Activity Kits FAQs

 


Questions & answers

Where do Activity Kits come from?

In some cases, the kits are based on successful volunteer activities designed by IBMers worldwide. In others, the kits come from the IBM Volunteers program, formerly known as On Demand Community -- IBM's global volunteerism initiative. Still other kits are derived from other IBM programs or partnerships developed as part of our corporate citizenship activities.

All kits are intended to provide fun and impactful ways for volunteers to use their skills benefitting community organizations and schools.

Is there any fee to use these Activity Kits?

No. You may download and use these kits free of charge and share them with anyone. IBM is pleased to offer these resources to support your community outreach.

Do I have to log in or provide any personal information to use a kit?

No. Access to these kits is anonymous and you do not need to log in.

Do I need to be an expert in the subject matter to leverage these kits?

While it helps to have subject matter knowledge or expertise, it is not required. The kits are designed to be used by anyone. Many of the activities that relate to technology and engineering can be used successfully by volunteers who do not have technical backgrounds. Some of the activities do include using IBM Cloud, coding or specific materials. Those would work best for volunteers who are familiar with those technologies.

We encourage all users to take the time to review and understand the content and bring enthusiasm to the kit. Your familiarity with the steps will help you make it enjoyable for everyone.

The kit includes a script, do I need to follow it?

The script is available to help a volunteer. In many cases you may wish to adapt the information to your audience. Many of our volunteers have created extensions to the kit, or worked with students to innovate how the exercises are implemented. We always welcome other examples based on your experience in using the Activity Kits.

Are there any out-of-pocket costs associated with using a kit?

Most activities require only a computer for a presentation or activity. Some kits include activities that use common household items. For example, the "Driving on Sunshine" kit requires a few small items available in local stores. A few activities such as the "TJ Bot" kit may incur additional costs for things like 3D printing and Raspberry Pi controllers. There are other kits that require material purchases, including Robotics kit, which uses Lego Mindstorm materials.

How can I provide feedback or report a problem on a kit?

Please feel free to send any comments, questions, or inquiries to volshelp@us.ibm.com.

How can I find a school or a not-for-profit organization where I can volunteer?

You can find information on volunteer opportunities in sources such as:

Where can I find information about a not-for-profit organization?

The best source of information is usually the organization itself. Most not-for-profits have a website and publish an annual report. These reports typically include a statement of the organization's mission and a summary of its programs, a list of board members and key staff, and financial information (often a summary of the audited annual financial statements). It would also be helpful to compile information on recent program proposals, program brochures, or reports to funders.

A second key source of information (in the United States) is the annual report most not-for-profits file with the Internal Revenue Service: IRS Form 990. Many not-for-profits have websites and might put 990 forms there. Canada's Customs and Revenue Agency form T3010 (filed annually) provides similar information about that country's registered charities. So does the United Kingdom's Charity Commission, as does Companies House for charities set up as Limited Companies.

Can I request a grant or donation from IBM for the school or organization where I volunteer?

IBM does not make donations to fundraising events such as raffles, telethons, walk-a-thons or auctions. IBM does not make cash grants, nor do we make grants in response to unsolicited requests. IBM's grant programs are strategic and based on partnerships with schools and organizations. You can find IBM's giving guidelines on the IBM grant program page.

Where can I learn more about IBM's policies about the environment or corporate social responsibility policies?

You can find information about IBM's corporate social responsibility at www.ibm.com/responsibility.

How does IBM support public education and volunteering in schools?

Improving education is one of IBM's most important social commitments to the communities in which our employees and clients live and work. IBM supports its volunteers' commitments to schools with programs such as Community Grants, awarding grants to eligible schools or not-for-profits where IBMers volunteer.

For the Disaster Volunteering kit, how do I find a local organization that manages disaster response? Where do I get information about my community?

Contact your town or city government and ask which office or department is responsible for civic protection. Search the Internet for a disaster response agency, such as the American Red Cross or your country's Red Cross/Red Crescent society. Contact the police or fire department to ask.

What are possible audiences for the presentation on disaster preparedness and volunteering?

Consider any community group that brings people together. Examples might include an association of local business owners, a parents' group sponsored by a local school, a neighborhood association, a faith-based group, or a monthly educational gathering of senior citizens.

What kinds of donations does IBM make after a disaster?

IBM often responds to requests from local governments and NGOs for technology and services to assist after a disaster. IBM will determine the right level of support in coordination with local teams and agencies. IBM rarely makes donations of cash, unless as part of a larger grant that has technology and services as the centerpiece. Grants are made to NGOs or government partners with which IBM has established relationships. IBM never makes donations to individuals, but only to community organizations, NGOs, or government partners.