Letter from the CEO
This year, like so many others, civil society stepped up to meet a series of unexpected changes and challenges. From shifts in philanthropic models to geopolitical instability to economic downturns, change increased at an unprecedented rate. We faced these challenges in our communities in big and small ways.
You are the safety nets of our communities. Large and small, grassroots organizations gave their time, their resources, and their passion to meet the needs of those around them. And so many of you — indeed the vast majority of you — did this with ever-dwindling resources, with ever-increasing costs. More than 75 percent of the 1.4 million organizations we serve across the TechSoup Global Network are small, with annual operating budgets of less than US$1 million. These small organizations are so powerful. And we know — because you told us in our Global Data Handling Survey — the importance of a digital strategy and solutions. You need support to develop that strategy, to fund its implementation, and then to really adopt it so that you can see the benefits.
We believe that support happens best when it is delivered in community. That is the bet we place with Quad, a new offering that provides a space to support the use and adoption of digital solutions. We launched Quad in the US, South Africa, and Portugal.
That is not the only community support model in which we have invested. Hive Mind is a community of practice for digital activists. In the last year, it has grown into a thriving space for sharing strategies, courses, and webinars to stop the disinformation war that is part of the war in Ukraine and to help people in vulnerable communities across the world combat the impacts of disinformation.
And of course we continue to bring you together. Across the network we engaged more people than ever before, interacting in live events with more than 30,000 people around the world. We reached more than 190,000 learners at their own pace, offering educational content in seven languages.
Those aren’t the only connections we enable. In the last year, the TechSoup Global Network connected 292,000 NGOs in 236 countries and territories with more than US$2.2 billion in resources. This powerful and diverse network is focused on building and deepening relationships to activate civil society to do more good. This was all made possible thanks to the 340+ individual investors, foundations, donors, and corporate partners who contributed US$11.5 million through an innovative Growth Capital Campaign and Direct Public Offering (DPO), which completed this year. We are using funds from that campaign to support our own transformation responding to the changing needs of civil society, the innovations in technology, and the increased desire for philanthropic engagement we see from our corporate partners.
That support is at the heart of the Civil Society Security Strengthening Initiative. Launched with a grant from Okta, and joined by Zendesk, Zscaler, and individual donors, the initiative focuses on strengthening the security of the smallest and most vulnerable nonprofits that are often underserved through traditional tech providers, starting in Central and Eastern Europe and expanding globally.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine provided an urgency to that effort. And we worked actively to support the groups that were helping internally displaced persons and refugees who crossed the borders into Poland, Romania, Moldova, and the Czech Republic and continue to move across Europe.
In challenging times, it becomes increasingly clear how much we need one another. How much we need networks and advocates. We, and all the organizations we serve, but especially the small ones, truly need your support now. Looking forward, we will deepen our commitment to equity, add more value to the organizations we serve, and share what we learn with greater velocity. Together, despite increasing complexities and challenges, we can unlock the potential inside organizations so that they can do more good, strengthen communities and improve more lives – as independent organizations and also as networked collaborators striving for aligned goals.