TechFoundation is a public charity based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that assists the way nonprofit organizations gain access to information technology through the provision of expertise, hardware, software and capital.
TechFoundation was established to bridge the digital divide facing nonprofit organizations. The idea for TechFoundation arose out the needs of a small homeless support center that used 4x6 index cards to track constituents and then benefited from deploying computers.
TechFoundation’s programs support a wide range of nonprofits from charter schools to environmental advocacy groups to community dance groups.
The Nonprofit Digital Divide results from systemic barriers that prevent nonprofits from capitalizing on information technology, specifically lack of access to appropriate technology, technical know-how, and adequate financial resources.
TechFoundation’s programs include: TechConnect, TechMarketplace, TechGrants, Geeks for America, and NPCloud.
Created specifically for nonprofit decision makers who may not have a technical background, TechConnect includes workshops and peer-support networks within local nonprofit communities.
TechConnect modules have included:
•Checklist for a Healthy IT System
•Technical Decisions for Non-Technical Managers
•IT Fundraising for Nonprofits
•IT Budgeting and Planning for Nonprofits
Presenters of TechFoundation’s TechConnect programs have included: United Way of Metropolitan Chicago; Barnstable County Human Services; The Cape Cod Foundation; e-Cares; Georgia Center for Nonprofits; New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Nonprofit Management Solutions; United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley; United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta; United Way of New York City; United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey; ValleyNet; and Verizon Foundation.
TechFoundation's TechMarketplace provides nonprofit organizations with discounted and donated hardware, software, and training from partners like Dell and CDW.
TechGrants is a grant program. Grants are awarded for new or pilot programs supporting innovation in nonprofit settings. Past TechGrants winners include: Exceptional Children’s Foundation; Prescott College; PRX Public Radio Exchange; Hispanic Educational Technology Services; Center for Court Innovation; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
TechFoundation’s TechGrants partners include: The Denver Foundation; Nebraska Community Foundation; The San Francisco Foundation; The Seattle Foundation; Silicon Valley Community Foundation; and The Saint Paul Foundation.
Building off of a Boston Foundation-funded pilot program in Boston and based on the Teach for America program model, the Geeks for America program delivers aspiring technology professionals to nonprofit organizations.
On a very limited basis, TechFoundation provides consulting services to assist nonprofits transition from traditional IT environments to Cloud/SaaS-based approaches to NPO computing.
TechFoundation creates, manages, and benefits from strategic alliances with a wide-variety of organizations that share its commitment to bridging the Nonprofit Digital Divide. TechFoundation’s current and past partners and clients include:ACCION
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Boston Foundation
Cambridge Community Foundation
Harvard Business School
New America Foundation
Teach For America