At Benetech
  success is
       not in
   but in the
     of lives
Benetech Report 2009

How Many People Can a Single Idea Help?

We ask this question every day at Benetech. As a technol...
    Bringing the Benefits of
    Reading to Everyone
    Bookshare Opens New Doors for People
    with Visual and...
Benetech Report 2009

Why I Volunteer with Bookshare | by Monica Willyard
More than a library, Bookshare is a thriving ...
    Harnessing the Power of Statistics to Seek Justice,
    Healing and Reconciliation Around the World
Benetech Report 2009

The Power of Statistics                       Martus: An Electronic Witness
    Helping Conservationists Protect Natural Resources
    Think Technology Can Save the Planet? We Do.

Benetech Report 2009

“One hundred percent of our campaigns
 use Miradi, and it has hugely helped us to
 move project p...
    Benetech Projects
    Around the World
    A Different Kind of Technology Company

    Benetech’s pioneering so...
Benetech Report 2009

United States and India:            Sierra Leone: The Human                                  Jilin...
     The Next Frontier: Global Challenges
     and Innovative Solutions
     As humanity moves into the 21st...
Benetech Report 2009

Together, we can bring the
benefits of technology to all
of humanity.

               MORE INFOR...
      Partner and Donor Acknowledgement
      Benetech would like to recognize the following visionary individua...
                                                                                      Benetech Report 2009

Benetech®                  BENETECH BOARD OF DIRECTORS
480 S. California Ave.     Brian Behlendorf
Suite 201              ...
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Benetech Annual Report 2009

