Jones International University
This grant proposal entails adding a children’s forum to CHADD’s existing website, along with hiring a data analyst to monitor the forum for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - AD/HD (CHADD), a nonprofit organization. The components of this proposal includes an executive summary, description of the organization (need, solution, and goals), human resource requirements, organizational structure, estimated budget, anticipated technology requirements, the idea (elevator speech), and operational requirements.
CHADD offers individual/family, educator, student, professional, and organizational membership, but not a children’s membership of their own. Children represent future computer scientists, doctors, teachers, political leaders, and inventors; many of these children also have AD/HD. Since the explosion of technology and the Internet, the majority of children under the age of 18 have access to a computer for school and home use. These technically savvy young people need their own membership and forum to safely exchange, discuss, and voice their options, ideas, and thoughts about how AD/HD affects their daily lives during work, play, and homework. A children’s forum is a perfect answer for CHADD to reach out to these children.
The children’s membership can be listed as a subgroup under the family membership which links the parents/legal guardians to the children for security reasons. The forum can create value through passing audited information and educating CHADD and outside sources (various agencies, medical groups, government, and public policy organizations) to strengthen CHADD’s financial base. A data analyst can audit and track the children’s forum (through keywords and a database) and provide information as to what subjects are important to children and how educational issues, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (civil rights law) and The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (federal law) can affect how children are learning in school. The children’s forum can bring an additional awareness of what specific needs arebeing missed. This forum can increase CHADD’s value through added public awareness, media attention, continued influence on national, state, and local agencies, and better use existing avenues of revenue as well as creating new ones.
CHADD’s Project Plan
An adult with AD/HD, I had a desire to learn more about the subject and was looking for an organization that brought personal meaning to me. While browsing CHADD’s website I noticed the name was based on children, yet the site did not include a section for them. I believe that children need a special place such as a community forum to communicate and voice their thoughts, opinions, and ideas on AD/HD. This was a need that required fulfilling.
Since all organizations must match their design to the mission, and many non-profits tackle huge problems such as AD/HD, this proposed innovation would expand CHADD’s landscape and focus on children with AD/HD, who would comprise a special sub-membership under a current parent’s main membership, allowing children to communicate safely to each other about AD/HD regarding how it affects their lifestyle, schoolwork, and activities. I believe the benefits of having this forum for children would fulfill the organization’s mission of improving the lives of people affected by AD/HD by extending the organization’s outreach to children. If adopted, this proposal could prove to be valuable information for ongoing research needed into programs to assist children with their educational needs and will increase CHADD’s value to potential funding sources.
When children log into the forum and talk about their daily lifestyle, they can discuss issues with their own parents/legal guardians and get them involved with helping find answers. This is when parents/legal guardians can collaborate with CHADD to discuss current situations and educate the organization on what current and future research needs to be conducted and what type of educational support is needed in K-12and beyond. This program would help improve student performance in school by letting the children talk openly about their feelings, thoughts, and opinions about how AD/HD has affected their everyday lifestyle, while ensuring a private and confidential environment.
CHADD’s Organization and Need for Further Outreach to Children
CHADD’s mission is to get the information of AD/HD out into the public sector and educate people on the disability. CHADD, which is an acronym for “CHILDREN and Adults with AD/HD”, provides a forum for adults and yet there is no place on the website for children to learn and communicate. This proposal is based on adding a children’s forum to the main forum under their parents’ login credentials. Children with AD/HD go to school, do homework, and attend activities, and like their parents, have challenges dealing with their learning disability. Children need a safe place to discuss opinions, thoughts, and comments concerning AD/HD. As the global population grows, more children are diagnosed with the symptoms of AD/HD and their need to improve the quality of education is increasing, hence making the word of CHADD all that much more important; a children’s forum not only makes sense, it increases CHADD’s visibility and status.
Why IsThis Important
CHADD's primary objectives are to provide a support network for parents and caregivers; to act as a forum for continuing education; to be a community resource and disseminate accurate, to provide evidence-based information about AD/HD to parents, educators, adults, professionals, and the media; to promote ongoing research; and to be an advocate on behalf of the AD/HD community.
When examining CHADD’s objectives, there is an important missing audience to consider: children. Children are learning through programs and software at school and home, and some of these children possess symptoms of AD/HD which prevent them from learning effectively. CHADD can reach out to the children’s market and find alternative ways to problem solve and create value for the organization. Through innovation, CHADD can gain a unique edge by adding the new feature of a secure children’s section to their current website and provide a new market while enhancing their visibility as an important center for AD/HD research and support.
