Are there people out there who know their way around either networks, databases or web tech who can spare a small charity some time to resolve some ongoing issues and help it do better & work more efficiently?
EAC's thing is helping older people make informed choices for themselves about their current and future housing and care needs. Anyone who has parents of a certain age knows what an emotional, practical & financial nightmare that increased frailty and the need for some kind of help/support can be.
It has the most comprehensive dataset of housing & care homes in the UK and uses this to provide free, impartial information and advice to older people and their families who are either thinking ahead about their future needs, struggling to cope in their current homes or face an immediate crisis.
It used to run a free telephone service offering personal advice & info but the Govt. cut their funding off c3 years ago; it now focuses on making its info & expertise available to people via its website - www.housingcare.org
It faces a number of tech issues, largely as a result of having developed a hotch potch of systems and setups over the years which are completely bespoke, very fragile and require a lot of intervention to keep working. It's a very small outfit (2 staff and a small group of external specialists) which is struggling to find a way out of its self-inflicted tech nightmare of:-
* a network that still relies on software loaded on physical computers in several locations
* a set of databases still run on late 90s software requiring multiple bespoke batch processes & procedures to update and interact with the web server
* a web infrastructure that is also a mishmash of bespoke mechanics & back office procedures, outdated tech and tools
Basically, what they want to do is review and update each element of their IT systems to current industry standards & protocols so that it can be used, maintained & supported in a much more efficient way.
As I said, EAC is a very small charity with limited resources trying to provide the best service it can to the maximum number of people. It's not in a position to pay market rates but it's also not looking for people to help out for nothing. What it really wants are people who it can build a relationship to work together to sort out the mess it's got itself into.
If there's no-one out there who does this kind of stuff or is able to help out, any suggestions about how they could seek out and identify potential collaborators/helpers would be much appreciated.
Full disclosure: My personal involvement with the outfit is I help them out with finance and accounting and have offered to ask around in the forums I'm a member of to try and get some advice - hence this post. I'm no techie myself as is patently obvious from what I've written so please forgive the rudimentary info & descrption.