  1. 1. How Many People Can A Single Idea Help? 2009
  2. 2. At Benetech success is measured not in dollars, but in the number of lives changed.
  3. 3. Benetech Report 2009 How Many People Can a Single Idea Help? We ask this question every day at Benetech. As a technology company where social benefit—not profit—is the bottom line, we believe the knowledge is readily available to solve many of humanity’s most vexing problems. Our innovative solutions take the best of existing technology and adapt it at low cost to confront these challenges. In this time of social conflict, environmental destruction and economic uncertainty, the need for such a strategy has never been greater. In 2009, Benetech celebrates two decades of success in The power of a good idea, we believe, lies in the way it extending the benefits of technology to all of society, can magnify the efforts of a small group of people to create including people who are marginalized or especially in a significant impact on the future of our planet. With need. In the following pages, we’ll share with you how sustainable business practices, we can ensure that the Benetech’s partnerships in literacy, human rights and effects of our work are felt for generations to come. environmental conservation are matching the creativity of the high-tech sector with the efforts of grassroots activists Our supporters play a critical role in our around the world. success. We are proud that, even in these difficult financial times, we have expanded In the past few years, with the support of our funders our programs thanks to support from and partners, we expanded Bookshare, our pioneering individuals and foundations that see the online digital library for people with print disabilities, potential for technological advances to truly to serve over 60,000 users who cannot read traditional benefit all of humanity. books. Our human rights program used the power of statistical analysis to reveal the truth and offer a chance for reconciliation in conflict zones across Asia, Africa Yet more challenges lie ahead. In the coming years, and Latin America. And we launched an exciting new Benetech will continue to inspire others in our field software application, Miradi, that transforms the way to follow the social enterprise path, while building a environmental groups plan and manage conservation movement to break down barriers that have excluded projects. Whether it’s helping war-torn Liberia come to disadvantaged groups from participating in the grips with its past or helping a blind child discover the technological revolution. We imagine a world in which joy of reading, our projects provide new hope for tens of every person on the planet can access the information thousands of people. needed for education, employment, health and social inclusion. We hope you will join us in these efforts. As Benetech grows, we remain committed to our social Technology that is socially useful, affordable and enterprise business model, a concept we like to call Return accessible to all: that is the Benetech vision. on Humanity. Return on Humanity means we measure our success not in dollars, but in the number of lives changed. 1
  4. 4. LITERACY Bringing the Benefits of Reading to Everyone Bookshare Opens New Doors for People with Visual and Reading Disabilities Reading is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. By making it “Reading in a book gets me all cross-eyed,” says Shane, possible for people with print disabilities to read easily, who has a learning disability. Benetech breaks down barriers that have kept millions All that has changed for Shane, thanks to Bookshare. of people isolated and unable to participate fully in the Shane can now download his schoolbooks in minutes workplace and social life. Just ask Debbie Calvert. and follow along as the computer reads to him. He Calvert had been a teacher for 10 years when she chooses the pace, and highlighted words help him suddenly began to lose her sight, putting her career in navigate from sentence to sentence. jeopardy. “I found myself struggling to read the print of books I was assigning my students,” she says. “I really like reading with Bookshare because there’s something happening, it’s not just a After considering quitting, Calvert discovered Benetech’s plain piece of paper with words, so it helps Bookshare program, where she could listen and follow me focus more,” says Shane. along with electronic versions of books and use the information to create her lesson plans. Shane now enjoys reading in his free time and is Bookshare was created to serve the millions of Americans looking forward to tackling a biography of his hero, who have disabilities that keep them from easily reading skateboarding superstar Tony Hawk. a printed book, such as blindness, low vision, a learning disability or mobility impairment. With Bookshare, In 2007, the U.S. Department of Education awarded these readers can download over 50,000 accessible Benetech funding to offer Bookshare free of charge to books and periodicals from any computer with an over 100,000 students like Shane by 2012—an explosive Internet connection. growth from the 3,000 students served just a few years ago. Benetech also recently launched Bookshare Capitalizing on the democratizing power of the Internet, International to serve people with print disabilities in the Bookshare grows as its members scan, proofread developing world. and upload books of their own to share with other readers—a practice that is legal thanks to exceptions With the growth of Bookshare, Benetech is working in copyright laws for people unable to read traditional harder than ever to open up the world of reading to books. Major publishers and universities also donate people who were previously excluded from it. We are their own digital books to the collection. helping to ensure that those with print disabilities have the educational and employment opportunities they Bookshare is also breaking down barriers to reading for need to lead fulfilling, productive lives. students like Shane McKnight, a 14-year-old who loves skateboarding. He’s curious and articulate. But until 2 recently, he struggled to read the books assigned in class.
