Covid-19 Tech Resources for Nonprofits

The Covid-19 outbreak has pushed many organizations (businesses and nonprofits alike) to suddenly adapt a remote work setup, one that they may not necessarily be prepared for. To assist your organization, we have compiled some essential tools, tips and articles that can help you work effectively from home amidst the ongoing outbreak.

Tools & Tips When Working From Home

Need key best practices to manage yourself and your team while working remotely? Catch them here, as well as a run through on cloud-based collaboration and communication tools that your nonprofit can access for free or at a discount.


Need a copy of the slides? You can download it here

Upskill Your Team

Access a free online course specifically tailored to help nonprofits adapt to the new remote work setup. This course includes specific sessions on collaboration, communication, and even security.

Sign up for the full free course here

Looking for other helpful courses? Checkout TechSoup’s course catalogue here

Helpful Articles

There’s a massive selection out there, specifically tailored to help you deal with the new telecommuting setup. To help you get quick access to the ones specifically designed for nonprofits, here are some key articles from TechSoup that’s worth checking out:

Resources from Our Partner Network

Check out these helpful resources from our partner network as well:

Connecting Up (Australia):

Frontier Foundation (Taiwan):

Social Media for Social Change

In May 2018, Malaysia saw a new beginning : a new political coalition party, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), took over Malaysia for the first time since independence from the British in 1957. Overnight, the political tsunami in Malaysia became a hallmark of democracy across the country and the region.

As with any new situation, democracy can continue to flourish, and influence the region, or, it can start to take another shape, and slowly decline, and fade away. In recognizing the possibility of Malaysia’s revert to dictatorship and draconian laws, USAID launched Malaysia Reform Initiative (MARI) project to support and promote civil society organisations that are pushing for political and democratic reforms.

TechSoup was called in to design and conduct a pilot training for organisations working across political and democratic reforms. Working with Kitabisa, TechSoup led the design of a series of training modules for the participants, split into basic and intermediate knowledge levels.

Participants applying their newly acquired skills to the presentation on Day 2. Each presentation required participants to demonstrate application of at least two skills learned over the two day workshop.

The training modules were designed to help NGOs and organisations understand their target audiences, design more effective messaging, relevant content including the use of GIFs, memes and videos, as well as understanding basic social media insights in order to design campaigns that resonated with their intended audiences.

To help the NGOs identify and prioritise their needs, TechSoup facilitated a Mapping Your Action Plan session, where NGOs were grouped according to focus areas and sectors.

TechSoup facilitates “Mapping an Action Plan” session

Each group listed their organisational challenges, ranked the priority of each challenge, according to the level of urgency. Finally, they mapped the challenge to the level of technology required.

The combined result is shown below:

Combined results from the “Mapping an Action Plan” session. This combined map shows the various challenges and needs that the NGOs have, against their priorities and level of technology involvement.

 

To increase exposure to industry practitioners, TechSoup also curated an Open Marketplace, where industry-level experts in various fields came to share their knowledge, tips and techniques. This included experts from data analytics, digital content in advocacy, Google suite, grants and fundraising, and photography. TechSoup’s partner Yayasan Salam was also on-site to provide much-needed support and understanding of TechSoup Malaysia’s updated eligibility criteria.

By empowering the NGOs through this training, the end goal is for them to be more confident in using these tools independently, and ultimately, for them to create the social change that Malaysia needs.

YSEALI Transparency Workshop in October 2020 to Catalyse Change

SAN FRANCISCO, October 22, 2019 : TechSoup, a global nonprofit based in San Francisco, has been awarded a US$250,000 grant by the U.S. State Department to develop and execute a project to promote systemic reforms grounded on transparency and anti-corruption in ASEAN and Timor-Leste.

The project will be jointly implemented with the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), an international NGO that works to transform public procurement through the power of open data and open government so that it delivers better goods, services and works for all people. It will also be supported by the U.S. Embassy of Malaysia and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Alumni network.

