NGO Needs Mapping Workshop in Manila

Tech planning, one of the more overwhelming tasks to take on, particularly for NGOs whom typically struggle with their access to IT personnel or expertise. Despite this limitation, our conversations with NGOs – regardless of size and type – consistently reveal their drive towards learning more, and hopefully, being able to manage and update their IT systems independently. Simply, it’s just a matter of knowing how and where to begin their learning process.

In looking to answer the essential question (of where or how do we begin), TechSoup APAC arranged TechSoup Local in Manila, Philippines. TechSoup Local is a workshop style meetup, for this session, the team focused on providing a guided mapping experience of local NGOs’ technology needs. By allowing them to simply voice out all of their concerns, TechSoup is then able to identify larger concerns and introduce to the NGOs the existing donations and discounts that would be relevant for each.

Held last July 5, TechSoup Local gathered some 30 attendees from over 19 local organizations. Throughout an entire afternoon, the team guided them into identifying their tech needs by having them list all the operational pain points they experience on a daily basis. After which, the TechSoup APAC team delivered a guided tour into TechSoup’s catalogue of donations and discounts, simplifying each offer along the way to enable NGOs to better make sense of the tech donations, and how they can be utilized to alleviate their operational pain points.

To cap off the event, the TechSoup APAC team guided the organizations on creating their own work plan that they can follow. This essentially helps them prioritize which relevant donations/discounts – if there are any – they should work on, and the necessary steps to take to furthering their understanding, acquisition and implementation of these new found resources.

Overall, the served as a launching point for NGOs that sought to help direct and nudge them towards the right direction, primarily enabling them to identify what types of tech donations and discounts are out there for them. And most importantly, it also helps begin a conversation, one about tech planning, that they will then continue to grow with both TechSoup and their own teams.

Tech Planning Smackdown in Singapore with Oracle NetSuite

Last 18 June 2018, TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s Program Manager, Jed Adao, joins Oracle NetSuite’s Social Impact team along with some 20+ local charities for the Tech Planning Smackdown workshop in Singapore.

A free half-day workshop, the event was dedicated to assisting charities in identifying the pain points that choke their operations while also enabling them to know how they can choose and implement the proper business solutions to address such issues.

Joining TechSoup Asia-Pacific and Oracle Netsuite was also Spectrum Partner Group, a consulting service in Singapore that caters on charities’ needs, whom delivered a best practices session in implementing new Cloud solutions and also a live demo of Oracle NetSuite’s technology donations which are now available to Singapore Charities.

A guided tour of the Cloud: Empowering NGOs in China with Office 365

As most NGOs would attest to, one of the key limitations that hinder their growth and adoption of relevant solutions is their limited IT team and resources – or in some cases, a complete lack thereof.

Recognizing this issue, NPI – TechSoup’s partner NGO in China – has sought to address this concern by offering NGOs a hands-on training program that seeks to assist NGOs in various stages of implementing Office 365, beginning from the process of applying for the donations up to the actual usage of its various features.

In focusing on Office 365, NPI sees an opportunity to arm, educate and enable any NGO with essential cloud tools to make their operations efficient, that is flexible to any changes in their organizational size & structure, and most importantly, requires very little maintenance.

NPI to this day has been able to pilot this program on 3 separate NGOs, providing them a guided one-on-one experience that encompassed various stages of implementation. This ranged from as early as setting up their domains & user accounts, up to a more feature-focused approach such as training on SharePoint and Teams.

NPI’s initiative is not limited to hands-on trainings though, should an NGO in China want to receive quick support, they may also access NPI’s modules online through the links below:

TechSoup in the CSR space, Kuala Lumpur

Over the course of my 12-year career in social responsibility, I have been privileged to have experienced life from both sides: the funder (the giver) and non-profit sector (the receiver). I have also witnessed the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Malaysia, from a hand-out charitable, one-off donation mentality, to inclusive, rights-skewed, educational and action-based projects that empower communities encouraging them to take action.

Ask any non-profit and you’ll hear the same sentiments echoing across: lack of stable funding, lack of human capital and adequate resources, desperately need better organizational effectiveness, better external and internal communication, more social media skills, and so on.

If you turn it around, and ask the corporate sector, you’ll hear “We lack of good projects from NGOs. They have unrealistic impact. Most don’t spend time researching on their funders. No cohesive approach.”

The above were actual comments from the corporate sector who attended the TechSoup Corporate CSR Networking event at Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 7 March 2018.

In the CSR Networking event, the consensus was clear: the non-profit sector needs to strengthen their foundational skills. Some challenges require little technology intervention, others require more.

In the coming months, TechSoup’s goal is to develop projects that will address the priorities in the last three quadrants as shown in the image below.

 

Sharing at AVPN 2017 in Bangkok

This AVPN Conference brought together a diverse group of funders and resource providers from around the world for this key gathering of philanthropists and social investors in Asia. This year’s theme “Collaborating for Impact” emphasized partnership across sectors and borders when looking to tackle some of Asia’s biggest challenges in education, health, livelihoods, the environment, and more.

Simon Gee and Matt Jung joined the conference and had some insightful sharing and networking among the over 700 attendees, which included foundations, NGOs and CSOs, impact investors, and a variety of social impact practitioners. Simon shared TechSoup’s experience in a roundtable, “Scaling the Impact Technology Social Enterprises in Asia.”

The sessions and panels had some quality content with experienced investors, NGOs and service providers. Impact investor movement are developing in Asia, bringing in more funding alongside more traditional philanthropy. Though impact investors still seek return on investment, more of the conference talk was around impact, and ability to scale. However, there was some consensus that there needs to be more impact funding, and such funders do not feel there are enough investees  social enterprises and NGOs and the likes, that are developed enough for their investment criteria.

The AVPN also organized ‘Deal Share Live – Investment Showcase’, featuring pitches from 30 social purpose organizations, and most of them were nonprofits. Several organizations approached TechSoup, asking for some experience help to leverage technology to further scale their programs.

We aim for the TechSoup network to play a greater role in the development of new impactful programs for Asia.

Technology Trainings

Our Asia Pacific partners organize a variety of trainings and workshops on new technology applications and topics such as disaster preparedness, fundraising, and social media.

MST4GMay16

A recent example was a “Tech4Good” event hosted by our partner Yayasan Salam and Microsoft Malaysia in May 2016. The event brought together 127 participants from 87 unique NGOs to share new technology solutions and case studies, including office applications in the cloud, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer fundraising.