|Key people||Founder and Chief Instigator: Daniel Ben-Horin
CEO: Rebecca Masisak
TechSoup Global, founded in 1987 as The CompuMentor Project, is a 501(c)(3) international network of 52 partner NGOs in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. It leverages technology to build NGO capacity towards solving social problems in local communities and fostering global social change. TechSoup Global's core capabilities include running a technology philanthropy program (TechSoup.org); providing NGO validation services to foundations and corporations; gathering, analyzing, and distributing global social-sector data; and catalyzing community-oriented technology innovations. Using a social-enterprise business model, these operations are grounded in collaboration within the social sector. As a "connector across sectors," TechSoup Global brings together: NGOs, government agencies, social enterprises, technology activists, foundations, and 90+ technology companies - including Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Cisco, and Intuit.
The TechSoup Global Network includes Fundacja TechSoup, the first separately incorporated “regional hub” established by TechSoup Global. It employs a staff of twelve in Warsaw, Poland, and supports activities in 16 European countries (as well as playing a key role in supporting the global partner network overall).
Through TechSoup.org, TechSoup Global's TechSoup Global Network Partner NGOs, and the Gates Global Libraries Program, TechSoup technology donations are now (September 30, 2013) available to NGOs in 58 countries, including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. See TechSoup Global Network.
TechSoup Global's Local Impact Map features hundreds of NGOs around the world sharing stories about their use of these donated technology products to enhance their mission, often in unique and innovative ways. See TechSoup Global Local Impact Map.
TechSoup Global's founding organization CompuMentor was created in 1987 when Daniel Ben-Horin (today Founder and Chief Instigator of TechSoup Global) was inspired by the participants on The WELL, one of the very first online communities, to create a program in which those with technology skills (“mentors”) volunteered to assist nonprofit organizations gain a foothold with new information technologies.
In 2008, CompuMentor formally announced that it had changed its name to TechSoup Global to reflect the organization's evolution to a group which serves nonprofit institutions and NGOs around the world.
Today (as of September 30, 2013), TechSoup Global is the largest not-for-profit provider of technology assistance services to nongovernmental organizations, libraries, and other civil society organizations worldwide. More than 6.4 million annual visitors from 190 countries visit the TechSoup Global internet sites for technology information, training, and support. These users are able to read articles and other educational content, participate in webinars, forums, and both online and in-person community events in order to collaborate, share best practices, and maximize their impact.
TechSoup.org Product Donations
Launched in January 2002, TechSoup.org is a web site serving nonprofits that provides training webinars, community forums and other resources about the use of technology in nonprofit organizations and public libraries. Originally known as DiscounTech (and later as TechSoup Stock), TechSoup.org is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Microsoft product donations, and helps to connect nonprofits and libraries to 401 different product donations from 90+ donating partners (including Adobe, Symantec, Cisco and Intuit). These partnerships have enabled it to build a social enterprise that, for a small administrative fee, verifies the nonprofit status of organizations seeking donations, and matches them to the donated technology products they need.
GuideStar International's global service enables collection of and open access to accurate NGO data - through local partners - increasing both transparency and effectiveness of civil society. GSI was begun in 2010 when TechSoup Global and GuideStar International, a U.K.-registered charity that promotes transparency and civil society organization reporting, combined operations in order to strengthen their respective capacity-building programs for civil society. The two organizations share a mission to benefit global civil society through the provision of technology, information, and resources.
NGOsource, a project of the Council on Foundations and TechSoup Global, is an online service for U.S. grantmakers to quickly receive equivalency determinations, which are legal certifications that a non-U.S. NGO is equivalent to a U.S. public charity, thereby reducing the cost and complexity of international grantmaking. Launched in March 2013, it helps U.S. grantmakers streamline their global philanthropy. See NGOsource.
NetSquared fosters technology collaboration for social change by organizing local actors to collaborate in open innovation challenges and in monthly face-to-face meetups in 48 cities around the world. These NetSquared challenges engage citizen technologists to deliver Internet and mobile solutions to address pressing local issues such as government transparency, government efficiency, corruption, and rule of law. Recently, for example, NetSquared’s “ReStart Slovakia” challenge provided recognition and seed funds to help launch the “Open Courts” project to promote transparency in Slovakia's judicial system. See NetSquared.
From January 2002 when the technology product donation service began through now (September 30, 2013), TechSoup Global has provided more than 213,655 organizations with computer software, hardware, application services and complementary content and community services. Products and services valued at more than US$3.9 billion have been put in the hands of nonprofit organizations, resulting in substantial savings to the civil society sector and freeing financial resources. The TechSoup.org website now receives 287,000 unique visitors per month from 190 countries.