Under a large umbrella theme of anti-corruption, the project will seek to:

● Build capacity among 100 youth leaders across ASEAN and Timor-Leste who are currently involved in, or will work to influence public policies to better serve citizens’ needs through greater openness and transparency;
● Enable open sharing, and increase access to skills, tools, resources and best practices related to promoting transparent and more effective governance;
● Create, expand, strengthen the network of leaders around ASEAN and Timor-Leste to deliver a strong regional coalition that will catalyse and inspire movements to push for more open and inclusive governance.
● Provide seed funding, technical and mentoring support to young leaders to develop and implement innovative reforms in their home countries.

The main event will be a five-day workshop for 100 YSEALI members from ASEAN and Timor-Leste scheduled to be held in October 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Technical matter experts, policy makers, youth and social activists, and influential players across public, private and NGO sectors will work on anti-corruption and accountability, in addition to anti-money laundering and political funding, citizen engagement, investigative journalism, accessibility to alternative media, democracy, and defenders of shrinking civic spaces. They will also share knowledge, resources, tools and best practices in promoting effective, accountable and inclusive governments.

At the end of the workshop, participants will compete for a small seed grant to develop and implement a proposed project related to promoting transparency and accountability in their home countries. TechSoup and OCP will provide post-workshop support in the form of mentoring, consultation and support to their respective networks around the region wherever required.

“TechSoup continues to help nonprofits and civil society organizations around the world leverage technology to create, connect, activate and transform their organizations and communities,” said Lynn Van Housen, TechSoup Executive Vice President. In 2016, TechSoup Europe developed TransparenCEE, an on-going project in Central Eastern Europe, promoting accountable governments through a combination of civil society, civic engagement and digital technology.

“In a time when civic space around the world is shrinking and under constant threat, the role of civil society in ensuring pushback against repression becomes even more crucial. The YSEALI Transparency and Anti-Corruption project reflects two key trends: the first, of the current situation in ASEAN where democracy and transparency need to be activated in tandem; and the second, the role of digital technology in promoting these agendas.”

U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir welcomes these outstanding young leaders to Kuala Lumpur for this regional workshop. “Youth are the key to a more prosperous and equitable future,” Lakhdhir said. “In line with our mission’s goal to promote good governance and the rule of law, we believe the regional workshop can empower these young leaders to promote transparency and combat corruption in the region.”

About TechSoup:
TechSoup provides the transformative technology solutions, the digital platforms, and the in-person experiences that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world. With 60+ partner NGOs around the world, TechSoup manages the only global philanthropy program that brings together more than 100 tech companies to provide technology donations and charitable offers to NGOs everywhere. TechSoup’s data and validation services enable companies, foundations, and governments to connect their philanthropic resources with vetted NGOs around the world. In the past 30 years, TechSoup has reached 1.3 million NGOs and facilitated distribution of technology products and grants valued at more than $12.1 billion. More at www.techsoup.org

About the Open Contracting Partnership
The Open Contracting Partnership is a silo-busting collaboration across governments, businesses, civil society, and technologists to open up and transform government contracting. Open contracting brings open data and open government together to make public contracting fair and effective so that it delivers better goods, services and works to citizens. Over 40 countries and cities worldwide are implementing open contracting reforms and the OCP helps make reforms stick, innovations jump scale, and foster a culture of openness around the policies, teams, tools, data, and results needed to deliver impact. The OCP supports the Open Contracting Data Standard, a free, non-proprietory global best practice schema to publish open data about public procurement from planning to implementation. More at www.open-contracting.org

About YSEALI:
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership skills of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and catalyse critical change in nurture an the ASEAN community, focusing on emerging topics. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, sustainable development, education and economic growth.

 

For more information on this project, please contact Elizabeth Liew at eliew@techsoup.org

Donor Management and Fundraising made easy: Blackbaud launches in Southeast Asia

TechSoup Asia-Pacific is proud to announce its newly signed partnership with Blackbaud, a cloud software company that’s built entirely and exclusively to empower charities across the globe. Through this partnership, NGOs across 6 Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand – may access exclusive discounts to Blackbaud’s range of solutions for fundraising, project management, communications and donor management.

