November 28, 2018
Bonner Scholars support information technology solutions for nonprofits at IT4Causes

On November 7, 2018, IT4Causes, an organization that provides information technology solutions for fellow nonprofits, hosted Tech4All 3.0 near their base of operations in Scott’s Addition. The annual event spotlights emerging technologies and nonprofits using technology in innovative ways. University of Richmond students Abhishek Shilpaker, ’21, and Will Walker, ’21, welcomed guests at the entrance.

As Bonner Scholars with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, Walker and Shilpaker dedicate ten volunteer hours per week to IT4Causes which was founded by CEO Tom Anderson in 2014.

"What really excites me is the amount of growth we’re having," Anderson said. "We took on six new clients in the last month. We’re maturing in what we’re doing, and our name is getting out there in the community. The reason we can accept those opportunities is that we have such a vibrant group of volunteers."

Walker, a leadership studies and English double major, is playing a key role in the management of fellow IT4Causes volunteers.

"The best part of my time with IT4Causes is how dynamic my position is," Walker said. "I love being able to do so many different things that allow me to explore lots of interests from creative writing to design to management."

Shilpaker, a computer science major, has also found opportunities to build new skills at IT4Causes.

"I initially wanted to work for IT4Causes because it related to what I wanted to study in college," said Shilpaker who works as a technology implementation intern. "As I found out more about IT4Causes though, it was clear to me that it was more than just the work I was doing in my classes. IT4Causes has the other side of computer science that I did not see before, including public relations and public and private events."

In addition to building their professional experience, Walker and Shilpaker are making a positive impact on the organization.

"We’ve had a phenomenal level of support from UR students," Anderson said. "They’re bright, energetic, and willing to help. Their ability to learn and take on new tasks and challenges has really helped us."

Bonner Scholars volunteer with one nonprofit organization throughout their four years at the University, so Walker and Shilpaker will continue to support IT4Causes and, in turn, other nonprofits across Richmond.

"Every day, I have the opportunity to influence change and impact not only for IT4Causes but also for the 30+ nonprofit clients that IT4Causes serves, and that’s an experience that I hold in high regard," Walker said.

IT4Causes’ clients include ART 180, Church Hill Activities & Tutoring (CHAT), FRIENDS Association for Children, Partnership for Families, Side by Side (formerly ROSMY), and Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

"We know that there are so many other nonprofits that need our help and we’re poised for growth," Anderson said. "We want to support nonprofits so they can be more efficient and effective."