Tech Rising, an initiative founded by AvidXchange, was created with a goal of helping to eliminate the digital divide and foster digital inclusion here in Charlotte. The initiative launched last summer and AvidXChange hosted their first Tech Rising Virtual Summit in partnership with SHARE Charlotte on February 25th of this year.
The Virtual Summit brought together local government officials, public school representatives, business leaders, nonprofits and members of the community all who are playing a key part in bridging the digital divide in our community.
Maia Campbell is one inspirational 14-year old. She saw her parents helping out and giving back to the community and became curious about how she and her siblings could get involved too. She and her parents quickly realized that many non-profits have age limits and require volunteers to be at least 16.
So, what did she do? She founded Kidz That Care, an organization to identify ways that kids can help and volunteer. “We decided on a name and before you knew it, we had an organization and slowly, but surely started getting some attention,” said Maia.
SHARE Charlotte is proud to be partnering with AvidXchange for the first ever Tech Rising Virtual Summit on February 25th. This event will provide a virtual space to bring together local government officials, public school representatives, business leaders, nonprofits and members of the community all who are playing a key part in bridging the digital divide right here in Charlotte.
We had the opportunity to ask Michael Praeger, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AvidXchange, some of our most questions surrounding the digital divide and their role in creating more equity in technology.
Why is the digital divide such a serious issue in our community?
As we all know, 2020 was a tough year - especially for our nonprofit community. Despite the hope that a new year brings, COVID-19 continues to make fundraising challenging. The pandemic’s impact on our economy has also resulted in a higher demand for nonprofit services, especially those related to housing, food, mental health, foster care, access to technology, education and domestic violence - forcing many nonprofits to reimagine the way they serve their constituents.
Additionally, 2020’s protests for racial equality as well as the recent availability of data demonstrating funding inequities for Black-led social change has put a spotlight on Black-led, Black-benefitting organizations. With a heightened awareness of the inequality in giving that exists, it is up to donors and funders to intentionally invest in Black-led and Black-benefitting nonprofits to promote racial equity.
Joining global observances of Black Philanthropy Month (BPM), a local group came together in a big way this year, resulting in Charlotte prevailing as the most engaged city, worldwide. New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP), a Charlotte-based philanthropic collective, teamed up with My Brother’s Keeper-CLT-MECK, the National PanHellenic Council-Charlotte Chapter, SHARE Charlotte and YMCA of Greater Charlotte to form a powerful collaborative, elevating the presence of Black-led nonprofits and generosity in Black communities.
Together, these five organizations launched #BPM2020CLT, a community-wide campaign throughout August 2020 to generate resources and support specifically for Black-led nonprofits during this year’s Black Philanthropy Month and beyond. Charlotte’s month-long campaign exceeded expectations in its first year.
Attolero is Latin for “sustain” or “support”, and that is exactly what Robert Bales and his small team of professionals at Attolero aim to do for Charlotte nonprofits. Founded in 2016 and serving nonprofits nation-wide, Attolero is excited to contribute right here in their hometown by partnering with SHARE Charlotte.
"Attolero is thrilled to team up with SHARE Charlotte - we have a shared passion and mission for serving nonprofits, and we [Attolero] are excited to broaden our impact in the Charlotte nonprofit community," Bales announces. “Together, we are going to bring more meaningful content to SHARE’s digital Nonprofit Bulletin Board, a private Facebook group where over 400 Mecklenburg County nonprofits are collaborating to share ideas, resources and needs across their organizations”.
The Charlotte Business Journal and SHARE Charlotte teamed up again this year to host #BizGivesCLT! Annually, #BizGivesCLT recognizes Charlotte businesses who generously support Charlotte nonprofits in big, bold and creative ways in honor of #GivingTuesdayCLT which this year fell on December 1st!
Shay Hunt burst into tears when she got the call that Raise a Child of the Carolinas, the nonprofit she founded just a year ago, had won a $5,000 grant through SHARE Charlotte from the Amy and Brian France Foundation. “Oh my gosh when they called me I started crying. I could not believe it, my voice was shaking,” Hunt said.
Save a place in your heart this season for the millions of Americans whose lives have been made more desperate by COVID-19, including the dozens who lined up at the Loaves & Fishes mobile pantry Tuesday for a taste of Thanksgiving.
November 8 is National STEM Day, and a nonprofit that started right here in Charlotte is celebrating in a big way. Project Scientist kicked off a campaign on International Day of the Girl (October 11) to raise enough funds to provide high-quality STEM education programs to 60 under-resourced girls. The nonprofit, which was founded in Charlotte in 2011, hopes to reach their goal by National STEM Day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has kept millions of school-aged children at home, and it's made the digital divide and educational opportunity gaps even worse than they already were. Children from under-resourced communities are being hit hardest and are losing opportunities to experience hands-on teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math.
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We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!