NGOS may learn more about the Blackbaud product offers through the links below:

Discounts to Blackbaud’s eTapestry now available

Through TechSoup Asia-Pacific, Blackbaud is offering 25% discounts on the annual subscription fees for eTapestry, an all-in-one fundraising solution that can enable NGOs to collect and manage donor information, receive helpful insights & reports and receive funds/donations.

The offer comes in two different packages, Starter and Pro, for either 1 or 3-year packages. These will also include a consultation call with Blackbaud’s own experts, enabling Blackbaud to better understand the recipients’ needs and how they can address those through eTapestry.

Singapore launch event

To officially announce its launch in Southeast Asia, Blackbaud and TechSoup Asia-Pacific co-hosted a free half-day workshop and networking lunch at Work Central, Singapore. The workshop was attended by 61 representatives from 45 unique charities based in Singapore, as well as Greg Simmons & Maria McDonnell from Blackbaud and Jed Adao from the TechSoup Asia-Pacific team.

Effective fundraising and donor management were the key topics covered throughout the workshop – both of which being very vital to the sustainability of any charity or NGO. Throughout the workshop, the attendees were treated to a variety of talks related to fundraising and donor management. These included global trends that shape and affect giving, differing approaches to giving from varying age groups as well as key learnings and insights derived from hands-on experiences in working with different charities across the region.

In addition, the charities in attendance were also treated to a deep-dive on how eTapestry works. Throughout this session, charities were able to experience an interactive demo on eTapestry’s functions and features in order to give them a better understanding on how these can be used to effectively manage donor networks and fundraising campaigns.

More to come in the future

With its launch receiving an amazing reception and the subsequent growing need for fundraising and donor management support from NGOs across the region, one can safely say that this only the start to more initiatives and collaborations ahead. One of the many things that can be expected in the near future is Blackbaud’s release of other key solutions such as Apricot (for project management) and Raiser’s Edge NXT (for fundraising) through TechSoup Asia-Pacific and the potential expansion of the discount offers to other key countries across Asia-Pacific.

To-date, Blackbaud’s exclusive discounts are available through TechSoup Asia-Pacific programs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as through Australia via our local partner Connecting Up.

Exploring Data and the Cloud in Taiwan

Big data and cloud technology arguably are the driving force behind technology advancements today. This past  April and May, the Frontier Foundation (FFO) in Taiwan looked into harnessing the power of these for good and how local NPOs can utilize these for their own work.

On April 29, FFO held the AI4SG Data Salon, an event dedicated specifically for CEOs and managers of NPOs. The goal of the event was to help them understand how their own NPOs can engage in utilizing big data. With the help of local data experts along with key speakers from Junyi Academy (a local NPO) and the social bureau, the NPOs in attendance were introduced to various ways in which big data can be used for social programs related to land pollution, domestic violence and various youth development programs.

Following the AI4SG Data Salon, FFO also held NPO Days in Taipei and Kaohsiung that focused on Cloud strategies for NPOs. The event served as a platform for NPOs to learn from other NPOs’ experience in planning, implementing and utilizing Cloud solutions such as Office 365. These included success stories shared by NPOs as well as sessions on sharing best practices in implementing their own Office 365 systems.

Throughout the 3 events held across the past 2 months, FFO has collectively engaged over 149 attendees representing 102 local NPOs.

 

Incubating Solutions to Fight Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery or forced labour, affects more than 40 million around the world. As the world’s 3rd fastest form of organized crime, worth an estimated USD150 billion dollar industry, it is easy to see the financial incentive to lure victims into forced labor. Every aspect of this crime is a business – from recruiting, transporting, organizing to monitoring and ensuring the forced labor continues.

Mirroring the stages of the traffickers, the non-profit sector working to combat this issue can briefly be categorized by their main objectives – awareness, prevention, advocacy, enforcement, shelter and resettlement. Although separate in their direction and functional objectives, these NGOs are dedicated in working towards one goal: to end modern slavery.

However, without the right tools, the majority of the non-profit sector working against the crime fall behind the sophisticated techniques used by the traffickers. Without using digitally secure networks, without knowing how to navigate cyberspace without leaving their digital footprints, without using the right communication techniques to speak to their target audience, much of their physical and digital safety is compromised, not to mention their hard work gone to waste.

