more impact than the intention of the designers.'
are just two of the quotes 'retweeted' on the internet.

Catch portions of the conference live at

I am presenting at the NTEN Conference from 3.30-5pm CST today as one of the author-led sessions from our book Managing Technology to Meet your Mission.
The topic: Budgeting and Funding for IT. I have assembled a panel including Tracy Isler of Accenture, Michael Enos of the Santa Clara Food Bank, and Simon Moloney of NPower. I think it's a great mix of practitioners and advisors.

You can help our session be successful from wherever you are...
Send me thoughts regarding the topic by email at or better yet send Twitter messages with the hash - #MYMBudget - All comments and questions, points to resources, etc. are welcome.

See the chatter live by Twitter Searching for 09NTC. It's amazing just to see the change in our culture and how we relate to technology. While Shirky is speaking, there are about 200 simultaneously commenting on his lecture live online.

Keith Thode, COO and CTO, Aidmatrix

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feeding America Conference

Last week I travelled to Orlando, Florida to the 2009 Feeding America conference. There were roughly 700 people in attendance that rallied around a common theme of helping their community. This was absolutely re-energizing for everyone who attended because it was easy to see the impact made by all of these people nationwide. At the end of the conference they teamed up to fill 10,000 meal bags to prepare for the next disaster. Even David Arquette showed up to help. This example of teamwork is what makes this network so strong.

As you can imagine, the state of the economy was the number 1 issue addressed by the food banks. This served as an opportunity to frame Agency Express as a cost saving application. Agency Express helps the fight against hunger by allowing the food pantries that depend on Food Banks to order online. In turn, the tool saves food banks tremendous time allowing them to focus on relief work instead of paper work. I received verbal promises from 14 food banks that they would be signing up with Agency Express in the next 2 years. Half of these food banks I had already been reaching out to in the past.

Feeding America is in the planning phases of a large technology update project for all of their food banks called the Athena project. They are hoping to be able to enhance all technological operations for food banks nationwide. Online ordering will be a small part of this, but within the next 5 years the list of AE eligible food banks will increase from roughly 25 to over a 120. The future holds a lot of potential to expand the hunger programs even more.

Brad Watts, Texas Program Manager

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Food Bank in Africa

For the last couple of years, The Global FoodBanking Network has been working in South Africa to help them establish a food banking network for the country. On April 6, they celebrated in Cape Town the opening of the first community food bank in Africa – FoodBank Cape Town.

Aidmatrix became involved with the project the middle of last year. We have helped them with business plans, funding proposals, and technology solutions. I’ve had the opportunity to travel there 5 times over the last months. It was great seeing the food bank in operation. During this last trip, I helped setup the Aidmatrix warehouse system to assist them in managing their inventory. It was great meeting the people. Every one of them loved their job and happy they could work in a place to help the hungry in their nation.

The celebration event on April 6 included people from across the country from those involved in the setup of FoodBank South Africa and the community food banks to government officials to media and to those being served by the food bank. They had several entertainers. With the exception of the local comedian as MC, all the others were recipients of food.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

One of my favorite things was learning about the Lunch Buddies program. This is a program where the more affluent schools provide extra sandwiches for the less affluent schools. The students bring an extra lunch sack to school. Then they are collected each morning and then distributed to the other schools. One man told how his kids would not make their own lunch but wanted to make the extra sandwich to give away. What a great way to teach children about those in need.

This last picture is from just outside the warehouse as the sun was setting.

Shari Temple, Managing Director - Europe

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dallas Headquarters has Moved!

As of April 1st, the Aidmatrix Dallas office has moved into the Towers at Williams Square in Las Colinas, TX. We are very appreciative of our corporate partner Accenture for their generosity and support. We are almost fully settled in our new home!

Our new physical address is:
Aidmatrix Foundation
5221 N. O'Connor Blvd
Irving TX, 75039

Our new mailing address is:
Aidmatrix Foundation
P.O. Box 631086
Irving, TX 75063-1086

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thank You Reception for i2

On Tuesday, March 24th, the Aidmatrix team thanked i2 employees at an afternoon reception for the generous gift of our office space for nearly a decade. They also supplied assistance in many areas from tech support to mail room services. We will miss our friends at i2 and appreciate their support of our mission.