Announcing $1.6M in new grants for the Nonprofit Technology Initiative
Nonprofits do society’s most critical work — and technology is essential to achieving and accelerating their impact. As demands of nonprofits continue to grow, gaps in technology are widening. Too many philanthropic funders regard technology and infrastructure as “overhead” as opposed to mission critical. These insights guided us as we launched the Nonprofit Technology Initiative last year: a focused manifestation of Okta for Good’s mission to strengthen connections between people, technology, and community.
The Initiative is focused on accelerating Okta’s support of technology infrastructure in the nonprofit sector, deploying funds through ecosystems, networks and partnerships. Through this approach, we can contribute to a paradigm shift in the way that nonprofits are funded and enabled to leverage technology.
As we close out the first year of the Initiative, we are excited to share who we’ve supported, what we’ve learned, and what we have in store for Year 2 and beyond.
All grants referenced are made through the Okta for Good Fund, a donor-advised fund held at Tides Foundation.
Year 1 in Review
We successfully deployed $1.6M in Year 1, supporting the work of 11 organisations. The Initiative kicked off with initial commitments to seven organisations at the intersection of nonprofits and technology, supporting a spectrum of geographies spanning from our HQ in the San Francisco Bay Area (Full Circle Fund), across the United States (NTEN, Tech Impact) and around the world (Fast Forward, NetHope, TechSoup, Tech Matters).
As the impacts of COVID-19 were felt around the world, we recognised the need to enable solutions that could best provide support to ecosystems of nonprofits, including social service nonprofits (Benetech’s ServiceNet), as well as any nonprofit seeking to engage digital volunteerism (VolunteerMatch). We also invested in ecosystems of support across critical stakeholders like funders (Technology Association of Grantmakers), as well as issue-specific consortiums in areas like digital identity (ID2020).
Sustaining and Growing our Impact: Announcing our Year 2 Grantees
In Year 2 we seek to build on our momentum, and to kick off the year, Okta for Good issued its first-ever open public grant round, seeking applications for two distinct grant opportunities: a continuation of our ecosystems and capacity building focus and an inaugural Nonprofit Technology Fellowship. We were thrilled to receive nearly 340 applications from across the globe.
Today we are excited to announce that through this funding round we are committing $1.6M in new grants from the Okta for Good Fund at Tides Foundation, in support of the selected grantees and fellows.
Our “one to many” approach in funding ecosystems and capacity building organisations allows us to double down on proven partnerships advancing nonprofit technology, and this cohort extends our geographic reach to better serve nonprofits internationally. By directly supporting nonprofit technology leaders we advance the thought leadership of experts in the field who share our vision for a paradigm shift in the way that nonprofits are funded and enabled to leverage technology.
Ecosystems and Capacity Building
Supporting organisations building the operational capacity of the nonprofit sector to access, implement, and use technology
- Code for Japan: Support for Code for Japan’s civic tech accelerator, focused on increasing its community of tech talent and connecting them with nonprofits to build 20 civic tech products in the next three years for use by Japanese nonprofits.
- Community Foundations of Canada: Support to advance the digital infrastructure of eight equity-serving organisations, codify those learnings and share broadly to increase tech capacity of community foundations and other philanthropic organizations in Canada.
- Fast Forward: Continue Fast Forward’s core Accelerator program, which provides hands-on support to nonprofit tech organisations, and support the new online Academy, which provides educational resources for social entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ideas and organizations.
- NTEN: Support for NTEN’s work building a community of nonprofit professionals dedicated to accelerating their use of technology.
- Tech Impact: Support for Tech Impact’s work providing wraparound technology services to nonprofit organisations without in-house technology expertise, with a particular focus on cybersecurity for nonprofits.
- Tech Matters: Enable the organisation’s tech for good field-building work with aspiring and budding social entrepreneurs.
- TechSoup: Continued support for TechSoup’s Digital Assessment Tool for nonprofits and for its global survey on the state of nonprofit cloud readiness.
- Technology Association of Grantmakers: Catalyze an ecosystem of funders committed to changing the narrative of tech as “overhead” for nonprofits
- Simply Secure: Support Simply Secure’s work in a human-centred design approach for security and its impacts on vulnerable populations.
Nonprofit Technology Fellows
Amplifying the voices of leaders across the nonprofit sector advocating for sector-wide movement toward better use and implementation of technology
- Sarah Angel-Johnson, Chief Information Officer, Save the Children
- Edwin Goutier, Vice President, Innovation, United Way Worldwide
- Francis Johnson, Managing Director, Technology Services, Tech Impact
- Aine McGlynn, Charity Engagement and Success, CanadaHelps
- Khuloud Odeh, Chief Information Officer & Vice President, Technology and Data Science, The Urban Institute
- Christopher Prince-Barry, Director, IT, DonorsChoose
- Amy Sample Ward, Chief Executive Officer, NTEN
- Zerom Tesfay, IT Systems Delivery Manager, Mercy Corps
A huge thank you to our grantees and fellows; it is a privilege for us to support you and your work! While we are proud of our momentum thus far, and excited by what’s ahead, we know there is much work yet to be done. We look forward to sharing our progress and learnings with all of you as we continue our work ensuring nonprofits are enabled with the technology they need to power their missions.
To learn more about the Nonprofit Technology Initiative, visit https://www.okta.com/okta-for-good/nonprofit-technology-initiative/.