I have worked with and written about many nonprofits in the last decade. One common issue that many share is the lack of funding for technology. Computers and software are necessary to run most nonprofits, but much of it is expensive. Today’s organization is making a difference for other nonprofits.
In 1987, Daniel Ben-Horin was inspired by discussions in an early online community to create a program that connected those with technology skills with nonprofit organizations who wanted to learn more and start utilizing new technologies. The organization created in 1987 was called CompuMentor because those with computer skills “mentored” nonprofits on new technologies. In 2008, CompuMentor formally announced a name change to TechSoup Global to better reflect the organization’s evolution to serve nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. As of March 2013, TechSoup is the largest not-for-profit provider of technology assistance services to NGOs, libraries, and other organizations worldwide.
Since their founding, the organization has aimed to harness the power of technology as a means to accelerate social impact. They believe that a strong civil society is as critical to local communities as healthy business and government sectors. Technology has a significant role to play in strengthening an organized civil society because it can democratize access to information and resources to achieve effective, system changing outcomes. This has inspired TechSoup Global to continue their work with partners to deliver relevant, innovative, and scalable programs. They have support from 90 leading technology companies including Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Cisco, Intuit, and Redemtech and have reached more than 208,000 NGOs around the world. To date, they have distributed more than 11 million software and hardware solutions and enabled recipients in 56 counties to save more than $3.62 billion (US dollars) in technology expenses. You can see their impact on their local impact map.
In 2012, they had 209,660 unique visitors per month to their websites from over 190 countries. Their websites include articles, webinars, and forums. They also delivered newsletters around the world to over 200,000 subscribers in 16 languages. In addition, through their NetSquared program, local groups hold regular in person events. Together with their partners, they strive to ensure technology solutions are complemented by practical, locally relevant educational content.
How can you help?
- Please spread the word about TechSoup to any nonprofits or NGOs that you work with. Encourage them to visit techsoup.org to learn more and explore the various discounted software and hardware options available.
- You can also contribute your knowledge – learn more about their knowledge sharing programs on their website.
- TechSoup makes use of volunteers in a variety of ways at their headquarters in San Francisco as well as in their Europe office in Warsaw. Please direct any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.