Techsoup Europe Software Donations Programme

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Techsoup Europe Software Donations Programme: Driving social change through technology

Warsaw, PolandWarsaw
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

TechSoup Europe advances European civil society by delivering affordable technology resources, social innovation solutions and data expertise. Our rapidly growing network in 30 European countries connects and serves more than 50,000 NGOs, thousands of libraries and a multitude of socially engaged collaborators: foundations, corporations, public sector entities and individuals.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The new economy is a digital economy. This means that e-skills are no longer required only by those who work in IT departments, but for everyone who participates in today's economy. However, there are frequently gaps in people's knowledge, skills and ability to access relevant technology. It's notable that many of the goals and metrics outlined in the European Commission's new Digital Agenda – public Internet use, availability of government services over the Internet, broadband adoption among disadvantaged groups – are areas in which civil society plays a crucial role. Many Europeans will only benefit from this agenda if the NGOs that help them access and use such services are part of the equation.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Techsoup Software Donations Programme provides a sustainable solution for NGOs in Europe to readily access, at low cost, the latest technology to help drive internal efficiencies, resource & cost savings, freeing up their time & limited resources to focus on serving the vulnerable communities or causes they support. Through relationships with technology donors like Microsoft, Techsoup Europe is able to equip organisations with donated software and hardware. This also makes possible to help people working in the third sector learn to use technology to its fullest potential.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Cooperativa Solidarietà e Servizi in Italy provides residential and job placement services for people with disabilities and those in marginalised communities to increase their independence through training so they can take an active role in the economy. It also seeks to raise awareness of the contribution disabled people make to society. Initially, they received a single Microsoft Office donation through TechSoup Italia, but quickly realised they needed more collaborative technologies to meet the needs of their community. Helped by TechSoup Italia, they identified Microsoft SharePoint as the best software to become a collaborative workplace, reaching more individuals and growing their mission.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We aim to grow our European network to comprehensively meet NGOs’ technology needs. TechSoup Europe currently operates in 30 countries in Europe and we plan to serve all European countries by 2018. Before we start work in a country, we identify the technology needs of NGOs to ensure activities are technically and economically appropriate. We consider the cultural, economic and political context of each country and the status of the non profit sector. We look for synergies in our existing partner network e.g, language, complementary programmes and expertise as well as cultural understanding that will ensure smooth programme implementation. Our programmes are built on standardised platforms and processes that can be localised to fit the specific needs of the region in which they are being implemented. This allows us to scale and ensure relevance and impact in different environments.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

TechSoup Global believes that when mission-focused organisations, individuals, and projects leverage technology for change, an ecosystem of tremendous social transformation is the result. TechSoup Global contributes to this ecosystem by enabling the delivery of innovative technology products, services, and programs to civil society organizations around the world, at scale. This includes direct relationships with 546,000 nonprofits and libraries from 53 countries, 105 technology corporations, a network of 34 NGO operating partnerships, and an ever-growing community of individual tech activists and social entrepreneurs. Microsoft has been a vital supporter and collaborator for our work at a global and European level. With our partners, we collaborate with a range of actors at the international and national levels to ensure our work responds to the needs of civil society.
Team

Team

Microsoft and TechSoup Global's senior leadership teams committed to the global software donations programme for nonprofits when launched in 2006. In 2014 the programme will serve NGOs in 30+ countries in Europe. A joint team comprising Techsoup Europe and the European Microsoft Citizenship/CSR team ensures both organisations reach their goals of serving the non-profit community with technology donations through ongoing collaboration and open dialogue. This is mirrored at national level through close partnership between Microsoft subsidiaries and Techsoup partners to ensure the initiative has local impact for NGOs. Microsoft works in each country with Techsoup and its partner with the full support of the Microsoft subsidiary General Manager. The partners also co-host national NGO Connection Days to provide ongoing technology support & training to the sector.
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