By: Karen Cramer, VP, Community Impact
Last week I attended BoxWorks in San Francisco. I wanted to thank Bryan Breckenridge, ED of Box.Org, for rolling out the red carpet for Social Impact Leaders. Not only did he provide scholarships to nonprofits who wanted to attend, but on the first day of BoxWorks, Brian hosted TechBridge and nonprofit leaders at an intimate breakfast where he set the stage by encouraging us to share the three words that best described us. I chose “passionate,” “impact” and “community.” He then requested that we use those three words to describe ourselves and our organizations succinctly. I shared that TechBridge was founded by the technology community to transform nonprofits and communities. I said I am a passionate social worker who works every day to develop pathways out of poverty for our community residents. In a world where technology is transforming our society, we must do better to make sure all children have the resources and opportunities for economic mobility. That is the impact TechBridge is driving.
One of the themes that emerged from BoxWorks was integration and interoperability. From the keynotes to the social impact clubhouse, everyone was proudly talking about integration. All the companies that make up www.impactcloud.org (Asana, Box.org, Docusign, Google, New Relic, Okta, Oracle Netsuite, PagerDuty, Salesforce, Splunk, Tableau and Twilio) shared they are focused on doing what they do very well and integrating with other cloud companies who complement what they provide. They proudly listed the number of software integrations they have.
Let’s apply the themes of integration and interoperability to nonprofits. At TechBridge, I led the performance measurement data strategy group for the past three years. I would say on a weekly basis, “we want nonprofits to know from data what they are good at, what they are not good at, and which organizations they need to partner with that complement their core competencies so that together we can do what we all do best to improve outcomes for our community residents.”
Just as Uber uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for infrastructure, Twillio for communications, Google for maps, Braintree for payments, Box for content, and SendGrid for email. What if our nonprofits formed an ecosystem around our community residents in need? What if a mom and her two children are at the center of the ecosystem and nonprofits rally around her to provide everything she needs to succeed: childcare, baby supplies, clothing, transportation, affordable housing, healthcare, education, job training, and employment? What if we could use data to know the combination of programs and services that are leading to the best outcomes for our community residents?
Another theme that emerged was corporate social responsibility and volunteerism. The message was loud and clear. Companies and employees want to direct their philanthropy towards nonprofits their employees are engaged in. TechBridge is proud to engage our corporate TechBridge supporters in our TechBuild program where technologists can use their everyday skills to transform nonprofits who couldn’t otherwise afford that level of investment.
To describe myself in three words, I chose “passionate” “impact” and “community.” What are your three words?
How important is integration and interoperability to you?
How can we better utilize technology for social good?
What nonprofits is your company supporting with your philanthropy and skilled volunteerism?
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