|Key people||Founder and Chief Instigator: Daniel Ben-Horin
CEO: Rebecca Masisak
|Area served||89 countries|
|Focus(es)||Technology Donations and Data Services|
TechSoup Global, founded in 1987 as The CompuMentor Project, is a 501(c)(3) international network of 53 partner NGOs serving a total of 89 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. 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. Describing itself as a "connector across sectors," TechSoup Global brings together: NGOs, government agencies, social enterprises, technology activists, foundations, and 100+ 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.
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 March 31, 2014), TechSoup Global is one of the largest not-for-profit provider of technology assistance services to nongovernmental organizations, libraries, and other civil society organizations worldwide. More than 6.2 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 100+ 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 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 44 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. 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 to date (March 31, 2014), TechSoup Global says it has provided more than 13 million technology product donations of software, hardware, application services and complementary content and community services. Products and services valued at more than US$4.27 billion have been put in the hands of nonprofit organizations.
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 comments were included 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."
On January 23, 2014, Ms. Masisak spoke at the Lean for Social Good Summit before an audience of nonprofit executives, social entrepreneurs, Lean Startup experts, and philanthropists in San Francisco. TechSoup Global is a "Lean Impact Partner," along with Amicus, Idealist.org, NTEN, Tech Impact, Nonprofit Tech, the Tides Foundation and the Global Good Fund.
On March 13, 2014, Ms. Masisak spoke on the panel “The Power of Technology: Big Ideas around Change” at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Washington, D.C. On March 26, 2014, Ms. Masisak was interviewed in preparation for her talk at the Social Enterprise Summit in Nashvlle, TN, describing how a nonprofit social enterprise can compete in a fast-paced, high-tech environment. “I believe that the challenges of our times call for multi-stakeholder solutions,” she said, “and technology has a big role to play here — both as a set of solutions and as an exchange platform for resources and ideas. My goal for TechSoup Global is to help scale other social good actors and resources globally, 100x.”
- GuideStar Exchange Report for TechSoup Global April 16, 2014
- "TechSoup Global Year in Review" March 2014
- “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
- "TechSoup Global Year in Review" March 2014
- “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
- Lean Impact Summit, San Francisco January 23, 2014
- “The Power of Technology: Big Ideas around Change”, Nonprofit Technology Conference, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2014
- Social Enterprise Summit 2014 Nashville, TN April 15-17, 2014
- “Q&A with Rebecca Masisak, CEO, TechSoup Global” Social Enterprise Alliance Blog, March 26, 2014
- “Video: ‘What does big data mean?’ from Getting to Grips with Big Data” The Guardian June 13, 2012
- “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.