On Tuesday, November 29, the Texas Connector advisory panel—including the Center’s President, Cynthia Nunn—met to discuss their upcoming launch. The Texas Connector is a tool being developed by OneStar Foundation that many of us have been anxiously awaiting. In short, the Texas Connector will link community needs with nonprofit solutions in order to strengthen Texas communities.
If you’re in any way connected to the nonprofit community, chances are that at one point you’ve wondered about the needs that are actually being met in your community. Whether you are a funder, chamber of commerce, business person, or nonprofit leader, you’ve most likely wanted to know the answer to one or all of these questions:
- Where are nonprofit groups located, who do they serve and what services do they provide?
- Where are the gaps or duplication in services?
- How can I increase the return on my investments in the nonprofit sector and maximize my impact?
OneStar Foundation’s answer to these questions is the Texas Connector. The Texas Connector is an online, interactive geo-mapping tool that overlays needs and nonprofits. It provides a visual “snapshot” of social service needs and resources to allow funders, government leaders, researchers and the nonprofit community to more effectively meet Texas’ growing needs. The Texas Connector aims to bridge the information gap between the areas served by nonprofits and the underserved communities in Texas.
Think of it as “Google Maps” for nonprofits. For example, if a food bank is looking to locate a new facility where large populations of jobless residents live, the Texas Connector can visually zero-in on the geographic areas where that population resides—and where existing food banks in the area are located to determine precise need. This allows the investment in that food bank to have the greatest possible impact. That makes smart business sense—and it helps us do a better job of helping those in need.
The Texas Connector will be using Social Media to keep you up to date in anticipation of the statewide launch in the Spring of 2012! You can find them at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Texas-Connector/319487581398040. For more information on the Texas Connector and how you can take advantage of it, go to www.onestarfoundation.org/page/connector.