Net Menders AllianceOur Vision
To create an Alliance of Net Menders: technically inclined people who are called and equipped to mend the physical and virtual networks that enable their own community to function and broadcast their message.
After working in consumer and commercial IT support for nearly 30 years combined, we have found ourselves frustrated: the status quo for not-for-profits is untenable. When your organization is trying to make every donated dollar count, paying commercial rates is prohibitive and deploying consumer-grade equipment is insufficient. Our experience has been that not-for-profits are frequently either underinvesting in their IT solutions or spending far too much for what they need. Sometimes they are committing excessive time and resources to maintain outdated solutions or failing equipment when newer, less expensive solutions exist.
Net Menders Alliance grew from a conversation between the two founders about how to best support the IT needs of churches and not-for-profit organizations. We have observed that many of these organization have staff or volunteers who are technically proficient but are being asked to perform IT related tasks beyond their training and experience. Conversely, they have the requisite experience and are looking to use it on a greater scale to support their community. There are immeasurable benefits to empowering these professionals with technical resources; we also invite them to join our Alliance as Net Menders which connects them to others who share their calling and offers personal discipleship and mentorship experiences. We also discovered that some not-for-profits have implemented solutions based only on immediate needs. Sometimes they will base their deployment on what they believe to be the most cost-effective solution only to discover down the road that it is incompatible with new needs or it is more expensive to maintain than alternatives. We founded the Alliance to partner with other not-for-profit organizations to provide ongoing insight and support for their technology needs. Whether it is redesigning a website or overhauling network infrastructure, our goal is to provide the most cost-effective solutions to our partners.
We know that the largest impact of discipleship is personal growth, but this growth cannot negotiate better rates for networking equipment or services. This is where our second facet and focus come into play. Due to our industry experience and our core desire to see donated funds used to their greatest effect, we are continually seeking to develop platforms and offerings that can be deployed at reduced costs. Additionally, for smaller organizations, some of the resources we are able to deploy are provided to them at no cost. As a not-for-profit ourselves, we are also intentionally transparent about the actual costs of deploying and maintaining software and hardware solutions. As our community members find, we have no intention of marking up labour or equipment costs. Where possible, as the Alliance expands, we hope to use the individual Alliance members as volunteer labour for future projects. This will provide the members with experience in system and network deployments and will help to reduce labour costs (if any) for the organization receiving the labour. As each deployment is unique, we will consult with your team to optimize the infrastructure you already have and help you navigate any upgrades or improvements that your organization requires. Our suggested implementations will always provide options that allow for immediate impact and prepare the community’s technology infrastructure for future growth and compatibility.
We believe that our vision has the potential to grow exponentially and impact charitable communities all over the world. But we will not be able to get there without first growing and investing in the potential Alliance members in our local churches and charities. With this as our immediate goal, we are looking for partner organizations and individuals in the National Capital Region who share this vision and have a sense of calling to participate in this endeavour, either as a contributor of talent or technology or as a church, charity or not-for-profit that has technology needs that our approach and Alliance can impact. If that sounds like something that you or your organization would like to participate in, we would like to hear from you!
Andrew Wake and Samuel Roy