TAG is evolving, and I am proud to lead our efforts with so many of our members. What began in 2018 as a refocus of organizational mission has been further adjusted as we respond to the social and economical limitations of the COVID era. Several of these major changes were presented at our 2019 and 2020 annual meetings, including:
- Transition to a 501C3 nonprofit organization focused on technology education and community engagement.
- Realign with TAG Member and community interests to reflect the needs of our students, professionals, businesses, and organizations.
- Invite fellow community nonprofit organizations to collaborate in shared purpose.
- Establish professional peer groups to nurture focused technical discussion, professional development, and build community.
- Invite students, faculty, and staff of our local colleges into the TAG Community. Determine the best means to support students.
- Create new member programs to address the greatest needs in our community.
These plans have been initially established, with work to improve ongoing, including:
- In July 2020 we filed as a new 501C3 organization focused on technology education. Programs with education and community support focus have transitioned to the 501C3. We expect full transition by 2022.
- Beginning in summer 2019 we began meeting with community groups, TAG Members, and community organizations to receive their input to begin realignment. Further, in Fall 2019 we established the TAG Advisory Board to ensure current and future alignment.
- We launched the TAG Community Partners program in late 2018 to officially establish our collaborations with fellow nonprofit organizations.
- Partnership with existing community groups launched in late 2018, including Bellingham Codes (software development) and Bellingham Linux User Group. Numerous new TAG Community Groups have been established or relaunched, including Analytics, Cybersecurity, Engineering, IT, and Women in Tech (a collaboration with NW Tech Women).
- In summer 2020 we announced that TAG Student Memberships would include access to all TAG events and participation in all TAG programs. (i.e. all-inclusive, but subject to availability.)
- New programs launched in spring 2020 include TAG Mentorship, TAG Consulting, TAG Community Hub, and Whatcom STEM. These programs respectively invest in new generations of the TAG community, provide relief to fellow nonprofit organizations in our region with FREE technology consulting and to the public by donation, establish a community communication platform for our community to connect, and establish the first county-wide STEM network in Whatcom in affiliation with Skagit STEM, NW WA STEM, Washington STEM, NWESD 189, and Career Connect WA.
To build upon these efforts we are announcing a refresh of TAG Membership and Sponsorship benefits for our 2021 launch. These changes formally adjust to delivery of our programs and services virtually, welcome numerous new TAG Members through sponsorship arrangements, and further invite participation in our new membership programs. Some changes have already been implemented, with full changes ready in January. Those changes include:
- All TAG Events in 2021 will require some level of TAG Membership. This is loosely enforced, and guests are encouraged to participate and consider becoming a TAG Member for their next event. This change is buffered by sponsorship and student membership changes described below.
TAG Individual Membership:
- Expanded TAG Community Hub access
- Opportunity to serve in TAG Leadership
- Access to exclusive TAG events
- Participation in exclusive TAG programs, such as TAG Mentorship
TAG Student Membership:
- Access to exclusive TAG programs and events is ALL INCLUSIVE, although potentially subject to limited availability
All TAG Sponsors:
- Gratis TAG Memberships for faculty, students, and staff (limit sponsorship value /100 or /50 for Education Partners)
- Access to TAG Community News Submission for news and announcements of your organization
TAG Platinum Sponsors:
- Access to expanded TAG workforce development programs
- Exclusive TAG Community News Submission once per year
Stay tuned for our followup news and announcements, including TAG Predictions, the soft launch of Whatcom STEM, the return of TAG Cafeteria, numerous new member programs in planning, and updates to our major programs in the new year. While 2021 will be challenging for reasons beyond our control (hello, COVID), with focus and collaboration we can all make a difference in our community. Join us at the TAG Community Hub (Discord) if you’d like to get involved.
Be informed. Be safe. Stay healthy. We’ll see you soon.