October 9, 2008

Web Site Makes It Easier to Do Jail Time for MDA

By Anna Marie Kukec

When Don Gingold gets "jailed" on June 4, people can help him get released via e-mail.

The co-owner of Naperville-based Gnu Ventures Co., (www.gnuventures.net) is volunteering to be "incarcerated" in a portable jail on June 4 to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's summer camp for kids.

It's a long-time fundraiser popular among business leaders. But in the last two years, MDA has been using its secured Web site and e- mail to help solicit those donations instead of using the old- fashioned phone.

"The Internet has helped many causes by making donations and volunteerism easier," said Gingold. "The biggest of note is the Causes application on Facebook and its counterpart on My Space."

He said in the old days, he would have used a phone to ask friends and family to donate toward his "bail." Now, MDA helps him and other volunteers create and personalize their own Web page, linked to the MDA home page. (www.mdaevent.org/ ParticipantInfo.aspx?j=4dd9d30f-a1cd-498b-951b- 96e6069456de).

They also offer tools to organize and send request e-mails, tally donations and e-mail thank-you notes. The e-mails give recipients a secure Web page to make donations using a credit card, he said.

"I've been asked to be jailed before, and declined, because I was hesitant to get on the phone and call friends and colleagues until I reach bail," said Gingold. "The MDA appears to have changed the program such that you send out your e-mails and don't have to make any phone calls during your incarceration."

Gingold's "parole officer" Emilie Ashcroft, an MDA program coordinator in Downers Grove, said this year's event will be at the Catch 35 restaurant in downtown Naperville. About 150 volunteers are expected to be jailed for about an hour. Each are seeking to raise "bail" of $1,600.

"The Web site allows people to go online 30 days later and still donate," Ashcroft said.

Surfing: Vernon Hills-based CDW Corp's "2008 Small Business Driver's Seat Report" said that business owners and key personnel, who understand and value information technology highly, are far more likely to experience annual growth rates greater than 10 percent. They are also likely to turn to IT to sharpen their management, to market their business and to help accommodate forces beyond their control, such as economic pressures and external costs, the report said.

- Arlington Heights-based Dad's Hall of Fame Inc. (www.dhof.com) is an Internet company that provides a chance to honor Dad, Grandpa and other men in the family. It's offering a Father's Day special, a $10 discount, on membership. Dad is honored with a framed certificate of induction, a gold-finished membership trophy, welcoming letter, decals for the car, and other items.

- Oakbrook Terrace-based Computing Technology Industry Association (www.CompTIA.org), a trade association for the information technology industry, has updated its CompTIA University Web site. The site includes resources on the issues and topics affecting IT business profitability and success, such as human resources, marketing, sales, customer service and business management. It offers audio conferences and archived recordings, Web- based learning, business management reference books and industry best practices.

[email protected]@dailyherald.com

(c) 2008 Daily Herald; Arlington Heights, Ill.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.