What is Circuit Riding?
The shortest definition of a Circuit Rider is someone who provides technical assistance to the nonprofit sector.
The goals of circuit riding do not encourage the use of gee-whiz technology for technology’s sake, but the appropriate use of the right tool. Today, that tool is generally a computer connected to the Internet with any of a number of hardware accessories and software programs.
Although many people have been circuit riding for a number of years, the concept and term as currently applied originated with an "experiment" conducted by the W. Alton Jones Foundation in collaboration with tcn. The best place to learn about the origins of circuit riding is from the circuit riding documentary.
Below is a statement drafted by the Circuit Rider Srategic Planning Committee, a group of volunteer circuit riders working to help chart a course for the future of technology assistance in the nonprofit sector.
"Circuit riders are a community of people with technology skills
who help nonprofit organizations be more effective through
the use of technology.
We also seek to build our own individual and collective knowledge
and expertise by sharing information, skills and strategies
with each other.
Our circuit riding community grew out of the U.S. progressive
social change and environmental movements, as well as other
technology assistance efforts. We share a spirit of generosity
towards each other and a commitment to social justice, a healthy
environment and human dignity.
We hold a fundamental belief that technology and all of its benefits
must be made available to everyone. In our membership and
outreach we actively work to bring under-represented communities
into our network."
At the time this was drafted, the committee was composed of:
The Circuit Rider Documentary
This 14 minute streaming media movie highlights the history of circuit riding, the importance of circuit riding, and the Day of Service that took place at the 4th annual Circuit Rider Round
up in Kansas City, MO in March 2000.
Bandwidth (28.8K, 56K, single ISDN),
alternate site1, alternate
Bandwidth (dual ISDN, DSL, Cable, etc.),
alternate site 1, alternate
If you need the Real Networks player, the "BASIC"
version is available for free.
Read about a week in the life of a WAJF circuit rider in Grist Magazine OnLine from EarthDay 2000