  5. 5. Benetech Report 2009 Why I Volunteer with Bookshare | by Monica Willyard More than a library, Bookshare is a thriving When I got my first Bookshare membership, community of volunteers who scan and I went nuts in the cookbook and computer proofread books to help the library grow, book section. I kept running out of the reach out to new users, and share their room to tell my mom, ‘They have the experiences on the Bookshare mailing list. Betty Crocker book! They have the Weight Here, Bookshare volunteer Monica Willyard Watchers book!’ One of the first things tells us her story. I did was sign up as a volunteer. I’m a single mother, and the first book I scanned “I was born blind, and when I was a little girl was Dare to Discipline, a parenting book I loved to touch the pages of print books. for toddlers. I would pray and ask God to let me read because I was such a curious kid. When I We have enough talent in the volunteer was eight years old, my father bought me community to run a small country; the a computer, insisted I learn how to use it scope is amazing. I had a dream for a long and taught me to write programs. I did time that someday blind people would everything by touch and memory. have the same level of access as those who don’t have disabilities. Today, Bookshare is On my 18th birthday, I got my first scanner. making that dream possible, and that’s the By scanning books into an accessible format, biggest reason why I volunteer.” I could finally read, even if it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned. I attended college, worked in technical support and marketing, and took courses in web development. But there were so few books that were accessible, it was always a struggle. MORE INFORMATION: 3
  6. 6. HUMAN RIGHTS Harnessing the Power of Statistics to Seek Justice, Healing and Reconciliation Around the World Benetech’s Human Rights Program Analyzes Evidence of Suffering in Pursuit of Truth It was one of the most startling discoveries in Guatemala’s the newspaper La Prensa. “God sometimes takes a long troubled history: a routine inspection of a warehouse once time, but He does not forget.” used by the country’s national police force uncovered a In Guatemala and in its other projects around the world, massive cache of hidden documents. Soaked by rainwater Benetech’s Human Rights Program helps human rights and nibbled by rats, the stacks of paper—hundreds of groups increase their impact by harnessing their most millions of pages—told the story of crimes committed valuable asset: information. Benetech’s scientific approach by the now-disbanded national police force during the creates reliable, evidence-based accounts of human rights country’s 36 years of armed conflict. The archive offered abuses that can overcome political biases, help bring new hope to families of the estimated 40,000 people perpetrators to justice—and literally change history. who disappeared in the conflict and the possibility of accountability for those responsible. Seeking Truth in Nations Scarred by Conflict But how to make sense of such a vast collection of Benetech recently worked with the Liberian Truth information? Enter Benetech and our Martus database and Reconciliation Commission to gather and analyze software. Partnering with local human rights groups and witness testimony from Liberia’s decades of civil unrest. staff from the office of the Guatemalan government’s Working in a country with no functioning power grid, Human Rights Ombudsman, Benetech’s Human Rights where many still struggle to meet their basic needs, the Data Analysis Group collected a random scientific sample commission faced many challenges. Yet they were able to of the documents and applied statistical expertise to gather over 17,000 testimonies, nearly half of which came answer questions such as how many people were abused from women, many of whom overcame societal taboos by police, what kinds of human rights violations occurred about discussing sexual violence to speak about their and who was responsible. experiences for the first time. Data from the project have already been used to bring “Benetech’s work helped to give a voice legal cases against police officials allegedly involved to thousands of victims and at the same in human rights abuses and are helping Guatemalans time give a human face to the truth and to better understand their history so the country reconciliation process,” says Chancellor can move forward. For Guatemalan congresswoman Jerome J. Verdier, Chairman of Liberia’s Nineth Montenegro, documents from the archive led to Truth and Reconciliation Commission. information that she had sought systematically for more than two decades and resulted in the arrest of two former Benetech’s 2009 report documented widespread forced police officers for their complicity in the disappearance of displacement during the conflict and found that a rebel her husband, professor and labor activist Fernando Garcia. group associated with Charles Taylor, the country’s “This is such a gift, that 25 years later we can pick up the former president, was responsible for the greatest number 4 thread and know where they took him,” Montenegro told of violations.
