Open Thread: What’s Your Favorite Tech Nonprofit/Philanthropic Company?
Written by Jolie O’Dell / January 30, 2010 10:39 AM
A while ago, I wrote a rather condemning post on how most "social media for social good" efforts were heavy on social media activities but came up short on actual social good.
Still, there are organizations such as Kiva, The Extraordinaires or SocialVibe and many others that do turn user microactions and technology to affect change and do good in very tangible ways. Those are just three of the tech nonprofit or philanthropic organizations I can think of at the moment, but we at RWW would love to know more. Tell us in the comment what your favorite tech nonprofit is and why.
As most of you already will know, Kiva is an organization that allows users such as you and I to make microloans to folks in developing countries. For example, I could loan $100 to a woman in the Philippines to help her buy supplies and livestock to start pig farming, increasing her own quality of life and improving the local economy around her. Trickle Up is another similar microlending organization.
SocialVibe is a company that helps brands and users create positive social change. In a typical SocialVibe setup, a brand "sponsors" users, who take small actions and engagements to raise money for the charity of their choice. In some ways, it’s kind of like a broader-in-scope version of The Hunger Site, which gets advertisers to shell out cash to feed hungry people when users click around the site.
And The Extraordinaires is a program we just recently discovered while finding out how to help our readers use their personal time and online actions to help folks in Haiti. This site allows organizations to create missions. Users can complete micro-tasks from their mobile devices or computers toward those missions. Currently, the site has around 50 participating organizations and about 6,000 members who have completed in excess of 35,000 micro-tasks. Missions range from mapping safe places for children to play to helping first-aid responders reduce fatalities.
But there are many ways tech can be used to help others, not just the social media-focused, crowdsources companies we’ve mentioned here. For example, Inveneo helps to give access to information and communications technologies, including phones, computers and Internet access, to people in remote parts of developing countries. And there are many organizations focusing on getting tech hardware into the hands of those who need it, including students and injured veterans.
We’d love to know more about similar projects and organizations, whether large or small, new or longstanding. In this open thread of comments, please tell us your favorite nonprofit or philanthropic tech organization and let us know what they do. And please spread the good word and invite others to share, as well!
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