TechSoup Global's comment on social innovation in the nonprofit and NGO sector are sought by the media. On December 13, 2009, San Jose Mercury News columnist Chris O’Brien’s list of “The Influencers of Silicon Valley” highlighted ten Silicon Valley leaders, including TechSoup co-CEO Marnie Webb, who is described as “…instrumental in building links between corporations, volunteers and nonprofits to get technology into the hands of community organizations that don't have many resources or expertise.” In the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, then TechSoup Global co-CEO Marnie Webb was interviewed on Chicago Public Radio and in USA Today.
TechSoup Global's work with data has been featured in the Guardian, described on the European Social Innovation Research blog, and its partnership with the Foundation Center, GlobalGiving and GuideStar in creating a database of 3 million NGOs as part of the Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities (BRIDGE) project profiled on the Markets for Good blog.
On November 8, 2012, TechSoup Global CEO Rebecca Masisak's comments were sought by The Chronicle of Philanthropy in its "Nonprofit Leaders' Advice to the President" in which she said "The president can amplify the sector’s collective impact by spearheading a strategic shift in international development and fostering growth of global civil society..." In April 2013, she was interviewed in VitaEurope magazine in which she said "We have created many programs over the years as technology and the barriers to its effective use have changed, and now we look forward to the possibilities that trends like social tech, cloud computing and big data create for enhancing the capacity for positive social impact and equality in the world."
- “When Tech Innovation Has a Social Mission” by John Markoff, The New York Times, April 13, 2008
- “TechSoup sees upside for nonprofits in downturn” by Julian Guthrie, The San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, March 22, 2009
- "GuideStar International and TechSoup Global Combine” The Nonprofit Quarterly April 15, 2010
- "Treasury and IRS Rule Changes Reduce Barriers to Global Grantmaking", NGOsource, September 24, 2012
- "Explanation of Proposed Treasury Regulations: Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations of Equivalency Determinations", Council on Foundations, September 24, 2012
- "NetSquared 2009: Making the Virtual Proximal” The Huffington Post June 4, 2009
- “Open Data: Chris Worman writes about Open Courts, the dataset which provides a model for others interested in data-driven advocacy” The Guardian February 19, 2013
- In Slovakia, a Website Shines the Spotlight on Infamously Corrupt Judiciary TechPresident, July 31, 2013
- “The Influencers of Silicon Valley” by Chris O’Brien, San Jose Mercury News, December 13, 2009
- “Using Mobile Technology and Social Media to Transform Disaster Relief” Chicago Public Radio March 4, 2010
- “Technology, social networking transforms giving” USA Today April 13, 2010
- “Getting to Grips with Big Data” The Guardian June 13, 2012
- "‘Big data’ and philanthropy – powerful but mixed blessing?" European Social Innovation Research, June 18, 2013
- "BRIDGE to Somewhere: A Conversation with GlobalGiving, GuideStar, the Foundation Center, and TechSoup Global" Markets for Good, June 3, 2013
- “Promote a Strong Future for Citizens Around the World: Nonprofit Leaders' Advice to the President" The Chronicle of Philanthropy November 8, 2012
- "TechSoup: Changing the world one click at a time" VitaEurope, April 6, 2013
- “Video: ‘What does big data mean?’ from Getting to Grips with Big Data” The Guardian June 13, 2012
- "Technology for Local Empowerment," Third Global Forum on Telecentres Daniel Ben-Horin opening remarks at conference in Santiago, Chile, April 5, 2011
- “Non-profits cope with the recession” KALW-FM, San Francisco Audio interview with TechSoup Global co-CEO Marnie Webb (and with the S.F. Food Bank) November 30, 2009
- Video of Daniel Ben-Horin Day 2 Keynote at the Telecentre-Europe Summit 2009, Istanbul October 15, 2009.
- “Accelerating Social Entrepreneurship Conference" May 4, 2009 at George Washington University. Mr. Ben-Horin was invited to speak by Stephen Goldsmith, Vice Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- An informal chat with Daniel Ben-Horin at the ConnectingUp 2007 conference "Listen"
- An audio interview with Daniel Ben-Horin by Sean Stannard-Stockton from Tactical Philanthropy "Listen"
- An audio interview with Daniel Ben-Horin by Dominique Piotet from L'Atelier BNP Paribas in San Francisco: "Listen"