  7. 7. Benetech Report 2009 The Power of Statistics Martus: An Electronic Witness to History “We use statistics to convey the whole story rather than just little parts of it. A human rights worker is abducted in When we bring scientific rigor to the Colombia and her laptop stolen. An activist debate about human rights, we can gain deep within Burma sends radio dispatches a better understanding of what actually about violence there to colleagues outside happened, which can help prevent the country; if he is discovered, he risks atrocities in the future. being killed. Human rights groups face daily challenges to the safety of their We’re always thinking about new ways members, the information they collect and of collecting and analyzing data. In East the lives of vulnerable witnesses. Benetech Timor, besides collecting and analyzing created the Martus software to help meet surveys and narrative testimonies about those challenges. Martus organizes and killings during that country’s occupation encrypts data and backs it up on remote by Indonesia, we surveyed every public servers outside the country, safeguarding graveyard in the country. We collected sources’ identities. data on over 300,000 graves. And we were able to establish that the vast majority “Benetech’s innovative methods overcome of deaths during the conflict resulted the inherent biases in human rights data, from famine rather than murder. That fundamentally transforming the way scholars has dramatic implications for the world’s and practitioners do their work.” understanding of Timorese history.” — Dr. Todd Landman, Human Rights Centre, — Patrick Ball, Vice President, Benetech University of Essex Human Rights Program MORE INFORMATION: 5
  8. 8. ENVIRONMENT Helping Conservationists Protect Natural Resources Think Technology Can Save the Planet? We Do. Guam’s marine reserves form one of the most biodiverse who helped found the partnership. “In order to take regions on the planet. Coral reefs teem with over 800 the movement to the next level, we needed a common species of fish, turtles nest in beds of sea grass and language and common metrics to assess our progress. dolphins take a breather from their migratory treks. Miradi gives us that advantage.” Guam’s tremendous natural beauty inspired Elaina Todd At The Nature Conservancy’s North Carolina office, activ- to become an environmentalist. Todd knew that ists working to preserve a pine forest on military-owned her homeland’s natural habitats were threatened by land are using Miradi to communicate among various illegal fires, uncontrolled development and harmful stakeholders, from the Department of Defense to the state fishing practices, and she was determined to do parks department and local environmental researchers. something about it. With a click of the mouse, they can create diagrams that visually represent different tactics—from controlled burns In 2009, Todd and eight other ecological activists from to lobbying Congress—and the results they might achieve. around the world participated in a training program run by one of Benetech’s partners, the conservation “Miradi is helping us transform our conserva- group Rare. She learned how to use Miradi, Benetech’s tion plan from a document on a shelf to groundbreaking software application that allows something that’s actually integrated into environmentalists to design conservation plans that bring our work on the ground,” says Ryan Elting, The together best practices in environmental management with Nature Conservancy Sandhills Program Director. the local knowledge of people in their region. With Miradi, Todd has access to decades of experience As Benetech takes Miradi to scale in the coming years, from top conservationists who helped design the software. environmentalists like Elting and Todd will be able to She can assess the dangers to Guam’s coral reefs, from upload project data to a searchable online database and overfishing to global factors like climate change, develop share it with other conservationists around the world a plan to address them, and track her progress towards who face similar challenges. Potential donors, meanwhile, these goals. will be able to view and assess information about areas Rare is just one of dozens of environmental organizations that meet their interests, from protecting tigers in Laos to in 100 countries who currently use Miradi. Benetech preserving California’s native grasslands. developed the software in collaboration with the By fostering this kind of cooperation, Miradi is Conservation Measures Partnership, a consortium of dramatically expanding the knowledge base of leading environmental groups. conservation groups so they can meet their goals more “There are millions of dollars going into conservation, yet effectively. Miradi is just one example of how Benetech we had no way to track which strategies were successful,” uses the power of ideas to combine the efforts of says Dan Salzer, an ecologist at The Nature Conservancy individual advocates into a global movement for change. 6
  9. 9. Benetech Report 2009 “One hundred percent of our campaigns use Miradi, and it has hugely helped us to move project planning forward. We found it so helpful that we’ve invested in having it translated into Mandarin, Indonesian and Spanish.” — Paul Butler, Senior Vice President of Global Programs, Rare MORE INFORMATION: 7
