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#CU12: Building technology capacity for NGO’s around the globe - Rebecca Masisak at Connecting Up 2012
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#CU12: Building technology capacity for NGO’s around the globe - Rebecca Masisak at Connecting Up 2012


Rebecca Masisak joined TechSoup Global in 2001 to launch and chart the growth of TechSoup Global's technology product donation program and social enterprise. After successfully establishing the …

Rebecca Masisak joined TechSoup Global in 2001 to launch and chart the growth of TechSoup Global's technology product donation program and social enterprise. After successfully establishing the program in North America, Rebecca developed an international expansion model, which today serves an international NGO audience in 36 countries. Under her leadership, TechSoup Global has distributed nearly 7 million software and hardware product donations, and enabled recipients to save more than US$2.2 billion for direct services. As Co-CEO, Rebecca has been instrumental in building TechSoup Global's capacity and reach to support the entire portfolio of TechSoup Global's programs for bringing products, information, human capacity, and resources to the communities who need them most. Rebecca speaks about social enterprise and global networks and was awarded the Full Circle Fund's prestigious Full Impact Award in Technology. She is a member of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, a member of the Social Enterprise Institute's San Francisco Forum for Social Enterprise leaders, and she volunteers for the nonprofit organisation S.A.G.E. (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship).

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  • Good Morning. Iam excited to be able to speak to you today about Building Technology Capacity for NGOs Around the Globe. Now this is a topic that I am passionate about, but I can’t help but wonder if some of you might be thinking – what do I care about technology capacity around the globe? I have my hands full with the work I do in my local community or in Australia. Well, I hope to share some observations that may get you thinking about the value of connecting the global and the local.
  • Serving significant portion of society: Worldwide third sector comprised of and estimated 10+ million organizations employing a workforce of almost 50 M people (47.6M) contributing 5% of total GDPThere is evidence that technology has the power to transform the social sector. Studies have demonstrated the impact of technology on the global economy, on small-scale farmers and fishermen, and in powering political movements. Several factors elevate nonprofits’ need for help with technology: economic crisis, fast paced and confusing changes in technology (the Cloud, mobile, so many options), and it really takes solutions. How do you figure out what really works when you are an expert in mental health issues or elder care and you have no in-house IT expert on staff?Gaps also exists between nonprofit needs and technology product donor capabilities and reach.By being a champion for nonprofit technology adoption, TechSoup Global has found that private technology companiesare willing to donate their products and services. They know this isn’t a market for them due to its inability to pay and its costs to serve (fragmentation, level of support needed). Lastly, access to technology is required but context is key: local tech “know-how” and support The contributions of many are leveraged to create “solutions” that work and are easy to share, replicate and scale – and the technology is used to develop services which promote digital inclusion aimsData Sources:NPO data (GDP contribution, employment):Johns Hopkins, Center or Civil Society Studies3.4% GDP figure: McKinsey Global Institute, May 2011, Internet Matters. - contribution of the Internet to GDP and economic growth in the G8 economies and 5 other key countries - Brazil, China, India, South Korea and Sweden8% increase in profits for fishermen: Harvard study: Professor Robert Jensen in this month’s Quarterly Journal of EconomicsJeff Skoll Quote:
  • I want to start by telling you a little about the evolution of my own organization, TechSoup Global, from a local technology assistance provider to a global network for technology capacity building resources for civil society. First off, a bit about TechSoup Global. We are a nonprofit focused on helping other nonprofits. We’ve been building nonprofit sector capacity through technology for 25 years. And we have a simple mission – we are working towards a time when every social benefit organization on the planet has the technology, resources and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential.We have a primary belief that the best communities are supported by thriving social, government and business sectors and that not for profits are important contributors to a strong civil society, so we help support not for profit organizations and their work. We focus on technology and related areas like social media and data because we see these as critical areas of capacity for all types of not for profits, regardless of mission, size, stage of growth, etc. And technology tools are increasingly a critical factor in strengthening other areas of capacity like management, collaboration, advocacy, etc.
