Letter from the CEO
Fiscal year 2014 was an exciting year of unprecedented expansion for TechSoup Global. We served more organizations than ever before and doubled our global reach while adding depth and breadth to program offerings that reached civil society organizations of all types. We also continued to work on new partnerships and new ways to leverage our technology platform in order to bring organizations and individuals more resources and connections in the form of tools, peers, experts, and volunteers.
I hope that by reading the 2014 Year in Review you will be inspired. Inspired by the civil society networks that are working together to accelerate social change. Inspired by the innovation and generosity of our corporate and foundation partners. Inspired by our mission to work towards a time when every civil society organization on the planet has the technology and resources it needs to operate at its full potential. And most importantly, inspired by the breadth of organizations whose good work is supported by our services, and the hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across the globe that benefit from these programs.
TechSoup Global Network Can Now Reach 600,000 Organizations
Our greatest asset continues to be the expertise and reach of our global partner network. Across the TechSoup Global Network, we expanded our reach and more than doubled the number of countries served. We can now serve 112 countries via 58 global partners and will serve 196 countries by the end of fiscal year 2015.
Together with our global partner network, we have built the world’s most extensive global civil society organization (CSO) database with over 600,000 registered organizations from 112 countries. When you add to this the hundreds of corporations, foundations, and government agencies, the ever-growing community of individual technology activists, social entrepreneurs, and geeks that support the civil society sector, and the millions of people around the world served by these organizations, you get a sense of the real potential of the TechSoup Global Network to change the world.
Distribution of Technology Donations and Discounts Increased by 24 Percent
This year alone, the TechSoup Global Network delivered technology product donations and discounts to 117,000 organizations around the world — a 24 percent increase over the previous year. This includes 37,300 organizations that had never received donated technology from us before.
To offer donated and discounted products and services to organizations worldwide, TechSoup Global has partnered with over 100 corporate partners, including Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, Microsoft, and Symantec. These partnerships and the extent of our global network have enabled a cumulative distribution of 13.8 million donated technology products, leading to savings of US$4.51 billion to the civil society sector. The TechSoup Global Network also engages and informs our users through our family of global websites, which collectively receive 5.9 million visits annually, as well as our newsletters, which are sent to 600,000 individual subscribers across 23 languages. All of this — along with the educational and learning resources TechSoup Global produces, curates, and shares — allows civil society organizations around the world to work more efficiently and effectively toward achieving their missions.
TechSoup Global Validation Services Partner with Microsoft and Google for Nonprofits to Launch New Program Offerings
TechSoup Global is committed to empowering organizations as data agents and not merely data points. We have spent over two decades building a reputation of trust among the civil society actors we serve and are invested in being the best steward of organizational data. As stewards, we are committed to mapping the sector and improving transparency and the value of sectorwide data so that social sector actors can gain insights and be more impactful.
The TechSoup Global Network leverages a validation process that is the backbone of the product donations distribution program. Validation services takes the process we use today to verify that a local organization meets the requirements for legally recognized nonprofits and charities in a country. This validation database, and the addition of GuideStar International to our program offerings, has resulted in aggregated data on over 600,000 organizations from 112 countries — the most extensive sector database of its kind. By utilizing this data, we have added complementary programs and services that further benefit the sector. These include NGOsource , Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits, Google for Nonprofits, and the BRIDGE program.
Community-Driven Innovation as a Catalyst for Social Change
TechSoup Global has continued to foster grassroots innovation at the intersection of social change and technology. We have devised successful formats for tapping the expertise at the base and wedding it to the technological expertise “for good” that is increasingly abundant all over the world. And we have developed much of our own expertise in framing and staging convenings that bring both community and technology actors together to inspire and connect.
A few exciting examples include the thriving online information hub in the Balkans known as community boost_r, which continues to focus on transparency, freedom of information, and open data in the region following a TechCamp and a series of offline and online events throughout the region. Apps4Warsaw is a newer collaboration led by Fundacja TechSoup in collaboration with Orange, local government, and other civic actors committed to developing civic apps for municipalities. Caravan Studios developed three new apps for social good in FY 2014 through generator sessions that leverage community-centered design. Finally, TechSoup’s NetSquared program continues to connect people locally and around the world who share a passion for technology and social causes. Through online resource sharing, meetups, and webinars, as well as in-person convenings, NetSquared organizers and participants bring a breadth of tech knowledge to the social sector.
The highlights that are presented in the 2014 Year in Review (as well as the thousands that were not included) demonstrate the impact our work has had on global civil society. They also illustrate the invaluable relationships, network, and vision that has been established as a base for social change around the world.
The Year in Review also provides a sneak peek into our plans for the coming year. TechSoup Global continues to invest in its technology platform, which will enable it to fully realize its marketplace for social good. The platform is the catalyst for a diverse set of social sector actors to innovate and create. It will leverage “network effects” to strengthen and engage civil society globally by providing first-class sector technology services. Be on the lookout for incredible collaborations coming from TechSoup Global and its global network of organizations, entrepreneurs, hacktivists, and civic-minded individuals, as well as from our corporate, government, and foundation partners.
Thank you to all of the contributors, collaborators, and supporters that made this incredible year possible and that will make the future brighter for millions of individuals around the world next year. We’d love to hear from you — our community of contributors — with any questions, comments, or ideas.Sincerely,
CEO, TechSoup Global