Over the last few months from August to October, TechSoup conducted a series of workshops for the anti-human trafficking sector. Most participants were Malaysian based NGOs, a handful were unions and organizations set up to address the forced migrant labor issue. The training topics spanned from data visualization, digital security, communication tools, social media insights, fundraising, and even basic photography. The event culminated in an NGO Incubator Pitch, modeled after the “Shark Tank” pitches.

Each participating NGO had 10 mins to pitch their case. Their presentation started with the tech tools used to design and execute a short social media campaign of their choice; an honest sharing of their challenges and successes; and finally, the pitch: why should TechSoup and Yayasan Salam incubate and grow them?

The grand prize, worth USD1,700, comprised a customized training plan, 1-1 support, fundraising service support, mentoring with NGO start-ups, licensed software and a tech gadget of choice.

The winner of the NGO Incubator Pitch was Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya refugee and a human trafficking victim who has been sold 7 times in his life. Since arriving in Malaysia, and obtaining his UNHCR status, Ziaur has campaigned tirelessly on violence against Rohingyas. The panel of judges were impressed with his ability to demonstrate clearly his goals, his vision for the road ahead, and mostly, that he was able to articulate how this incubation was important in ending modern slavery.

Second prize winner was Tenaganita who received a prize value of USD800, which includes customized training, licensed software and 1-1 support. Honorary mention that won a prize value of USD300 was Friends of Women Organisation, Selangor (Persatuan Sabahat Wanita, Selangor).

The winners will be incubated from November 2018 to April 2019. During this period, the winning NGOs will receive additional resources, support and help for them to campaign more effectively against human trafficking.

The project is funded by the U.S Embassy of Malaysia, and carried out in partnership with Yayasan Salam Malaysia. For more information on the project, please contact Elizabeth Liew at eliew@techsoupglobal.org

TechSoup and Yayasan Salam: Strengthening organizations in anti-human trafficking Malaysia

TechSoup Asia-Pacific and local partner, Yayasan Salam, recently completed a series of digital tech training for non-government organizations (NGOs) working in anti-human trafficking in Malaysia.

Funded by the US Embassy in Malaysia, the project was designed with three key objectives in mind: to promote a cross-country and regional learning platform; to provide and make knowledge, tech resources and tools accessible, and most importantly, to maintain open spaces in shrinking civil society space.

In line with TechSoup’s mission to empower NGOs around the world, the capacity building component of this programme is the essence of the project. However, aside from improving their digital tech capacities, the project also aims to build linkages and encourage collaborations between local, regional NGOs and the industry experts. With a larger and stronger network, increased trust and understanding of the various key players, the ecosystem can grow, become stronger, and hopefully over time, become more united in their fight towards human trafficking.

The curriculum is a combination of module-based topics, one-on-one consultancy with facilitators and post-workshop support, was divided into two 2-day sessions, one in August and another in September.

The modules included data visualisation, online storytelling techniques, and basics of mobile photography, basic graphic design and video making tools using open source software, investigative journalism techniques, and fundraising and donor campaigns. Registration stood at 42 NGOs over the total 4 day session, with a mix of NGOs working on awareness, prevention, advocacy, resettlement and shelter.

The series of workshops continued with follow-up trainings on topics in demand, such as graphic design and simple video making tools, conducted by TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s Program Manager Jed Adao.

Malaysia is a popular destination country for traffickers. Victims come from all walks of life around the Asia-Pacific region – some are women who are sex trafficked, or trapped in domestic helper jobs; male migrant labourers who work in the construction sector in modern slavery conditions, many of whom are being held on debt bondage; or refugees who have been sold, resold and exploited in many ways.

Despite the significant efforts of eliminating human trafficking, Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 2 Watchlist on the 2018 Trafficking in Persons list. Over the year, the government convicted more traffickers, increased criminal enforcement of unauthorised passport retention, granted more freedom of movement, and among the larger moves – the Malaysian government tripled its funding for three NGO-run shelters in the country, and opened its first trafficking-specific court.

