Skip to main content

Three ways tech is reinventing a surprising sector



More than 1 million users. Sixteen billion monthly page views. Ninety-nine percent user engagement.
If these sound like stats from techcompanies, you’re right. Except thesetech companies are nonprofits.
In Steve Case’s new book, The Third Wave, he argues that this next generation of the Internet will transform major industry sectors and become integrated into everything we do. We are already seeing the tremendous impact of software and the Internet transform one of the least discussed areas — the nonprofit sector.
With the growing ubiquity of mobile phones and the Internet, combined with plummeting connectivity costs and, in some cases, free infrastructure, it’s not surprisingthat organizations focused on scaling impact are integrating technology into the core of their solution. But you may be surprised to hear how deep technology’s impact has already been on the nonprofitsector.

Scaling impact

Traditional nonprofits often run into barriers when trying to grow quickly. Because of its ubiquity and ability to connect people, technology provides the power to scale.
Medic Mobile, a communication and support platform for health workers in hard-to-reach communities around the world, was born when founder Josh Nesbit noticed he had stronger cell reception in a rural African village than he did on Stanford’s campus, where he was a student. Nesbit had his “a-ha” moment when he realized remote community health workers could harness brand new mobile infrastructure to connect with clinics.
Medic Mobile has been able to improve healthcare for more than 8 million people in 23 countries.
With cell phones getting cheaper, more affordable pre-paid data plans and increased mobile coverage, he realized he could change medical care in remote areas. Medic Mobile arms more than 10,000 community health workers with a mobile app that allows them to register pregnancies, track disease outbreaks, communicate about emergencies and keep inventory of critical medicines.
By capitalizing on mobile connectivity, Medic Mobile has been able to improve healthcare for more than 8 million people in 23 countries in just 5 years.
In addition to technology’s ubiquity, crowdsourcing enables an ability to scale previously missing in the nonprofit sector. Wikipedia’s crowdsourced model allowed it to expand tremendously in a relatively short period of time; it is now one of the strongest content resources on the Internet with more than 825 million edits on 39 million pages of content.
CareerVillage.org also utilizes crowdsourcing, but to connect low-income high school students to professional mentors. Its online platform allows 10,000 professionals with expertise from companies like Zynga and LinkedIn to answer students’ career questions. According to CareerVillage.org founder Jared Chung, a crowdsourcing model allowed the organization to completely remove all the traditional barriers to scalability for mentorship programs.
Chief among those were the huge commitments volunteers need to make to participate in 1:1 mentorship programs. With a paid staff of only three, CareerVillage.org has provided more than 1 million students advice on how to start navigating their career path, and mentor engagement is strong, with a 99.9 percent answer rate.
CareMessage
CareMessage

Adopting tech business models

Tech organizations that scale well typically have one of a few business models, such as Software as a Service (SaaS) companies (i.e.Salesforce) or marketplace businesses (eBay,  Airbnb and Uber). We’re now seeingtech business models infuse the nonprofitsector, enabling these organizations to run like tech companies.
The SaaS delivery model works well for nonprofits, as the marginal cost of helping an additional person is near zero. For example, CareMessage provides a platform for healthcare organizations to streamline care and strengthen self-health management.
The nonprofit built its messaging and cloud platform to address the need for greater health literacy among low-income communities. Compared to the time and cost of individually educating patients on prevention and post-treatment techniques, CareMessage’s solution enables health centers to treat their patients more cost-effectively.
Tech innovations, largely developed to address business problems, are now reinventing how nonprofits address social problems.
We’re seeing online marketplaces blossom in the nonprofit sector,as well. SIRUM is an online marketplace for the $5 billion in unexpired, perfectly good medication that would otherwise be destroyed each year. SIRUM’s marketplace allows health facilities, manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacies to donate unused drugs for cheap redistribution, targeting the 50 million Americans who could not otherwise afford these medicines. The SIRUM marketplace has already helped redistribute $5 million in medicines, providing enough medicine for almost 150,000 people who otherwise could not afford it.
Khan Academy
Khan Academy

Providing building blocks

In the old days, tech startups required large teams and $1 million budgets to get started. But now, the same open-source tools and inexpensive building blocks that enable small, scrappy startup teams also enable a new breed of nonprofit.
As philanthropy constantly searches for optimal impact, tech nonprofits would be non-starters, stuck in a loop: proving impact requires a product, building a product requires money, money requires proving impact, which requires a product. Today’stech building blocks enable anyone to get started for close to free.
Khan Academy began as a series ofYouTube videos. With hosting provided by Google, Sal Khan was able to keep his costs low while growing his initial following for years before focusing on fundraising for Khan Academy. Even today, with more than 50 videos surpassing 1 million views, Khan Academy can cost-effectively scale because of YouTube’s infrastructure.

Comments

You may also want to read these ⤵️

Referee kills player in a football match

A referee is facing murder charges after football players allegedly forced him to

Do not watch this while driving

Kids are lovely and fun to watch most times. I know most of you did this and so many other funny stuffs as a kid. Feel free to share yours... Do not watch this while driving

Over 40 Million Accounts Found Guilty

Microsoft has uncovered 44 million user accounts using usernames and passwords that have been leaked through security breaches.

RAW TALENT ep1 (freestyle by Gdlpeid)

Just watch! Freestyle by ''Gdlpeeid''. A rapper with a difference.  Pure raw talent.

By February 2020 - WhatsApp Will Stop Working on These Phones

Every now and then, WhatsApp does fish out a list of old phones for which support is discontinued and if you have an old phone lying around as a backup, you might want to read on.

These 10 Powerful Words And Phrases Defined The Decade

Honestly, it has been a wonderful decade to remember.  A lot has happened and a lot has been spoken also. But our focus is on the words and phrases spoken.  Below are words and phrases spoken between 2010 - 2019 that defined the decade.....

Apple Has Released iOS 13.2.2 And Fixes Major Issue

All thanks to Apple,  the tech  giant just released iOS 13.2.2, which addresses the issue of background apps being killed prematurely, along with a handful of other annoyances.

This Magnetic thread Can Be Used To Clear Blood Clot in The Brain

Link from mashable.com  Researchers at MIT developed a thread that can be steered magnetically to glide through the brain's blood vessels and

This gigantic monster device turns wave energy into electricity

This 826-ton buoy was developed by OceanEnergy to turn wave energy into electricity. IEEE Spectrum reported that "OE Buoy" was towed from Oregon to Hawaii, where it will undergo a series of tests that will prove whether it can withstand the battering waves while generating electricity. Click the link below to watch the video..

Lionel Messi Barcelona exit date revealed

The Barcelona Legend has decided on when he wants to quit the club and even has a successor in his mind already.