Many of our pledge members strive to help nonprofits by donating product. But when it comes to donating technology, how can you make sure that the products that you donate are helpful and deployed successfully over time?
While we’ve had digital transformation conversations with various nonprofits like Save the Children, Nten, and the Full Circle Fund, we were happy to invite social impact leaders at Box, PagerDuty, and Okta to share their perspective. Watch the full video or read the recap below for takeaways.
Nonprofit Partners: Find the Right Fit First
Victor Cordon, Senior Manager of Social Impact at Okta, defines digital transformation as “the successful deployment and adoption of technology by nonprofits.”
There’s no doubt that more effective technology can greatly reduce the strain on nonprofits and help them do more good in the world. But not every nonprofit will have the need – or the capacity – to utilize every technology.
So how do you find the right partners? Think through your social impact cause areas and grant processes.
For example, since child welfare is a core cause for Box, one of their four issued grants went to the foster care system in Minnesota. This grant allowed the organization to digitize records and let caseworkers to spend 30% more time with families, shared Lauren Coberly, Head of Social Impact at Box. She also advised that companies make grant conditions explicit and work with lawyers to minimize any conflicts of interest.
Giving Tech Product Means Giving Time
In an ideal world, digital transformation would be possible with only product giveaways. In reality, however, employee time is often needed for successful tech implementation.
Nisha Kadaba, Senior Manager of Global Social Impact at PagerDuty, shares the power of full-impact support. Their grant recipients received a 8-12 weeks of employee support in addition to fully granted product. Even better, PagerDuty employees got a closer connection to nonprofits and reported high satisfaction with the program.
Accumulate Employee Support with Small Commitments
While digital transformation can require employee time, getting departments to allocate personnel resources to social good can be tricky.
However, even small time commitments can add up. Asheen Phansey, Director of ESG & Sustainability at PagerDuty, observed in the chat that “if you get 10 people to ascribe 5% of their time to social impact measures, then you’ve created for yourself half a full-time employee.”
Even though engineering time is notoriously hard to come by, Adam Rosenzweig, Director of Tech for Good at Okta, shared an ingenious method for recruiting them to social good efforts. Ask the product team to break a tech project into weeklong goals, then ask various developer teams to commit to one weeklong sprint, he advises. These smaller commitments enable a larger digital transformation initiative.
Think Use Cases and Partnerships to Scale Efforts
Helping one nonprofit is transformative, but solving a common use case for multiple nonprofits unlocks even more potential.
Rosenzweig is working to realize that potential with the Okta for Good Innovation Lab. By creating case studies for nonprofits with the vision and capacity to execute this technology, they can build a stronger proof of concept for more limited nonprofits.
Partnerships: The Future of Digital Transformation?
How can tech companies take digital transformation to the next level? Kadaba ponders a simple question: what if organizations could help nonprofits build entire tech stacks? While she worked with New Relic to help their PagerDuty grant recipients, she imagines a future where tech companies work together to create larger implementation solutions. With a strong community of social impact leaders and Pledge 1% members, we have a feeling these efforts are just beginning.