Identity for impact: Follow three nonprofits on their journeys with Okta’s Innovation Lab

Take a moment to imagine: for the smallholder farmers who supply 80% of food to emerging nations, what a difference it would make if they had timely, targeted agricultural research available at their fingertips—local weather reports, detailed climate data, and insight into when to sow and when to harvest.

Or think about how valuable it would be to the bodega (or “duka”) owners of Nairobi if they could consolidate their point-of-sale, inventory management, and merchandising apps into one platform to grow their micro-retail businesses. 

Or consider: for a youth seeking support or crisis counseling through a helpline, what a relief it would be for them to reach the services they need through the communication channels of their choice—whether that’s phone, webchat, SMS, or social media.

These scenarios aren’t hypothetical. They’re the types of life-changing projects that Mercy Corps, TechnoServe, and Tech Matters—three of the world’s most visionary and solutions-oriented nonprofit organizations—will be working on over the next two years as the inaugural participants in Okta for Good’s Innovation Lab, with support from Okta’s Nonprofit Technology Initiative

As they pursue their goals, our team at Okta will document their progress, struggles, and successes from start to finish. Against the backdrop of interconnected global crises, the work these nonprofits do to support individuals, communities, and local economies has never been more critical. We’ll examine what it takes to deliver secure digital solutions and creatively scale impact when the world needs it most.

A new frontier for nonprofit partnerships

The world’s nonprofit organizations are as inspiring as they are industrious. In no other sector is such critical work done with such limited resources. 

When given access to tools that enable them to maximize their available resources, organizations are able to reduce operational complexity, increase productivity, and scale to better serve their existing communities or reach new ones entirely. 

Okta for Good was established for this very purpose: to provide affordable identity solutions to the organizations serving the world’s most vulnerable communities.
With the right identity tools, nonprofits can simplify access, automate user provisioning, and strengthen security, ensuring that all users have a safe and seamless experience. Through digital transformation, nonprofits can reduce costs and empower employees to focus on the work that matters most. Identity and access management (IAM) is fundamental to humanitarian work in the digital age. 

We’ve heard firsthand from the many nonprofits we’ve worked with that the best way to support their missions is to enable their digital transformations. That’s why the Innovation Lab was launched: to provide the essential products, expertise, pro-bono guidance, and cash without conditions that nonprofits need to succeed. 

Defining the living customer journey

Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and part of what makes this initiative so exciting is that we’ll be working with our cohort of grantees over an extended period of time. 

The teams at Mercy Corps, TechnoServe, and Tech Matters will provide ongoing updates on how their projects are taking shape, providing a unique opportunity for us to see what happens behind the scenes as these nonprofits implement their projects. A far cry from a conventional report or case study, these “living customer journeys” will demonstrate how technology projects really take shape.

We’re looking forward to learning from our nonprofit partners as they implement new technology, scale their operations, and start to see both the short- and long-term impacts of their Innovation Lab grants.

If you’ve ever wondered how technology projects take shape, how Okta collaborates with customers, or wanted a deeper look at the iterative steps nonprofits take when bringing their goals to fruition, you can follow along as the Innovation Lab journey unfolds.

Expect to see articles, photography, video content, and more, as these grantees give the world a front-row seat to their transformative work, and model what it takes for today’s nonprofits to meet the needs of our modern and digitally-connected societies.

Stay tuned for firsthand accounts from the leaders, builders, planners, and doers on these diverse teams, and experience what it’s like for nonprofits to not only envision a drastically better future, but to fully activate it through technology.

Discover how Okta’s Innovation Lab is helping nonprofits with innovative technology solutions.