It’s not just businesses who would be wise to maximize technology; non-profits need to get their hands on tech tools and advancements as well. Technology should be an area of focus for non-profit organizations if they want to increase their mission impact, improve their operational efficiency, and enhance their sector competitiveness. Here are some of the ways technology has helped various non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 crisis:
Ideas worth sharing
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), known for its “ideas worth sharing” tagline and mission, has transformed the digital sphere and the spreading of information and ideas in irrevocable ways. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 disease and how it spreads, TED 2020 has transitioned its events to the virtual world, where speakers and audiences had conversations about tech, government, work, activism, and more.
Through the use of video conference apps like Zoom, the TED team was able to replicate some of the interaction between the speakers and attendees who considered themselves part of the community, and it was a safe way to share ideas without risking anyone’s health.
A crucial part of non-profits reaching their goals is by creating a genuine community of people who hold the same values and have the same goals. The way to do this in the time of a pandemic is through a well-developed digital community software that can bring people who have the same advocacy and interests. An example of this is Cerebral Palsy Alberta, which created an app called “Flutter” through Disciple Media as a one-stop online community for people with disabilities and their families to reach health professionals, advocates, researchers, other organizations, and each other.
Coding for a cause
The private sector has reaped a lot of gains and benefits from technological developments over the past decades, but the government sector has not been as privileged, thanks to budget cuts and outdated software. Thankfully, the non-profit sector is coming to the government sector’s aid in the form of Code For America, which is a non-profit, non-political, non-partisan organization that aims to widen the gap between the private and public sectors in their effective use of design and technology.
Code For America’s COVID-19 response included providing immediate assistance to people and governments who needed help during the pandemic, which involves getting the right information to the right people at the right time, and connecting local communities who are working hard to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Fighting poverty through the web
Samasource, a training data company that’s trusted by over 25% of Fortune 50 corporations, specializes in annotating information for artificial intelligence algorithms. The company is also known for hiring women and youth impoverished natures the opportunity to do dignified and digital-based work in the tech industry. Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 crisis, Samasource’s CEO also testing AI’s ability to handle extreme events that can send the global economy reeling, also called “black swans” in finance. If successful, this tech might be able to mitigate the effects of these black swan events if detected early.
In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession, Samasource provided luxury lodging to their African employees who were affected by the crisis. The tech industry’s least visible and most marginalized workers were sequestered in luxury hotels, with a view of the national park to watch the sunset and animals.
Technology can be a great tool for people who have a passion to make the world a better place. When institutions — like the tech industry alongside private, public, and nonprofit sectors — come together, there is so much we can achieve for those who need help the most.