The project can measure the performance of the children’s forum by filtering information of what subjects are important to children, how many children sign in, forum traffic, and learning what programs in CHADD are helping children the most through keywords and a database, such as Oracle or Access. If the results of the project prove successful, CHADD, being a non-profit organization, can find funding through think tanks, educational and government agencies. The cost of adding an extra website tab should be fairly inexpensive since CHADD would be using the same website and IT manager; however, there may be some initial expenses in redesigning the database for sub-memberships and parental controls.
For CHADD, adding a children’s membership and forum under their parents account will not affect the organization negatively and will have a positive impact on the workforce. The organization can use the existing Website and IT Manager to add a subcategory for children under the adults’ membership. The forum will need to be watched constantly for parental control, safety, and subject matter. The new addition may require adding one or two additional employees, such as a data analyst. Three people will supervise and work directly with this individual: Website and IT Manager, Membership Database Coordinator, and Membership and Development Accounts Coordinator.
Training for this new position will require becoming familiar with CHADD’s website and the forum. The job description will require the individual(s) to monitor the forum for any improper language and filter popular subjects the children are discussing through a database that can be downloaded and categorized. By tracking this data, the analyst can determine what children are learning or what they need to learn enabling CHADD to promote children’s needs to receive funding from government, private agencies, various partnerships, and medical groups. Note: The forum may see a language barrier as a challenge between children; English may not be the first language of students; this may need to be addressed later if the need seems warranted.
The following expense budget shows the estimated salary, training, and equipment (computer and accessories) that CHADD will incur for hiring the new data analyst once the initial prototype is a success. The budget assumes that the current servers have the capacity to add at least one additional networked computer and the changes to the forum. This budget represents the upcoming year and a two-year projection. If the current situation of CHADD shows that hiring a data analyst proves to be a hardship, the organization can hire a data analyst on a part-time, one-year or year-to-year contract basis to learn if the additional position proves profitable and CHADD succeeds in attracting outside sources from various funds.
I.T. Requirements for CHADD The existing Website and I.T. Manager at CHADD would be able to ascertain if the organization needs to purchase an additional computer or if sufficient resources are already available. This computer would need to be added or reconfigured to the existing network in order for the data analyst to have access to the Internet and have the capability to download information and to create a spreadsheet to create reports and track performance of the traffic from the children’s forum. The Membership Database Coordinator and Membership and Development Accounts Coordinator can assist the I.T. manager to verify that all of the correct software is loaded properly.
The data analyst position would not have the need to travel extensively, except possibly to provide on-site training to local CHADD chapters, when web-conference and email/phone are not sufficient. When considering privacy or security issues related to this position, all of the information downloaded off this site should be considered confidential since the data is based on minors. High security I.T. infrastructure requirements, including strong firewalls and encryption (HTTPS) are assumed.
Operations Requirements and Timeline
CHADD will have the existing Website and IT Manager add the additional tab under the family membership on the website (to be black-boxed for testing until final release). This procedure should take approximately an hour. The next step would be to have the Website and IT Manager, Membership Database Coordinator, and Membership and Development Accounts Coordinator set a timeline, schedule, and what requirements, responsibilities, and training are needed for the new data analyst position to track the children’s forum. Since the main membership database is already created, modifications to add the children’s section should take only a few days. A prototype of the children’s forum should be able to go live in one or two weeks to test the forum for technical issues, along with a training schedule for the individual, and all the necessary equipment for this new position. As soon as the prototype is proven to be a success (approximately one month), the forum can remain permanently.
The logistics consideration for the data analyst position will require the same office space and maintenance requirements as the other staff members. Transportation needs are unnecessary unless CHADD uses paid parking. The data analyst will need security privileges to access the computer, forum, and email. The data analyst will require supplies that he or she will use on a daily basis such as a computer setup (new or spare), keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, existing or new software (as required), writing tools, and necessary stationary to do the job accordingly. The current staff members will need training materials, such as a PowerPoint presentation and manual, to provide instructions on how the database works.
Children with AD/HD are important to CHADD and for the future growth and sustainability of our communities. It is my belief that CHADD is missing a crucial population within its website: a Children’s Forum. Children need their own forum within CHADD to communicate and share their ideas, thoughts, and frustrations about having AD/HD. The organization can track this forum and learn what is important to children in order to disseminate vital information to the social movement, partnerships, agencies, and medical groups to obtain financial funding. This idea would support CHADD’s mission statement that CHADD improves lives affected by AD/HD.