Technology is Imperative for NPOs
A Guest Blog from the Tech World.
As an impact tech company, we understand the role that technology plays in changing the world. We wanted to hear some more from others in the tech world, and the importance that tech can play for nonprofits. We spoke to Dennis Ma of Tata Consultancy Services to talk about the importance of technology for nonprofits.
He sits at the crossroads of philanthropy and technology. Here’s what he had to say:
Ever since the dawn of time, we as human beings have had empathy at the core of our primal instincts. As a society we’ve learned that the only way to progress forward, we need to be able to work together on common goals to either spread knowledge or awareness, and to provide provide an avenue to get involved. This is a core competency of nonprofit work.
So how might we be able to spread awareness of our goals, and have people all over the world have access to support it? The answer is technology. Moore’s law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense, integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This means that every two years, we make a huge advancement in technology, which allows further access to technology. This is proof that technology is so important for nonprofits to use! Generation X, Y, and Z all have access to some form of technology, right in their pockets. Through online articles, social media websites, and mobile applications, nonprofits can use anyone of these avenues to spread information, and connect people to volunteering or giving opportunities.
The technology world today recognizes that there are a lot of charities and nonprofit organizations tackling social problems on all levels, whether that be for equitable access to education or even awareness for cancer or disease research. They recognize that their products can help people connect to one another, and push the agenda for creating a positive impact for society. TechSoup Canada is an example a non-profit that works with these big tech companies, such as Microsoft and Symantec, to provide equitable access to other charities and non-profits.
Youth today, along with Gen Y & Z, are the prime age groups for this movement. They have access to technology at home and school, meaning that they are connected all the time. They are actively on social media — sharing knowledge gained from videos, news and things they heard via word of mouth. Today’s youth are able to build a bridge between technology and the charitable sector by bringing their skills to the table. Technology usage and education in schools have grown so fast to the point where now it’s incorporated in their lessons, homework and presentations. Tech is so integrated in their lives, that it becomes another language that they can use to help the sector. By volunteering, by teaching, by joining the sector as an expert in technology — they are able to help in new ways, redefining the approach to engaging an audience, and possible donor base.
Technology is a requirement for those in the nonprofit space, as it’s the only way that we can cover so much ground, connect so many people, and provide tons of opportunities — not only in our local neighborhoods, but even globally. There is no way a nonprofit can be efficient in achieving their goals without it.
Dennis Ma is a Technology Specialist for Tata Consultancy Services in Canada, and a member of the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility Team. One of his major functions is to connect charities and nonprofits to technology using their goIT program. This program teaches young students about the importance of the STEM disciplines. Dennis coordinates with IT professionals within Tata, so that they can use their skills to help the sector.
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