With TechSoup’s ongoing support of Fountain House’s global clubhouse movement, clubhouses from four countries have successfully implemented professional Cisco video conferencing systems. Apart from providing Fountain House with hardware, TechSoup organized exclusive trainings on the use of Cisco’s SX10 system and WebEx’s platform.

The mission of Fountain House is to build communities and various programs dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illnesses.  However, local clubhouses that are part of the bigger network face many challenges. One of them is a lack of effective and reliable means of communication. Unstable connection with poor quality audio and video was slowing down many of their activities, such as online trainings, meetings and discussions. Another challenge was the lack of IT-knowledge among clubhouse staff and how to effectively leverage the capabilities offered by the Cisco video conferencing systems.

Phot.A.Lenartowicz

 

“The whole idea was that the system is not just a luxurious toy or even a mere vehicle for standards reviews, rather a way to introduce clubhouses to cutting-edge technology and a way to fight the fear surrounding technology in the nonprofit world. Through this technology, we can uplift clubhouses into the 21st Century.”

Craig R. Bayer, Fountain House Communications Unit

TechSoup supported Fountain House in the process of implementing Cisco videoconferencing systems in a few European clubhouses by providing equipment, installation and onsite trainings in the Netherlands, UK and Norway. These trainings were held in for both staff and clubhouse members in their native languages. The trainings in London and Norway were organized in collaboration with the local Cisco offices, with their employees presenting the system capabilities.

Phot. A.Lenartowicz

“Before the TechSoup’s training, London had all sorts of technical problems, which led them to feel discouraged and would not use the system at all. The Mosaic Clubhouse staff were taught how to put the system together, take it apart and get running, and now they are using it!”

Craig R. Bayer, Fountain House Communications Unit

This way, TechSoup helped the nonprofit introduce digital transformation within the structures of the organization. Moreover, the clubhouses in Norway could connect with the regional Cisco team enabling them to receive direct support from the company, including five donated video conferencing systems, in the months to follow.