An Overview of GIS for Nonprofits

During the past few months I've been learning a lot about GIS (mapping) software. I've also spoken to quite a few nonprofits who would like to use GIS software to map out their constituents and relevant data, but don't know what steps to take.

As the lone accidental techie at the SF Tech Center, I am no means an expert on this subject, however I thought I'd share what I'm learning about GIS for Nonprofits.

In February, I attended a very geeky GIS session at the Nonprofit Software Development Summit where I learned about what GIS tools are out there, here are the notes from that session, scroll down to references.

This past weekend I was very much enlightened when I attended the GIS session at the West Coast Nonprofit Data conference. I learned about the amazing work of Healthy City that provides a free GIS mapping service to nonprofits in the LA area. They can map practically any type of data at the neighborhood, city, and regional level.

However, I was quite frank with the folks from Healthy City--and said, "you have a great service, but what about nonprofits in other locations, how can they utilize GIS software in their work?" Conference attendees shared with me several other resources for GIS mapping.

On that note, I was happy to find out that on Thursday we are hosting a discussion here at the SF Tech Center with the Community Technology Foundation of California. This discussion is open to anyone who is passionate about GIS software and interested in brainstorming how we (techies, consultants, passionate users, etc.) can help mission based, nonprofit organizations learn and access the wonders of GIS.