NPO 024: Beth Rosenberg (Tech Kids Unlimited)
Today's Guest: Beth Rosenberg (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beth Rosenberg is the Co-Founder and Director of Tech Kids Unlimited. Beth is an educator who works with teachers, students, technologists, academics, parents, families and schools. She has worked on curriculum, strategic development, program outreach, interpretive educational exhibition materials, partnerships and collaborations between cultural organizations, community organizations and schools. Beth held education staff positions at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in NYC where she was the Founding Education Director and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she was the Education Program Manager for many years. She holds a BA and an MA in Art History and an MS in Educational Technology. Beth is on the adjunct faculty in the Integrated Digital Media Program at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, NY. A parent of a teen who learns differently, she is an advocate for students with disabilities.
Nonprofit Spotlight: TechKidsUnlimited
Beth founded Tech Kids Unlimited, a not-for-profit technology-based educational organization for kids ages 7 to 19 with special needs. The program was created specifically to work with students with IEPs and 504 plans. TKU has two program pipelines, one is for kids ages 7-13 where they hang out, learn, and geek out. The T3 (Tech Teen Team) Digital Agency is for teens ages 14-19 who work with real clients to gain job skills.
In our conversation, Beth talked about becoming a warrior for her son and shared some great avenues to find funding. Here are a few that stuck out:
1. Think about existing places that have the physical resources you need and just ask. You never know when folks will let you use their space and provide it to you in-kind. Beth was able to gain access to computer and media labs for free when she was just getting started and continues to get space/computers donated in-kind.
2. Find out if people in your existing network are connected to foundations.
- When looking for seed funding, it may help to have more than one foundation or corporate donor lined up.
- Use LinkedIn! When you look up possible grants for your organization, check out their foundation boards and look each one up in your LinkedIn database to see if you have any contacts that could help make an introduction for you.
3. Talk to EVERYONE about your nonprofit. Network on the train. Network at events. You never know who you'll meet and how their network will help your organization. Beth makes a goal for herself that she'll come back with at least one connection from every event she attends.
Find Tech Kids Unlimited online:
- TKU Website: www.techkidsunlimited.org/
- Social Media:
Story of Good: LOLA App
A TKU student, Seth, and his dad, Greg, joined a hack-a-thon that was centered around creating apps that help address different disabilities. Seth had a great idea that an app could be made to help him with reminders for his daily living skills that he sometimes forgot to do. From his inspiration and help from the TKU team, they mocked up an app and then ended up creating a full app called LOLA (Laugh Out Loud Aid) App. The LOLA App didn't win in the first competition, but DID win at the second one and it was completely inspired by one of the TKU students! It's now available in the app store or here: www.lolaapp.com