  • I mentioned that TechSoup Global was originally an organization focused locally in the San Francisco Bay Area. We matched technology mentors to nonprofits and also provided some consulting services to organizations to build databases, wire networks and create technology plans. And we asked a few technology corporations to let us help them get their products to nonprofits who needed them.Then our work was transformed as technology changed. With the advent of the worldwide web and ecommerce, we collaborated with a community of nonprofit technology assistance providers to create a website – – that was ‘the online technology place for nonprofits’. To the content and budding online community, we had the idea of adding an ecommerce platform for easy and affordable access to donated software and hardware. We proposed a unique business model – ask for a small but affordable fee from recipients for the donations in order to maintain the service. A one stop shop for technology for nonprofits that was sustainable and an easier way for donors to get their products to nonprofits.We then saw the potential early of leveraging the social web for social change and our Netsquared program was born. And we were able since 2005 to work on building a global network of nonprofit capacity building organizations to locally deliver the programs and resources of TechSoup and to also contribute to innovation of new services and locally relevant services.At present, we are seeing enormous opportunities in cloud computing and mobile and want to help nonprofits realize the potential of these technologies by offering solutions and services and helping to curate apps and foster sharing and collaboration.We are an Intermediary strategy designed to build capacity in the third sector – The name ‘TechSoup’ was meant to convey that technology didn’t have to be a grim subject or a problem area, but rather could be, well, actually fun and easy.A guiding principle in our work is that CSOs are agents of change, not beneficiaries of aid. Our efforts are focused on creating sustainable communities in which all participants are contributors, and investments are additive, not duplicative.We believe that all participants have resources that, brought to bear on a problem, can result in real solutions. This currency of contribution underwrites all of our work.
  • Much more than a technology donation program, TechSoup Global, with the support from its anchor partner, Microsoft, has evolved from capacity platform to innovation platform – the Net2 program and local organizers as well as the GuideStar International program and partners all contribute to the innovation on this platform.This ecosystem has spurred an economic and innovation engine that ties the global to the local and, since its inception, has enabled:A revenue stream - total admin fees collected in ROW is $31.3M (share that network partners have kept = $17M)Employment – 78 FTEs in partner network which are dedicated to donations program In the network, influential Partner NGOs test and adopt strategies, teach one another how to use them, and seed solution development in a growing, global community. For example:TS.Asia – TSG walks side-by-side with its partners and has collaborated with Connecting Up here in Australia along with Hong Kong Council of Social Services to expand the reach and impact of TSG’s global programs across Asia.PAG and Net2 GLC – In the spirit of walking side-by-side with its partners, TSG has created the PAG and GLC, to enable its most active and innovative partner and opportunity to shape the future of the network and of the organization as a whole. Connecting Up Australia is one of the members of the PAG and is a solid contributor to strategic discussions about the future of the network and program offerings.
  • TechSoup Global and our network of nonprofit partners around the world, champion of the increased access and effective use of technology in the social sector via a global technology donation program, community-driven innovation initiatives and public nonprofit databases.TechSoup Global’s worldwide reach and sector impact as of March 2012:238,480 nonprofit organizations received technology product donations (you may have seen another figure - as of March, TSG has served 175,000 nonprofit organizations received technology product donations – the 175K number does not include the data from the Gates libraries program)46 Corporate Donor PartnersNearly US$3 billion retail value of technology products distributed to nonprofits (this is rounded up)9.25 million technology products distributedUS$2.9 billion savings to the nonprofit sector In Australia, The DonorTec program has had the following results (NOTE: we do not know if Doug will use this info elsewhere). You may just want to mention that via DonorTec, Connecting Up has saved the nonprofit sector more than $125M in technology costs since inception.6,696 nonprofit organizations received technology product donations12 Corporate Donor PartnersUS$134,460,538.78 retail value of technology products distributed to nonprofits355,522 technology products distributedUS$128,679,400.28 savings to the nonprofit sector
  • Calxa is a sponsor of Connecting Up 2012, and will be on Stand 1 throughout the conference.Mick Levine from Calxa spoke at Connecting Up 2011.
  • TechSoup Global’s partner in Australia – Connecting Up – through its DonorTec program facilitated the donation of Microsoft software for the Humour foundation, which was able to redirect the savings from the software to programmatic costs. Worldwide, TechSoup Global has helped nearly 20,000 youth-oriented nonprofit organizations across 42 countries save more than $375M in technology costs and to access donations from 84 different technology vendors.TechSoup Global has served:Globally:19,831 youth organizations in 42 countriesSavings of US$373,738,608.0484 donor partners participated (NOTE: this number is high because partners have come and gone over time and the cumulative number who have provided goods/services to youth-oriented orgs is 84).Australia:539 youth organizationsSavings of US$9,610,667.288 donor partners participated
  • Another example, this one from an organization that assists intellectually disabled people with developing meaningful friendships. TechSoup Global’s partner in Australia – Connecting Up – through its DonorTec program facilitated the donation of Microsoft software for the Humour foundation, which was able to redirect the savings from the software to programmatic costs. Worldwide, TechSoup Global has helped nearly 10,000 nonprofit organizations that serve the disabled across 34 countries save more than $225M in technology costs and to access donations from 81 different technology vendors.TechSoup Global has served:Globally:9,339 organizations serving the disabled in 34 countriesSavings of US$229,607,022.3481 donor partners participated (NOTE: this number is high because partners have come and gone over time and the cumulative number who have provided goods/services to youth-oriented orgs is 84).Australia:920 organizations serving the disabledSavings of US$23,313,738.1411 donor partners participated
  • At the Global level, we have created a map, which highlights more than 200 such local case studies of the innovative use of technology in the social sector. Nonprofits can use the tool to search for case studies that demonstrate the use of a particular technology tool, that highlight the use of technology in a particular mission area (e.g., education, healthcare or poverty relief)or geography.
