Charities have many of the same tech needs as big corporate organisations – but usually without the resources. Tech for Good programmes allow charities to benefit from the expertise and technology available to large businesses
This article is sponsored by JP Morgan and their Force for Good programme, which aims to help charities achieve their goals through the power of people and technology.
Technology is not intrinsically good or bad. It all depends on how it is used. For example, digital technology that ignores or impedes people’s rights is bad. Technology that solves the world’s problems is good. Either way, the technology is the same – what matters is how it is applied.
It is no secret that large corporate organisations have access to technology that charities can only dream of. The financial resources of these companies allow them to purchase cutting edge hardware, entice innovative developers with high salaries, and take digital risks that would not be viable for charities.
But the distribution of resources and expertise is not a zero-sum game. Charities can actually benefit from the tech assets of businesses through Tech for Good schemes.
Tech for Good schemes allow businesses to partner with charities and other good causes to pool their resources and skillsets, in order to tackle major societal issues. These schemes allow charities to achieve more than they ever could on their own, through improved access to enterprise level technology.
We take a look at five of the best schemes available to charities in the UK.
One of the most valuable aspects of Tech for Good programmes is that they can connect charities with skills-based volunteers.
J.P. Morgan’s Force for Good programme connects the multinational company’s highly-skilled workers with hundreds of good causes around the world, developing sustainable tech solutions for charities to advance their mission.
Force for Good is just one of many initiatives under J.P. Morgan’s wider Tech for Social Good initiative; alongside their Code for Good, Youth, and Emerging talent programmes.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of J.P. Morgan’s Tech for Social Good initiative. Over the last ten years, the programme has helped hundreds of charities to develop innovative solutions to the unique challenges faced by the charity sector.
Through its Force for Good programme, J.P. Morgan are uniquely positioned to help social good organisations accelerate their digital journey. Their employees are a cohesive force of skills, intent, and energy to build tech-based solutions that are effortless for charities to sustain and scale.
AI is one of the most exciting technologies to emerge in recent years. But for many charities, its benefits may seem out of reach.
This does not have to be the case. Microsoft’s AI for Social Impact initiative allows charities and other good causes to harness the power of AI to create positive social change.
Every year, Microsoft for Startups UK and Social Tech Trust select a cohort of socially-conscious organisations to join a four-month programme.
The scheme aims to support socially-conscious ventures with the commercial, technical, and social resources they need to create positive change.
In 2021, the scheme onboarded thirteen start-ups in the UK’s health, manufacturing, and resource sectors. The AI for Social Impact programme will be focusing on how AI can help these organisations drive recovery in these sectors following the immense toll of COVID-19.
Datakind are the leading Tech for Good organisation helping UK charities to unlock the potential of data science.
In today’s digital world, data is often touted as a sort of silver bullet that can enable charities to work more effectively and efficiently. But while most charities will find themselves sitting on a potential treasure trove of data, this information is not useful unless you know how to apply it.
This is where Datakind come in. Our technological age has created an abundance of data that can be mined, analysed, and used to solve problems and create dynamic new technologies.
Charities and other good causes can utilise the same algorithms and techniques that drive big business in order to improve the world. The applications are limitless: from helping fight climate change, to providing support and care to vulnerable people, and even helping to drive societal change.
However, most charities don’t have the budget or staff to take advantage of this data revolution. Datakind connects charities with volunteering data scientists, who can show your organisation how to make the most of your data.
Domain registry specialists Nominet run a wide-reaching initiative geared towards leveraging the power of technology to improve people’s lives, all around the world.
They have invested over £49 Million in Tech for Good projects to date, and their ambitious public benefit programme aims to improve the lives of one million young people.
The One Million programme is funded by Nominet’s work in internet infrastructure, and aligns with their values as responsible advocates for a more equal digital future.
Nominet’s Public Benefit programme is tailored towards creating a better digital future for young people in the UK. Their work has covered a wide variety of sub-sectors, including work to overcome the challenges of digital exclusion, and create better resources for people struggling with their mental health.
Grant-making charity, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and fundraising giants, Comic Relief, have teamed up to deliver a Tech for Good funding programme tailored towards charities.
The Build programme supports non-profit organisations that want to use technology to deliver better services to their beneficiaries. The initiative helps charities to define, develop and re-purpose digital tools, platforms and products in order to meet social challenges.
Charities are eligible for grants of up to £70,000, alongside a package of technical support from CAST (Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology), that includes one-to-one advice and mentorship, collaborative workshops with peer support elements, and an online programme of digital learning sessions.
Funding is designed for organisations that can demonstrate that they have undertaken some early stage scoping work around their proposal.