Nonprofits Should Be As Powerful As Their Missions: Our $10 Million Commitment
At Okta, we’ve always believed in the power of technology to transform and scale mission-driven organisations. It’s been the centerpiece of our work with Okta for Good since its founding. And when we say that our mission is to strengthen the connections between people, technology and community — we mean it. It’s the north star that continues to guide us in our philanthropy and social impact work.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it’s more clear than ever that nonprofits provide a critical safety net during a crisis like this. These unprecedented times are laying bare the true risks — and opportunities — of nonprofit technology. As nonprofits and organisations around the world scramble to rally their donors and serve their clients in the face of this crisis, it has never been more critical to ensure their data is secure, their communications are timely, and their fundraising platforms are effective.
Accelerating Our Philanthropy Commitment
Today, we are announcing that Okta is committing $10 million out of the Okta for Good Fund over the next three years. These funds will support grants and investments in nonprofits working at the intersection of social good and technology. They will also continue to support local organisations in Okta’s global communities and further empower our employees to give back.
This three year commitment represents the next era of our giving — and it comes at a time when so many organisations face unimaginable strain. Our funds, part of Okta’s original 1% Pledge, won’t address every need, but they can help us better serve our partners and communities in a time where we all need to step up and do more.
Introducing the Nonprofit Technology Initiative
“As organisations around the world digitally transform, it is critical that the nonprofit sector also benefits from this foundational shift in the way we use technology and the way we can achieve our missions.” - Rebecca Masisak, CEO, TechSoup
The centerpiece of this $10 million commitment is the Okta for Good Nonprofit Technology Initiative. This effort, launched today, is laser-focused on supporting the foundational technology needs of nonprofits. Right now, as so many organisations must pivot to remote work, virtual service delivery and effective online fundraising, funding nonprofit technology is essential. The Initiative builds off of some very important insights we’ve learned from our work over the last several years:
- Demands for nonprofits are growing, while gaps in technology are widening.
- Technical talent is hugely difficult to find for many nonprofits.
- Many nonprofits don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to technology.
- Too many philanthropic funders see technology and infrastructure as “overhead” instead of core to mission.
Informed by these insights, the Nonprofit Technology Initiative will focus on five key areas:
1. Cloud: Accelerating the nonprofit sector’s move to the cloud
2. Digital Transformation: Enabling nonprofits to reach beneficiaries and stakeholders digitally at scale
3. Security: Protecting critical data and identities
4. Collaboration: Growing and strengthening the ecosystems, coalitions and partnerships enabling nonprofit tech
5. Advocacy: Changing the conversation among nonprofit leaders, funders and technology partners on how we enable nonprofits with tech
Our goal is to contribute to a paradigm shift in how nonprofits are funded and enabled to make the digital transition. Much of that involves investing in organizations who are building capacity for needed change across the nonprofit ecosystem.
Our Community of Partners
“We already knew that organizations weren’t ready for the situation we’ve all been put in with the COVID-19 pandemic — many nonprofits didn’t have safe password management, let alone virtual work policies and cloud-based systems. Support for capacity building is key in this critical time and always. Nonprofit leaders are managing internal needs to support a new remote staff and external needs as programs and service delivery options shift literally overnight.” - Amy Sample Ward, CEO, NTEN
As a part of the launch, we’re also announcing new grants and investments in seven partners working at the intersection of nonprofits and technology:
- FastForward: A third year of partnership in FastForward’s work to accelerate tech nonprofits around the world.
- Full Circle Fund: Support for Full Circle Fund’s COVID-19-focused Tech Accelerator Program, which will pair executive-level tech talent with Bay Area-based nonprofit leaders to co-create technology solutions in response to the global pandemic.
- NetHope: Continued support of NetHope’s Center for the Digital Nonprofit; a new grant for NetHope’s work on data security for the humanitarian sector; and innovation funding for a new shared technology solution being developed by leaders from Oxfam, GOAL, Marie Stopes International and other NetHope member NGOs, nonprofits, agencies and academia around Frontline Humanitarian logistics.
- NTEN: Newly partnering with NTEN’s Nonprofit Tech Readiness Program to accelerate the skills and capacity of nonprofit technology leaders working across Okta’s global communities.
- TechImpact: A new partnership with Tech Impact to support nonprofit technology solutions and capacity building.
- TechMatters: Tech Matters launched today, and we’re thrilled to be an early partner supporting systems-level field-building and advocacy around nonprofit technology needs.
- TechSoup: A new impact investment in TechSoup’s Direct Public Offering to grow its long-term ability to enable more than 1.2 million nonprofits with technology. And because understanding the emerging needs of our communities has never been so important, we are also investing in research with TechSoup to illuminate the digital journeys of those nonprofits.
In addition to these direct grants and investments, we’ll continue to donate Okta technology and services to nonprofits, estimating an additional $10 million worth of technology and pro bono donations over the next three years.
Taking Action Together
This moment in history presents an opportunity — no, a necessity — to work together, radically, toward building more agility and resiliency into the social sector. The good news is that we’re already seeing unprecedented levels of collaboration across the tech sector. In particular, I want to recognize our peer companies in the ImpactCloud coalition, all working together shoulder-to-shoulder in these efforts to enable nonprofits with technology. Okta is also one of 24 Bay Area tech companies that, thus far, have collectively committed more than $22 million to COVID-19 response and relief. And as a part of our commitment, Okta for Good is matching all donations to our Oktane20 COVID-19 Response Fund up to $100,000.
We hope our initiative is just the starting point to address this critical need. We all have a role to play in this effort and we will continue to do our part.
To learn more about the Nonprofit Technology Initiative, visit https://www.okta.com/okta-for-good/nonprofit-technology-initiative/.