  • Another way TSG enables local impact is via its annual Digital Storytelling contest. Nonprofits from around the world receive training, access to technology tools and a platform for showcasing their impact and activities on a global level. In 2012, more than 262 videos were received from 24 countries.
  • Began Challenges on Netsquared in 2008. 11 ChallengesGallery of 800 projects; submissions from all over the worldRestart Romania was our very first Challenge organized around locally specific issues and their citizen-powered solutions in local language.Civil society actors from Romania submitted 144 projects across a wide range of topics. Participation was significant, with over 1900 user registrations on the Challenge site, 500 comments posted, and 675 people voting on project submissions. After considering this community feedback, a panel of expert judges narrowed the field down to ten finalists.The projects put forth by finalists encompass diverse issues such as:Bursa Spagilor (Bribe Market) - a platform to enable citizens to report how much they paid for a public free service.Reporting corruption and crime: mobile and SMS applications to confront corruption or crime by allowing users to send reports directly to the authorities or the media.Keeping politicians honest: platforms that monitor whether politicians are keeping their campaign promises while evaluating the true costs of those promises.Saving the environment: a platform that monitors deforestation through satellite images and reports them to authorities via a mobile app.Increasing civic participation: a platform that enables citizens to directly engage in the law-making process by submitting and voting on their own initiatives.Promoting Financial Transparency: a platform that centralizes public financial information and creates a centralized map of public spending.Shaming bad behavior: a platform that enables users to upload images and stories of inconsiderate public behavior in order to embarrass the perpetrators.Here's a list of the winning initiatives:Hartazonelordespadurite (Map of deforested areas) - a map of deforestation in Romania made by analyzing satellite images.Cineceapromis (I know what you promised) - the platform to collect all politicians promises in times of campaigns and estimate the cost of the pledges.MedAlert (NO to corruption in the health care system) - reporting corruption in the health system through a mobile app and an SMS (Where's my lei, man?) - a platform to centralize all public financial information (public budgets, annual balance sheets) of projects with public funding.A great example of another type of local impact is the Restart Romania project. Romania is not well-known for a vibrant civil society with abundant resources, but through the community-driven innovation approach and TechSoup Global’s technology platform, “Restart” created significant results in the preselected fields of anti-corruption, open data and open government, vitalizing local communities to find technology-enhanced solutions for social problems they face every day.Online Engagement:Technology challengeOnline collaborationOffline Engagement:Kickoff eventWinner galaCollaborative Design:Anti-corruptionOpen data and government
  • Project Description: The Global Cloud Content Campaign is the first campaign initiated by our pilot TechSoup Global Network Content Team (TSGNCT) and has two distinct components:Present content on a coordinated topic from our global partner network across platforms.Develop a global Search Engine Marketing campaign which will drive traffic to our partner’s sites and ideally result in newsletter signups. TSGNCT currently includes content staff from TSGN Partners in Australia, Canada, Romania, Sweden, and Taiwan. Additional contributors to the cloud campaign include GSI, GreenTech and other CDI staff. Project Goals:To conduct and publish research for the benefit of the NGO sector and position TSG and the network as a thought leader around the cloud computing trend in the social benefit sector.Get a better understanding of NGO issues in cloud computingBuild partner capacity around marketing and structured researchDevelop quantitative analytics skills in-houseProject Objectives: (To be finalized)Discover successes in cloud adoption (what tools/processes worked well) among both new and older orgs Discover if NGOs have a structured way to make decisions about adopting cloud tools Discover plans to migrate particular functions to the cloud and what they believe they will need to make the move, including more mature cloud offerings, improved security, training, or consulting.Discover barriers to cloud adoptionDiscover migration adoption patternsLaunched cloud campaign homepage on the TSG blogWeek 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing includes content from, GreenTech, CTT, and ATNWeek 2: How Cloud Computing Changes Organizations includes content from TS Canada, CUA, and GT.Week 3: Security in the Cloud includes content from GSI, CTT,, GT, and TS Taiwan Week 4: Migrating to the Cloud includes content from GT and TS SwedenClosing Event: International TweetChat, November 1: CUA, TSC, and TSGNovember: Review impact and lessons learned for future campaignsInitial general data:8 blog posts on global cloud computing topics have received 12,678 page views (all on, no data yet on PNGO traffic)The TS Canada Webinar blog post (scheduled for Oct 27) received 2,246 visits to date (545 from home page spotlight promotion). Global landing page and SEM campaign (only up for 1 day) has driven 5 visits to global partner sites.


