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):

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

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.

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:

NGO Connection Day 2018 in Taiwan

Every year, we tour in different cities in Taiwan to explore new ICT innovation and trends with local nonprofits. These events are co-sponsored by the local Microsoft office in Taiwan.

In 2018, we successfully conducted 3 events: “Office 365 Advanced Training for NPOs” in Taipei and Kaohsiung cities,  and “Basic Data Analysis for NPOs” in Taipei. We had total of 155 attendees from 109 NPOs joining together. These included attendees of varying professions such as including IT professionals, administrative staff, and social workers to name a few. This time around, we invited participants to bring their own laptops and divided them into different groups so that they may learn and discuss in a collaborative nature.

For the Office 365 events in Taipei and Kaohsiung, we focused on helping the attendees learn to discover more about Office 365’s various services, such as SharePoint, Power App and Flow. In addition, we also invited NPO partners to share their own experiences in implementing the solution and their future vision of enhancing organizational management and data accumulation.

On the other hand, in the “Basic Data Analysis for NPOs” event, we focused on giving participants a general idea of how they may use Power BI Desktop to do the data cleaning, analysis, and visualization through its charts and graphs. In addition, participants were also taught how Power BI integrates with Office 365 suites for advanced collaboration and data management.

For more details, please visit TechSoup Taiwan’s blog.

Data Bootcamp for NGO

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In September 15, Frontier Foundation and Open Culture Foundation (OCF) held this one-day data workshop for NGO workers. This event is part of Civic Tech Fest in Taiwan.

When talking about big data or open data, people often think it’s a hard thing needing lots of expertise. Therefore, the goal of the event is to provide basic data analysis concepts, and for participants to learn to use Microsoft Power BI to deliver data visualization work. Thus they can apply those skills to the data in their organizations or advocacy themes.

We had Ning Huang, co-founder of R-Ladies Taipei, as the lecturer. 35 people joined the workshop and broke into six groups. They needed to work together to observe the data, ask good questions, use formulas and Power BI to analyze the provided data. In the end, each group presented their findings and observation.

For more information and photos on the workshop, click on the link here.

When E-hailing Met Crowdfunding

E-hailing has saved lives around the world – used as an ambulance service for its low price, used as a way to deliver emergency medication, and more commonly used as a safe way to get home to prevent drunk driving.

Kitabisa in Indonesia recently developed an innovative solution merging the two tech products : e-hailing and crowdfunding

An 11-second video showing a teacher swimming across an island where he teaches, went viral on social media. A local nonprofit Insan Bumi Mandiri started a fundraising campaign #perahuuntukpakguru (#boatforMr.Teacher) on the Kitabisa platform to help purchase and give boats to teachers, to enable them to teach on islands in East Nusa Tenggara area.

Following the fundraising campaign, on-demand e-hailing transportation company GRAB donated 2 boats (approx 150 million rupiahs or USD15,000) to the campaign, bringing it to a total of 528 million rupiahs (approx USD40,000).

The two boats were painted with GRAB’s bright green logo and color – a creative display of positive social impact and brand enhancement. The first of its kind in the country, it has attracted attention from the philanthropic and corporate sector.

“Since the GRAB donation, Kitabisa has been approached by various companies reaching out to do similar events,” adds Vikra Ijas, Chief Marketing Office for Kitabisa.

Click here for full story and here for Facebook updates.

Building Storytellers in Taiwan

As cyber space becoming increasingly crowded with a myriad of content where everyone is fighting for space and attention, nonprofits have to learn how to capture the essence of their impact in the most visually appealing way.

Over July and August, Frontier Foundation in Taiwan organized another successful series of storytelling workshops for TechSoup Taiwan members. A total of 137 participants from more than 100 organizations across northern Taiwan attended three sessions that showed them basic video making tools.

The first two sessions focused on basic shooting techniques and how to make videos via Power Director 14. The last workshop taught the participants to make short films on their mobile phones using Quik.

For some participants, it was their first time learning video making apps on their mobile phones, an extremely convenient way for most nonprofits who often do not have the resources for a dedicated social media staff.

Participants were also encouraged to send their stories to TechSoup’s Storymakers campaign, an annual campaign designed to encourage nonprofits to submit their short digital stories to let the world see. In addition to submitting their videos to Storymakers, Frontier Foundation has also encouraged nonprofits to deliver their stories to PeoPo, the citizen journalism arm of Taiwan Public Television Service. Winning videos are broadcasted on national television, giving them free access to paid media, which they otherwise would not have.

For more information and photos on the workshop, click on the link here.

Vietnam’s New Community Philanthropic Tool

A central part of developing civil societies is to have an accessible integrated platform with relevant philanthropy resources that the local nonprofit sector can tap into.

Based on this concept, LIN Center Vietnam developed a unique bi-lingual platform “Vietnam Causes” marrying the various elements of philanthropy – skilled volunteerism, funding opportunities, a local nonprofit directory and community hub, and philanthropy resources.

Vietnam Causes is mutually beneficial to both the corporate and civil society sector: the extensive nonprofit directory allows corporates to look for partners who are aligned with their goals, match skilled volunteers to on-going community projects and post funding opportunities. Concurrently, civil society players who are registered in the database can list the social problems their organization is working on, the projects that need funding, and share upcoming events and resources that other organizations might find useful.

The LIN Center’s network currently serves more than 250 grassroots nonprofit organizations, more than 200 volunteers, individual philanthropists, and aims to “help local people address local needs”.

For more information on the platform, please contact Fundraising and Communications Manager at vicao@linvn.org