Working in a nonprofit usually means finding alternative ways to make things happen. Employees typically wear multiple hats, and projects are pulled together on a shoestring budget. What normally isn’t lacking are passion and dedication. Tech Impact Day, coordinated by Hands-on Twin Cities, brings together nonprofits that need some kind of technical problem solved, and pro bono technologists willing to help them find a solution. This combination results in techies getting to do what they do best, and nonprofits getting the tools they need, so they can focus on helping more on their mission. Win-win.
Today, the 2019 Tech Impact Day will be held at WeWork Uptown, Minneapolis. The nonprofits participating started meeting with their respective technologists a couple of weeks ago, getting all of the details of their projects worked out. Teams of two to five tech volunteers will now spend the day designing custom solutions that the nonprofits can then take back to their organizations. Sometimes this is a tool, such as an app or database, and sometimes it’s a gameplan; it all depends on the needs of the organization and the strategic issue they have collectively decided to tackle.
Last year was the inaugural event, and it was a huge success. 35 nonprofits were brought together with 59 pro bono volunteers, and many solutions were found. 92% of the nonprofits that participated had actionable steps after the session, and 60% had learned about some new technology that was going to make their working lives easier.
A large percentage of the work that is done on Tech Impact Day is giving nonprofits ideas and tools related to their IT infrastructure and recommendations on best practices for maintaining it successfully. Other areas that tend to be addressed are data analytics, volunteer management, and CRM solutions. These things can be expensive for a nonprofit, or completely out of scope for their employees on staff, and these types of solutions will be placed on a back burner to prioritize program services. The pro bono work done on Tech Impact Day provides a huge value to these nonprofits, and gives technologists a meaningful way to give back to their community. It will be great to see what solutions are found through this year’s event.