  • 1. Building Technology Capacity For NGOs Around The Globe Rebecca Masisak Co-CEO, TechSoup Global May 2, 2012
  • 2. There is tremendous opportunity and unmet technology capacity need in the nonprofit sector 10+ million nonprofit organizations (NPOs) employ almost 50M people and contribute up to 5% of total GDP* Technology offers transformative power: • The Internet accounts for 3.4% of GDP* • Mobiles led to an 8% increase in profits for fishermen in India • The Arab Spring movement was aided by social media/mobiles Technology in the social sector is behind the curve: • Economic crisis, changes in technology and lack of in-house technology management elevate need • Gap exists between NPO needs and donor capabilities/reach “Today, technology is the social catalyst empowering communities in all corners of the globe to improve their lives and shape their collective future. Modern technology is opening floodgates of information and influence historically reserved only for those in power.” Jeff Skoll, Philanthropist and First President of E-Bay*Sources: Johns Hopkins University and McKinsey Global Institute, Page 2 May 2011, Internet Matters, CGAP
  • 3. TechSoup Global TechSoup Global is a nonprofit serving the nonprofit community worldwide. We have built nonprofit sector capacity through technology for 25 years. We are working toward a time when every social benefit organization on the planet has the technology, resources, and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential. Page 3
  • 4. Page 4
  • 5. An innovative triple-win business model • Corporations gain an effective and efficient Nonprofits distribution channel for product philanthropy and CSR activities • Nonprofits obtain products, relevant content, and a community of support TechSoup Corporations • The TechSoup Network is sustained by charging a low administrative fee Page 5
  • 6. Journey from Local to Global Capacity BuilderLocal Local service • Matched mentors; consulting services plus productsNational www, • Collaborated to create „the online technology place for ecommerce nonprofits – content, community; Added products • Global NetworkInternational Social Media • • Global Network Page 6
  • 7. TechSoup Global NetworkAn innovative platform which delivers donated and discountedtechnology products and related services to nonprofits across the globe: • $17M reinvested in local capacity Page 7
  • 8. Global ChampionsTechSoup Global partners with a global network of technologyproviders to deliver product donations to NGOs: • Acclivity • DonorPerfect • GiftWorks • ReadyTalk • Alpha Software • DYMO • goQ • Red Earth • Atlas Business Solutions • easyLearning • • BetterWorld Telecom • Efficient Elements • Huddle • Blackbaud • eTapestry • IKON • Bytes of Learning • Exclaimer • Mailshell • Caspio • FileMaker • NOZA • CitySoft • Flickr • Palo Alto Software • ClickTime • Flip Video • Pitney Bowes • Dharma Merchant Services • FluidSurveys • Quickbooks Made Easy Page 8
  • 9. Global champions; Local Impact Data are from September 2011 Page 9
  • 10. Global is good for….• Collaboration• Aggregation• Curation• Capacity• Scaling• Replication• Knowledge Exchange• Leveraging shared resources Page 10
  • 11. Local is good for….• Relevance• Impact• Delivery• Replication• Adoption• Feedback• Understanding Needs• Innovation Page 11
  • 12. Global ChampionsTechSoup Global partners with a global network of technologyproviders to deliver product donations to NGOs: • Acclivity • DonorPerfect • GiftWorks • ReadyTalk • Alpha Software • DYMO • goQ • Red Earth • Atlas Business Solutions • easyLearning • • BetterWorld Telecom • Efficient Elements • Huddle LOCAL AUSTRALIAN PARTNERS • Blackbaud • eTapestry • IKON • Calxa • Bytes of Learning • Exclaimer • Mailshell • Kaspersky Lab • Caspio • FileMaker • NOZA • My Booking Manager • CitySoft • Flickr • Palo Alto Software • NetLeverage • ClickTime • Flip Video • Pitney Bowes • Sophos • Dharma Merchant Services • FluidSurveys • Quickbooks Made • APCD Easy Page 12
  • 13. Local Impact Australian Donor Partner: Calxa “I couldn’t manage the budgets from this office without Calxa. Without the product, I would have to double my immediate staff.” 2011 Survey Respondent Over the past few months, in partnership with DonorTec, Calxa has donated over $100,000 worth of budgeting software to grassroots Not-for-Profit organizations. In October 2011, Connecting Up named Calxa “Partner of the Month” in recognition of its donation program. Page 13