  10. 10. IMPACT Benetech Projects Around the World A Different Kind of Technology Company Benetech’s pioneering social enterprise business model brings together the flexibility and entrepreneurial culture “Hundreds, if not thousands, of great of Silicon Valley with a commitment to serve humanity. technology applications are sitting on shelves because they are insufficiently Partnership profitable to shareholders. We need to Benetech collaborates with nonprofit leaders, high-tech recapture these opportunities and ensure companies, educational institutions and others to design that technology fully serves all of humanity.” and market software solutions that meet social needs. — Jim Fruchterman, Benetech CEO With extensive feedback from users, we ensure our projects truly make a difference, helping organizations amplify the impact of their work. Donor Engagement As a nonprofit organization, Benetech relies on the support of visionary donors who understand the untapped potential of technology to help those most in need. These critical funds ensure that programs are chosen based on their potential to improve society, not solely on how much revenue they will generate. Our donors help us take risks and pursue the next big idea. Rigorous Standards At Benetech, every project goes through a meticulous development process that includes a detailed business plan, early prototypes and exit strategies. We are committed to open source development to make the best use of technology and allow others to follow in our footsteps. Inspiration We dedicate a significant amount of our time building the field of social entrepreneurship and helping new innovators on the road to success. We especially enjoy inspiring students to look for creative ways of solving social problems. MORE INFORMATION: 8
  11. 11. Benetech Report 2009 United States and India: Sierra Leone: The Human Jilin Province, China: Bookshare brings the benefits Rights Data Analysis Group Using Miradi, the Hunchun of reading to over 60,000 built a secure data coding Pride Campaign will reduce subscribers with visual and and analysis process to help or eliminate poaching of learning disabilities, with plans the Truth and Reconciliation Siberian tigers by creating to expand to more countries in Commission create an impartial an alternative economy and the coming years. historical record and help end increasing enforcement in the impunity. region. Bookshare Human Rights Miradi MAP KEY Bookshare is used extensively throughout the United States and has a growing presence in other countries. The Human Rights Program and Miradi software are involved in projects worldwide. Puget Sound, United States: Colombia: Martus software Burma: The Human Rights The Puget Sound Partnership helps forensic teams collect Data Analysis Group partnered is using Miradi to coordinate and analyze data on killings with a group of ten Thailand- federal and state species and and disappearances. based NGOs to help a habitat conservation actions network of human rights across the entire Puget Sound activists securely document Watershed. the ongoing struggle against repression in Burma. 9
  12. 12. NEXT FRONTIER The Next Frontier: Global Challenges and Innovative Solutions As humanity moves into the 21st century facing a host of new social, economic and environmental challenges, the need for creative solutions has never been greater. Innovative software, Internet services and advances We will also extend the reach of Miradi, our project in affordable, user-friendly mobile technology offer management tool, to organizations throughout the unprecedented opportunities to expand access to environmental movement, giving more environmentalists information for disadvantaged people around the globe. a method for communicating about and learning from Benetech is meeting these challenges by broadening each other’s successes. and deepening the impact of our own programs and At Benetech, we know the work of one organization leading a movement of like-minded technologists simply isn’t enough. Since our founding, we have built with a commitment to using their skills to solve social strategic alliances and worked for policy changes to problems. bridge the technological divide. We advocate for students In the next five years, we will increase the number with disabilities to make sure they get equal access to of people served by Benetech programs from tens of electronic textbooks, help activists more effectively thousands to millions. We aim to leverage the platform work for human rights and enhance the impact of and reading technologies of Bookshare, already the conservationists striving to protect the environment. largest digital library of accessible texts, to serve users We partner with other social enterprises to create jobs around the world, English-language learners and those and help aspiring technology nonprofits develop their with other barriers to accessing information. A new own ideas. Every day we meet students, nonprofit software solution in development, Route 66 Literacy, leaders, grassroots activists, engineers and donors trains anyone with a computer to become a literacy tutor, who, like us, are awed at the tremendous promise that creating the potential for a league of volunteer teachers technology offers and want to use their talents to create a in isolated and underserved areas to help their families, better world. We want to catalyze these human resources friends and others learn to read. into a powerful movement that can bring technological innovations to the people who need them most but can We will continue to raise scientific standards in the least afford them. human rights field through research and training to ensure that our impact extends beyond the projects In the tradition of Silicon Valley, we dream big and take Benetech directly manages. We will double the risks. No matter how technology develops in the coming information stored in Martus, our secure database years, Benetech will continue to work toward achieving software, helping users draw attention to human rights our vision: a world where every person on the planet issues worldwide. can access the information they need for education, employment, health and social inclusion. We hope you’ll join us. 10
