Five long‐term, strategic initiatives have been identified to support TechSoup’s rapid growth, focusing on growing both its core business and new lines of business and programming, scaling its internal capacity, and developing a nimble platform for the core product.
1. NGO Technology Marketplace
Scale the quantity and breadth of donated and specially discounted technology offers in TechSoup’s catalog; expand outreach to NGOs globally; connect NGOs with curated support resources to accelerate their ability to adopt and optimize their use of new technologies to accomplish their missions.
TechSoup’s award-winning technology donation program has facilitated over $10.7 billion of in-kind technology philanthropy, donated and discounted products, and services and funding to NGOs since 2002. It is a vital resource for hundreds of thousands of nonprofits and impact-oriented technology corporations. TechSoup is increasing the breadth of its offers to include more hardware, more mobile, and more cloud-based subscription offers. When access alone is not enough, TechSoup also helps nonprofits choose appropriate technology and integrate it into their business processes and staffing models. Improved technology applications go a long way to achieving this, but human capital is sometimes required to close the “last mile.” This may include expert IT guidance, online and offline learning opportunities, and other resources. These new offers are projected to scale rapidly.
2. Global Validation and Data Services
Expand sector resources and impact through validation services and data solutions; facilitate international giving at scale.
TechSoup has created and offers two types of services that validate the authenticity of organizations around the world: the first, Validation Services, assesses a nonprofit’s status in accordance with local laws, while the second, NGOsource, provides equivalency determinations that assess if an organization outside the United States meets the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code, which governs US charitable organizations. As a result of decades of outreach and programmatic activity through TechSoup Global Network, TechSoup has an incredibly rich repository of data records in aggregate of more than 1 million NGOs around the globe. Each one of these has been validated against critical criteria. This makes it possible for any donor partner to efficiently and inexpensively connect their offers with validated NGOs in 236 countries and territories. Thus, TechSoup Validation Services has the potential to open up a vast array of special offers, services, resources, and information for the nonprofit sector. TechSoup is now developing new ways for donors to access its expertise, reach, and matching capabilities.
3. Apps for Good
Design, build, and distribute scalable social sector technology apps and introduce low-cost, low-code, secure Platform-as-a-Service (“PaaS”) offerings that enable impact beyond TechSoup branded offers.
The Apps for Good line of business is comprised of two main programs: community mobile and web app development led by TechSoup’s Caravan Studios and TechSoup Europe (Fundacja TechSoup), and PaaS, which is projected to be launched in TechSoup’s FY19. Both mobile technology and PaaS services are increasing rapidly. The TechSoup service areas described in Initiatives 1 and 2 are enabled by a platform, application framework, and design processes that suit the social sector – collectively the Cooperative Technology Platform. Once in place, these assets can be leveraged to develop technology applications that other social good and community-based projects often envision – yet find elusive to fund, or overwhelming to create. TechSoup sees significant opportunity to foster innovation and design for civil society apps and to open its technology, data, and human processing with a low-code application framework. This will support scalable, affordable applications to meet a variety of nonprofit needs for website or apps, and open TechSoup’s distribution and marketing channel to NGOs so they can take advantage of targeted apps. Technology applications – responsive and mobile – have enormous potential to increase social sector impact.
4. Scale Business Processes and Systems
Test, build, and refine new marketing, sales, distribution, and support strategies.
To support the diversification of services, programs, and new business models, TechSoup must invest in marketing, sales, distribution, and support strategies. As the TechSoup organization and capabilities grow, its marketing, sales, and support strategies must also grow in an efficient manner. As TechSoup undertakes the strategic initiatives outlined in this document, new technology, new business models, and new skills, functions, and business processes must be developed. In addition, the organizational transformation required to support these strategic outcomes is significant.
5. Cooperative Technology Platform (CTP)
Complete product development of the CTP to support the social businesses outlined in Initiatives 1, 2, and 3 above as well as the business processes outlined in Initiative 4 above.
The CTP is TechSoup’s next-generation technology platform and underpins the Organization’s strategic vision and the realization of highly-leveraged social impact. The CTP provides a secure, scalable platform supporting diverse and curated interactions and resource-matching across the social sector to generate the network effects that are possible within a multi-sided platform. The CTP revolutionizes the two-sided platform TechSoup previously offered, which supported only a limited set of highly constrained “transactions” between a nonprofit and TechSoup, such as requesting donations or consuming web content. The multi-sided platform supported by the CTP allows a vastly larger set of validated civil society stakeholders to connect and exchange value in a secure, scalable, and flexible technical environment.