Technology and Nonprofits: How Technological Firms are Helping to Effect Social Change
With the concept of the Social Media Meet Up Day beginning to take hold, there is now a growing correlation between virtual and physical networking as we progress through 2012. Bringing social networks to life with physical and real time interactions, the Social Media Day Meet Up is a fusion of principles that has taken the professional world by storm over the last 6 months.
The creation of the 501 Tech Club is an especially prominent example of networking’s new visage, primarily because it taps into the nonprofit world and brings charitable ventures in contact with technology professionals and volunteers. Given the growing influence of technology as a tool that effects social change, this type of interaction can only elevate nonprofits to an even more evolved platform from which to operate.
The 501 Tech Club: Delivering Technology to an Even Wider Nonprofit Audience
Under the patronage of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTN), the 501 Tech Club has been evolved as a collaboration between The Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and software engineering firm Linstar Inc.. The latest chapter was developed in Florida, and there are also monthly 501 Tech Club meetings held in areas such as Austin, New York, San Francisco, Rhode Island and Washington D.C.. Sharing the NTN’s mission to empower all nonprofits in using technology proficiently and to its fullest, the burgeoning number of 501 Tech Clubs are bringing a national drive to regional communities.
Although this nationwide and innovative networking event is capturing the headlines, however, there are a number of other technology firms and organizations that are contributing towards improving the functionality of nonprofits in the U.S. and around the world. TechSoup is one such example, and the organization continues to fulfill its mission of providing nonprofit organizations with the necessary technological tools and software to maximize their efficiency. Backed by more than 40 leading international donor parties such as Microsoft and Adobe, these products are available either for free or at a significantly discounted purchase price.
The Widening Reach of Technology: How It Continues to Influence Global Nonprofits
TechSoup has also taken part in several long standing projects, including the Clinton Global Initiative. Partnering with commercial giants such as Cisco and Symantec, this participation allowed them to distribute technology products and software to nonprofit organizations throughout the world. The evolution of this initiative has therefore enabled a wider circle of nonprofits to improve their own levels of efficiency and adopt a more professional method of working, and build upon the significant foundations laid by national and regional projects.
With increasing access to technological companies, software and products, it is little wonder that nonprofits are also embracing advanced concepts in website design, mobile media and Internet marketing. These are all tools which have heavily influenced the business world in recent times, and helped firms to share their vision and develop a brand far more effectively. Rad Campaign is an organization that has transferred these benefits into the nonprofit world, thanks largely to its experienced team of committed activists and campaigners. This knowledge is core to the service, and has improved the online presence and remote communication strategies of charitable ventures such as American Rights At Work and U.S. employment nonprofit Fix Our Jobs.
The Bottom Line: Where Next for Technology and Nonprofits?
With this growing number of local, national and international collaborations, alongside the increasing range of technological tools and software options that are being made accessible to nonprofits, it is clear that charities across the world are becoming far more professional and effective in sharing their respective visions. The creation of regional 501 Tech Clubs and similar networks has the potential to take this is onto an entirely different level, however, by delivering mainstream resources to grassroots nonprofits who require them the most.