The year 2020 holds much significance for Malaysia. Back in 1991, the nation announced Wawasan 2020 : the year that Malaysia would achieve developed nation status level. It has since been pushed to 2050.

In recent years, with the escalation of human trafficking cases that has placed Malaysia in negative international limelight, the government has made significant efforts to improve the situation, increasing enforcement and prosecutions, making amendments to current legislations to protect the migrant communities. By 2020, the government hopes that Malaysia will promoted to Tier 1 on the Trafficking in Persons list.

Calling all NGOs in the Anti-Human Trafficking Sector – Step Up For the NGO Incubator Pitch

Working towards social transformation is never a straight road. The painstaking effort undertaken by all actors at various levels of governance such as the policy-making, enforcement and grassroot levels must work as a cohesive unit to truly tackle the issue of human trafficking in order to effectively eradicate what we now understand to be modern slavery.

This series incorporates classroom style learning of theory and hands-on practice, post-workshop support for participants, ultimately culminating with an NGO Incubator Pitch where the winner will not only receive a tech gadget to help them with their work, but also the much envied opportunity to develop one’s tech capacity through means and platforms provided by TechSoup for a period of one year!

All eligible NGOs will be competing to showcase how they have applied what they have learnt from the workshops – from data visualisation, graphic design skills and video making tools – to help them address gaps and deficits in their campaigns and lobbying efforts.

The NGO Incubator Pitch is an opportunity for NGOs to become more effective whether it is engaging with victims of human trafficking or to create awareness in order to develop better infrastructure for victims of human trafficking.

USEFUL LINKS:
Download the Application Form
Post-Workshop/Incubator Timeline
Recommended Timeline
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Consultation Calls

COMING SOON!
Panel of Judges
Prizes

Continue reading Calling all NGOs in the Anti-Human Trafficking Sector – Step Up For the NGO Incubator Pitch

Bridging HIV Awareness and Technology

In a program led by LINKAGES Indonesia, a consortium of FHI360 and PACT, TechSoup Asia-Pacific and our Indonesia partner NGO Kitabisa  are currently managing a program dedicated to strengthening of the digital outreach capacities of working in HIV prevention.

The program includes a 16-module ICT training that has been divided into four workshops held across a three-month period. The 16-module course was specifically designed to focus on utilizing popular online communication tools, resources and methodologies that outreach workers can use to communicate with key populations.

Partaking in the 3-month training program are 20 local grassroots non-profit organizations within and outside of Jakarta. In preparation for the program, TechSoup and Kitabisa rolled out an ICT Assessment survey, a comprehensive set of questions to determine the organizational ICT capacities, from hardware, gadgets and servers, usage of software licenses, data protection, to their digital outreach capacities. The surveys also measured capacities on two accounts – on an organizational level,  and as individuals from the organization.

Using results from the ICT assessment as a baseline indicator of each NGO’s knowledge and skill sets, TechSoup and implementing partner Kitabisa were able to design a digital outreach curriculum to help the NGOs improve their digital outreach methods.

Through these assessments, results showed:

  • Among the 20 organizations, the pre-assessment shows 80% of the organizations identifying themselves as having low knowledge in digital security measures. Although many of the respondents were aware of their vulnerability to digital attacks,the majority of them do not perform backups on their devices.
  • Around 70% of the NGOs responded positively to social media usage, knowledge and capacity in relation to their digital outreach work. However, despite their familiarity with social media platforms and instant messaging, the biggest challenge for them was a lack of a structured digital outreach plan.

As HIV outreach campaigns primarily deal with sensitive information, this also shows how ensuring proper understanding and employment of digital security measures should also be considered as a top priority – one that is as important as improving digital outreach methods.

Outside of the trainings, participating organizations also received a tailored package of software via TechSoup’s technology donations program. These packages are inclusive of organizational essentials such as operating systems and productivity suites, along with antivirus licenses to help boost their current digital security measures, and Boost Training and Support packages to continuously feed them with learning content even after the workshops have ended.

Overall, while the collaboration in itself seeks to only empower 20 local organizations, the long-term impact of these organizations’ online visibility, and subsequently, outreachto the key HIV populations is very promising.