TechSoup.org The place for nonprofits, charities, and libraries

How to Be a TechSoup Star, Gem, & Forum Host (TechSoup Royalty)

The Volunteers That Support & Sustain the TechSoup Community Forum

The Techsoup Community consists of our Forum and our Blog. We want our community to be a dynamic, collaborative, neutral space where nonprofits, NGOs, libraries and other organizations focused on a mission rather than profits can ask for advice regarding a range of information communications technologies (ICTs), and where we can invite a diversity of views about the use of such. To that end, TechSoup actively recruits volunteers to serve as subject matter experts, providing insight and answers regarding various tech tools for mission-based organizations. TechSoup also reserves forum moderating positions for online volunteers, and involves volunteers in discussions about how the forum is marketed and managed by TechSoup.

TechSoup leadership volunteers that support and sustain our community are luminous - the TechSoup Stars, Gems and Royalty keep the TechSoup community relevant!.

Do you want the fame and regal dignity that come with TechSoup Royalty? Are you wondering how you can ascend to high honors in the TechSoup community? Wonder no longer.

The Path to Royalty

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TechSoup Star:

The first step in the path to Royalty is TechSoup Stardom. A volunteer becomes a TechSoup star by regularly, frequently visiting the Forum branches and asking and answering questions, and offering useful, friendly, accessible advice and commentary. When you have filled out your online profile to give users an idea of who you are (a photo is encouraged!), posted at least 50 messages and proven to be a particularly valuable, credible member of our forum, you will become a TechSoup Star. You will get a snazzy icon next to your name and on your profile so that all forum members know you are a credible, particularly-valuable participant in our community.

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TechSoup Gem:

At the next level of nobility are the TechSoup Gems. These are expert Forum users who have not only proven themselves to be helpful members of the TechSoup community, but are also willing to volunteer a minimum amount of time every month to ensure our forum remains a valuable resource for nonprofits, NGOs, libraries and other organizations focused on their mission instead of profits. We ask that a volunteer who becomes a TechSoup Gem to post at least twice a week, or eight times a month, to the TechSoup Forum or in the comments section of the TechSoup Blogs. These posts can be questions, answers, advice or observations. We encourage TechSoup Gems to subscribe to any forum branch, so Gems can get an email to know when that forum is updated with a new message. TechSoup Gems receive access to the TechSoup Royal Court, a private are on the TechSoup web site for our leadership volunteers and TechSoup staff to discuss forum moderation and administration.

Requirements of a TechSoup Gem:

  1. Has been a TechSoup Star for at least two months.
  2. Has posted regularly since becoming a TechSoup Star.
  3. Has a proven track record of posting to help nonprofits, NGOs, libraries and other organizations focused on their mission instead of profits regarding some aspect of information communications technologies (ICTs).
  4. Upon becoming a TechSoup Gem, commits to posting a message to the forum or a comment on a TechSoup blog at least three times a month.
  5. Commits to checking in on the TechSoup Royal Court forum branch at least twice a month.
  6. Supports the other forum branch moderators with their work of ensuring the TechSoup community remains a valuable resource.
  7. Promptly notifies the TechSoup Community Forum manager if they want to take a break from their TechSoup Gem commitments, temporarily or permanently.

TechSoup Gems may also be invited to participate in strategic planning activities regarding the TechSoup forum. If TechSoup feels that you have proven yourself at the Star level and that you might be interested in Gem status, a TechSoup staff member will contact you. But if you think we've missed you somehow as a great candidate, you can feel free to contact the TechSoup Community Manager and express your interest!

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TechSoup Hosts / Moderators:

The final echelon of TechSoup Royalty is being a Forum branch host / moderator. Our noble forum hosts are identified from among our TechSoup Gems.

TechSoup forum hosts / moderators are knowledgeable, active community members who volunteer their time every week moderating the forum branches - answering questions, starting threads, encouraging new users, guiding users, ensuring each forum branch has something new posted at least once a week, and keeping an eye out for inappropriate messages on the forum. Each forum host / moderator commits to spend at least three hours a week on these tasks, in addition to their continuing commitments as a TechSoup Gem.

TechSoup would like to have 1-2 hosts for each forum branch. If we feel you have proven yourself at the Gem level and that you might be interested in moderator/host status, a TechSoup staff member will contact you. But if you feel you are already a great candidate and you are interested in being a forum branch host/moderator, you can contact the TechSoup Community Forum manager and express your interest in whatever forum branch you are most interested in helping with.

If you have any questions about these or other volunteering opportunities with TechSoup, please post them in the TechSoup Help forum.