  13. 13. Benetech Report 2009 Together, we can bring the benefits of technology to all of humanity. MORE INFORMATION: 11
  14. 14. THANK YOU Partner and Donor Acknowledgement Benetech would like to recognize the following visionary individuals and institutions that have partnered with us to create innovative applications of technology to address unmet social needs. Without their unwavering commitment, our work would not be possible. BENETECH LITERACY PROGRAMS HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAMS G. Gervaise Davis III, Esq. Adobe Systems Incorporated Archivo Histórico de la Policia Nacional Steve Dow Mary A. Crocker Trust Comisión Colombiana de Juristas Google Carole H. Lake DePaul University The Lemelson Foundation Lavelle Fund for the Blind Equitas Omidyar Network Microsoft Corporation Freedom House Syria, DC, Ethiopia Packard Humanities Institute Mozilla Foundation Humanity United J. Leighton Read, M.D. NEC Foundation The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Skoll Foundation Bernard A. Newcomb Fund at Foundation Silicon Valley Community Foundation National Endowment for Democracy Recording Services for the Visually Impaired Oak Foundation Severns Family Foundation Open Society Institute *Benetech’s funding from foundations is typically in multi- Special Hope Foundation The Sigrid Rausing Trust year grants. The lists above and Morris Stulsaft Foundation US Department of State at right include funding from University of Wisconsin, Trace Center 2007–2009 and represent US Department of Education ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS gifts of $5,000 or more of The Miradi software program is a joint venture ZeroDivide gifts and services. between the Conservation Measures Partnership We would also like to acknowledge the (CMP) and Benetech. Miradi funders include: contributions of over 1000 committed volunteers who have made a significant impact on our Doris Duke Charitable Foundation programs, as well as the donation of books The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation by generous individuals, authors, universities Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and publishers. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Writing and Design by Mission Minded ( Mission statement: Benetech combines the power of the human mind with a deep passion for social improvement, creating new technology solutions that serve all of humanity. 12
  15. 15. FINANCIALS Benetech Report 2009 ASSETS SUPPORT & REVENUES Current Assets 2008 2008 Cash & Cash Equivalents $772,089 Grants & Contributions $3,091,529 Grants & Other Receivables $1,845,712 Earned Revenue $6,464,095 Total Current Assets $2,617,801 Donated Products & Services $113,703 Fixed & Other Assets Total Support & Revenues $9,669,327 Web Design Capitalization $1,639,579 Grants Receivable “Non-Current” $460,207 Deposits & Other Assets $90,658 Total Fixed & Other Assets $2,190,444 EXPENSES Total Assets $4,808,245 Bookshare $4,043,686 Human Rights $720,598 Miradi $298,677 LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS New Projects $18,630 Liabilities Total Program Expenses $5,081,591 Accounts Payable $325,567 Management & General $761,424 Other Accrued Expenses $609,290 Fundraising & Bid and Proposal $183,978 Total Liabilities $934,857 Total Support Expenses $945,402 Total Expenses $6,026,993 Net Assets Unrestricted $1,662,320 Changes in Net Assets $3,642,334 Restricted $2,211,068 Net Assets at Beginning of Year $231,054 Total Net Assets $3,873,388 Net Assets at End of Year $3,873,388 Total Liabilities & Net Assets $4,808,245 In its history, Benetech has enjoyed steady growth and programmatic success. This has been rewarded with a wide base of support, most dramatically the 2007 award from the U.S. Department of Education to bring Bookshare to all American students with print disabilities. $10,000,000 TEN YEAR $9,000,000 PROGRAM $8,000,000 $7,000,000 AND $6,000,000 SUPPORT $5,000,000 EXPENSES $4,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000 PROGRAM EXPENSES SUPPORT EXPENSES 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 (projected)
  16. 16. Benetech® BENETECH BOARD OF DIRECTORS 480 S. California Ave. Brian Behlendorf Suite 201 Christy Chin Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609 Gerry Davis Jim Fruchterman tel: 650-644-3400 Jim Kleckner fax: 650-475-1066 Leighton Read email: SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM Jim Fruchterman, Founder and CEO Patrick Ball, Chief Scientist and Vice President, Human Rights Program Betsy Beaumon, Vice President/General Manager, Literacy Program Betsy Burgess, Director, Marketing John Crossman, Director, Engineering Jane Simchuk, Vice President, Human Resources and Administration Teresa Throckmorton, Vice President, Finance and CFO Benetech is a nonprofit organization. Benetech is a registered trademark