  • 14. Local Impact The Humour Foundation Sydney and Melbourne, Australia The Humour Foundation is an Australian charity dedicated to promoting and delivering the health benefits of humour. In partnership with Connecting Up Australia, The Humour Foundation secured a donation of Microsoft software licenses, resulting in substantial savings that were redirected to the organization’s programs.Image Source: The Humour Foundation Page 14
  • 15. Local Impact Best Buddies Australia New South Wales, Australia “I’d like to applaud Microsoft and DonorTec for making software accessible to the community. It means we are spending our money in a much more effective way. The Microsoft contributions have just been great and I love the fact we can access software across the calendar – when we need the software we can get the software.” Mark Trevaskis, Executive Director, Best Buddies Australia Best Buddies Australia helps intellectually disabled people to develop meaningful friendships. In partnership with Connecting Up Australia, Best Buddies Australia received a wide array of donated Microsoft tools (e.g., Server software, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft OneNote.) These donations have given the organization’s team the flexibility they need to work in the field.Image Source: Best Buddies Australia Page 15
  • 16. The Local Impact Map highlights best practices intechnology adoption across the globeLocal Impact Map • More than 200 examples of innovative uses of technology in the social sector • Increases the ease of finding and sharing compelling NGO technology use cases • Increase the visibility of nonprofit organizations Page 16
  • 17. TechSoup Global provides training and technology tools to assist NPOs with telling their stories TSDIGS 2012 Stats (% growth over 2011)• Total submissions: 262 (151%)• Countries participated: 24 (200%)• Total page views: 10,482 (279%)• Total tweets: 2904• Total organizations that participated: 388• Products used to make stories (self reported): 154 Page 17
  • 18. Local ImpactRestart Romania Challenge53 “challengers” • 5 embassies • 141 ideas • 516 user accounts • ~94,000 page views • ~38,000 visits • Sponsorship by Microsoft, Cisco, Orange, Vodafone Results Reduce Violent Disputes over Parking Pressure Political Establishment to Act: Spaces: Romania No Cars The Online Democracy Initiative This project aims to end This project would spur the parking-space disputes by Romanian government to centralizing information action, not by direct gathered from citizens as influence but by they spot deserted cars. encouraging citizens to Project submitters hope to act. Its ultimate aim is a reduce the violence that self-generated citizen sometimes erupts by political program whose shedding light on existence would put abandoned cars and pressure on the political making it easy to find establishment. open parking lots. Page 18
  • 19. TSG Global NetworkCoordinated Educational Campaigns: Cloud ComputingGlobal campaign to share insights on the nature, challenges andbenefits of cloud computing in the social benefit sector Month-long campaign launched on October 1 Week 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing Initial results: 15,000+ page views, increased partner referrals Week 2: How Cloud Computing Changes Organizations Week 3: Security in the Cloud Week 4: Migrating to the Cloud Closing Event: International TweetChat Page 19
  • 20. Expanding sector knowledge in key new areasThe Global Cloud SurveyThe Global survey of cloud computing has generated a wealth of data on the barriersto adoption, successes, decision-making processes and perceptions of cloudcomputing : • 13,500 NGOs and libraries from 86 countries participated in the survey • Results to be published in July Australia What is your organizations likely timeframe for moving a significant 41% portion of its IT to the cloud? 12% 13% 12% 12% 10% Within the 6 months 1 to 2 2 to 3 More than We have next 6 to 1 year years years 3 years no plans to months move to the cloud Page 20
  • 21. The Global Cloud Survey – Preliminary FindingsBiggest barriers to cloud adoption • Data security or data privacy concerns • In-house staff are not knowledgeable enough to implement • Monthly costs are too high • Data loss concerns • Set-up and configuration costs are too highMost used cloud services Currently • Email • Social networking • Web conferencing • Office applications Page 21
  • 22. Thank you! Page 22