Building the Tech for Good Field
Our deep experience with the nonprofit sector has convinced us that technology smartly applied is the best way to greatly increase social impact. We are dedicated to helping move the entire field to greater impact, by playing a crucial role bridging the gap between the tech and social change worlds.
Social Problem Addressed
Social impact leaders are trying to revolutionize entire fields – and change the lives of millions of people for the better. These large-scale systems change efforts will not be possible without technology, especially software and data. However, most social sector leaders do not have the framework to evaluate how best to use technology. Foundations are largely reluctant to fund strategic tech solutions. Business leaders and investors would consider it inconceivable for businesses to operate without the best available data and software tools and yet that is precisely the situation for most social sector organizations. By bridging the gap between social good and tech leaders, we can unlock the potential of software and data to remake the social sector.
The Tech Matters mission is to enable the social impact sector to do far more for the 95% of humanity who do not typically receive the benefits of technology. While we are developing software platforms for systems change in two specific fields today, we want to greatly increase the effectiveness of the entire social sector. Better use of software and data is the only way to accomplish this and we are committed to spending a portion of our time on growing the entire tech-for-good field and sharing what we’ve learned.
Our major field-building efforts include:
- Expanding our tech for good evangelism to strongly advocate for nonprofits to use technology to leverage their mission outcomes, and to encourage funders to fund this kind of tech.
- Creating more educational material about how to do tech for good, aimed at nonprofit leaders, donors, computer and data science professionals, academics and students, and business schools. We expect to be the practical counterpoint to the academic literature or the tech solutionists.
- Continuing our karmic consulting with high potential nonprofits, donors and policymakers. (See our How We Do What We Do.)
For example, we have been geek advisors to the Working Capital Fund for several years as they make impact investments in supply chain companies which have the potential to help major brands weed out unethical labor practices such as child labor, slave labor, and exploitation from their supply chains.
Finally, we are increasingly speaking and publishing on tech for good topics to spread the word on how to apply tech better, and inspiring the growth of tech-powered social enterprises which can scale impact over the long term.
Partners and Supporters
Okta, Schmidt Futures, the Peery Foundation, the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund.
Related Blog Posts
Nick Hurlburt, our director of Engineering for Aselo, was recognized with the Hope, Power and Freedom Award during Twilio Signal 2021
Emily Jacobi is the co-founder of Digital Democracy, a non-profit which empowers marginalized communities with the support of tech tools.
The Browser’s Baiqu Gonkar interviews Jim Fruchterman about his career trajectory from the for-profit sector to the social sector