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Illuminating the work of the world's civil society organisations

TechSoup Global and GuideStar International

TechSoup Global's mission is working toward a time when every nonprofit and NGO on the planet has the technology resources and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential.
 
Many civil society organisations worldwide serve the needs of low-income, underserved populations and create positive social change. We believe these organisations could have even greater impact through the appropriate use of technology. This requires assistance with obtaining, using, and sustaining technology.
 
Civil society organisations, NGOs, nonprofits, charities, social benefit organisations — we go by many names, but we're working towards a common goal: changing our communities for the better. We're finding innovative ways to help where no infrastructure exists to do so.
 
TechSoup Global's NGO partners are a network of organisations connected through a common online platform enabling a socially responsible supply chain for technology products and support, which connects and builds the capacity of civil society organisations and their communities. Each partner offers a localised version of a common global technology assistance programme and local services that deepen benefits for disadvantaged individuals. Country programmes include a sustainable computer recycling programme, IT solutions for people with disabilities and technology platforms to maximise organisational effectiveness and to enable full engagement in the digital economy. The TechSoup Global Network serves organisations in 36 countries.

Programmes

GuideStar International – Illuminating the work of the world’s CSOs

In May 2010, TechSoup Global, and GuideStar International, a U.K.-registered charity that promotes transparency and civil society organization (CSO) reporting, announced that they will combine operations in order to strengthen their respective capacity-building programs for civil society. The two organisations share a mission to benefit global civil society through the provision of technology, information, and resources. GuideStar International (GSI) works with civil society leaders worldwide to develop GuideStar services for their own countries. A GuideStar service provides a detailed catalogue of reports on a country’s CSOs on a powerful but easy to use public website. GSI supports this growing network through the provision of a shared Common Technology Platform as well as advice and support in each country’s development process. Today, GuideStars exist in the UK, Belgium, Israel, India and South Korea.

NGOsourceStreamlining international grantmaking

In 2008, we were selected by the Council on Foundations to host and manage NGOsource, an equivalency determination service that will help U.S. grantmakers streamline their international grantmaking process. NGOsource will simplify the often expensive, complicated, and duplicative task of evaluating whether a non-U.S. organization is equivalent to a U.S. public charity — a process known as equivalency determination, or ED.
 
The service is expected to launch in 2012, pending regulatory approval by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Upon launch, NGOsource will be a reliable and easy-to-use online service backed by a database of detailed information about non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. By simplifying and centralizing EDs, NGOsource will increase the efficiency of international grantmaking for both grantmakers and their grantees everywhere.

TechSoup Global NetworkA Community-Oriented Solution

The TechSoup Global Network is working towards ensuring that NGOs around the world have access to the technology they need. We partner with independent NGOs around the world, delivering the relationships, technology, and expertise necessary to allow them to become access points to information and donations for their communities. Our Partner NGOs customise these offerings, allowing their beneficiaries to receive the best local and global technology resources. It’s a flexible solution that builds regional capacity and strengthens local relationships. We partner with NGOs in 36 countries in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, Asia-Pacific, and Africa.

NetSquaredConnecting Changemakers to Cultivate Local Communities

NetSquared is a global network of local communities. An ambitious, evolving global experiment, it is working to empower individuals at the local level to build and share innovative solutions to social challenges. Today, NetSquared is comprised of an active online community of more than 27,000 registered members; local NetSquared events in 80 cities in 25 countries around the world; and a challenge model that was developed in 2004 to identify, profile, and accelerate innovative projects.

TechSoup.orgThe Technology Hub for the Nonprofit Community

Our flagship programme, TechSoup.org, helps nonprofit organisations and libraries access the technology resources and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential. Each month more than 350,000 individuals visit TechSoup.org to make informed technology decisions, become part of a community, and request product donations. Perhaps the largest technology product philanthropy program in the world, TechSoup.org has a catalogue of more than 450 products generously donated by a growing roster of 44 technology corporations, including industry leaders such as Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec. To date, these partners have made more than U.S. $2 billion in product donations available to the nonprofit sector.

TechSoup for LibrariesA Proving Ground for Peer-To-Peer Learning

In 2009, we completed a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote sustainable best practices for the technical support of public access computing in America’s public libraries. The project, which created a vibrant nationwide community of librarians and library staff, was a proving ground for TechSoup Global, allowing us to demonstrate the efficacy of an open platform for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. The program continues to thrive and can be found at www.techsoupforlibraries.org.