As we prepare for World NGO Day, a day to celebrate the work and share the positive impact that non-governmental organizations provide, the role that organizations like TechSoup Global, who help other nonprofits, should not be overlooked.
Founded in 1987 and originally named CompuMentor, TechSoup Global was originally created to help nonprofits use information technology (IT) to deliver on their mission, an area where many needed (and still need) a lot of help. As it has evolved and grown into a global operation with 62 partner NGOs around the world, the organization works on connecting nonprofits with more resources in the form of tools, peers, experts, and volunteers. One main area of focus is providing donated and deeply discounted software and IT hardware from technology companies to its members, in addition to offering education and community around IT topics.
“As we progressed, we found that nonprofits had a significant need for affordable, reliable technology,” said Rosette Nguyen, Director of Strategic Communications, “and that there was a supply, waiting to be tapped into.”
Indeed, large technology companies were willing and eager to provide their products to worthy nonprofits, but often didn’t have the resources, experience or connections to find, evaluate and vet potential recipients of their product. As part of its mission, TechSoup Global helps match nonprofit organizations around the globe with the technology they need and facilitates the access to donated or deeply discounted hardware and software. But it also helps its corporate partners ensure that their donations go only to organizations with a valid nonprofit status. Funding itself mostly through small handling fees, TechSoup Global has established itself as the global go-to source for technology for nonprofits. To date it has provided 14.5 million technology products worth $4.8 billion. It also offers webinars, weekly email newsletters and other free educational resources to share best practices in technology with nonprofits.
It’s not just technology donations,discounts and education either. Based on its expertise in validating nonprofits around the globe, TechSoup Global provides equivalency determinations for nonprofits outside of the US that would otherwise face difficulties getting qualified from large U.S. foundations. Those determinations are instrumental in demonstrating that an NGO is what it says it is and deserving of aid. TechSoup Global currently provides services in 127 countries, with plans to be in all over 200 countries and territories in the world by the end of its fiscal year in July.
For many nonprofits, the services TechSoup provides are indispensable. It can mean the difference between balancing the books and not, having to choose between technology or providing services, or the access tools that can help in bringing in new donations or managing donors or simply running the institution.
NetSuite itself offers its ERP, CRM, professional services automation, human capital management and content management software on the TechSoup.org network through its corporate citizenship arm, NetSuite.org. In fact, TechSoup Global runs on NetSuite, managing its financial processes as well as donor and grant tracking and certain key stakeholder relationships with NetSuite CRM+.
Not to be overlooked is TechSoup Global’s role in bridging differences between large tech companies who might otherwise not collaborate with one another, government agencies and the NGO community worldwide.
“We’re the convener amongst different parties – foundations and nonprofits, research organizations, individuals, technology providers,” Nguyen said. “We’re thrilled to be able to help everyone contribute to a better world.”
For more on TechSoup Global, watch the video below: