What We Do

Tech Matters adopts an atypical model for most nonprofits: actively partnering both with competitors and the communities being served to help solve a social problem through open data standards and open technology.

The Tech Matters team comes from both the Silicon Valley tech and nonprofit communities, with long experience translating between the needs of disadvantaged communities and tech innovations which might be useful to them. We have the benefit of understanding the technology used by the for-profit sector, as well as deep knowledge of what has and has not worked in applications and business models. Together, this gives Tech Matters unique capabilities to deliver the following services:

Anti-Consulting

At least half of problems identified by social sector leaders are not solvable by technology. Applying great technology to a broken human system gets you to broken faster and cheaper. One of the most important roles we play in the social innovation ecosystem is talking people out of bad ideas, whether it’s an expensive app nobody will use, or a magical blockchain solution.

Strategic Tech-for-Good Consulting

  • Designing with the user involved. Technology that works requires the active participation of the people who will use it during the technology’s creation.
  • Identifying existing proven technologies. Social sector leaders often describe the products they want, without realizing that they already exist and may just need slight modifications to benefit their field.
  • Convening the field and building trust. Technology is one of those rare subjects where otherwise competitive organizations in a field are willing to consider collaboration, since doing tech well is rarely part of their core identity or value proposition.
  • Developing field-level tech roadmaps. Inspiring the field by facilitating the creation of needed data standards and shared infrastructure that can benefit all.
  • Building bridges. Success is only possible with collaboration between the community being served, tech companies, funders, and policy makers. Tech Matters understands and communicates effectively with these disparate groups, which often don’t speak the same language.

Beyond Consulting

Our commitment is to support engagements to become active software projects that reach organizational and financial sustainability, including sourcing the talent to build and operate technology social enterprises. Our systems change goal is to help people at scale, and that takes years to bring to fruition.

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