In Episode 72 of the Charity Charge Show, Stephen talks with Ken Tsunoda, Vice President of Development and Network for TechSoup. TechSoup equips changemakers with transformative technology solutions and skills they need to improve lives globally and locally and their mission is to build a dynamic bridge that enables civil society organizations and social change agents around the world to gain effective access to the resources they need to design and implement technology solutions for a more equitable planet. Ken and Stephen talked about TechSoup’s Direct Public Offering (DPO), an opportunity for individuals and funds to be part of the growth of TechSoup. More information about the DPO can be found at techsoup.org/invest or by emailing email@example.com
Ken was previously General Manager of NGOsource, the game-changing service that revolutionizes global philanthropy for U.S. grantmakers. A project of the Council on Foundations and TechSoup, NGOsource is an online service that certifies NGOs as equivalent to U.S. public charities through a process called equivalency determination. Ken’s career has included management roles in non-profit organizations, VC-backed technology start-ups and leading global firms. Prior to TechSoup Global, he served as Executive Director of Sager Family Foundation, which incubated start-up social ventures in conflict areas, including Rwanda, the West Bank, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ken earned a B.A. with honors in Physics from Harvard University, and an M.P.P. degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
On the global nonprofit sector:
A lot of people aren’t aware of the scale and the scope of the nonprofit sector, both in the US and globally. It’s a really large part of our communities and our economies. The best estimate that we’ve seen is that the nonprofit sector is about 4.5% of global GDP. Not only is it an economic engine, but these are the organizations that are on the front lines of helping communities that are really in need during difficult times. We’ve [TechSoup] touched 1.3 million nonprofits globally. Our estimate is that there are 12 million of them out there, so we’re really just scratching the surface.
So many of them are very, very small organizations. I think when people think of nonprofit organizations, many tend to think about the very large nonprofits or the large NGOs that are the biggest fundraising machines. But it’s very similar to the small business sector. The overwhelming majority of the nonprofits in the US and around the world are very, very small. Many of the nonprofits that we’re supporting as TechSoup have annual budgets of less than $100,000. And they’re very, very dependent on support. They need the kinds of technology tools that TechSoup has to offer, but don’t have the resources to be able to pay full price. This is a big part of why our Technology Product Donation Program and the discount programs that we offer are so important.
I’ll give an example: I was chatting recently with the executive director of our partner organization in the Ukraine, who was saying that the very, very overwhelming majority of NGOs and nonprofits in the Ukraine are staffed entirely by volunteers with very small budgets. In order for them to get basic technology tools, like Microsoft’s offerings, like Zoom, or other technologies, products and services, it’s very, very important for them to have access to these kinds of product donation and discount offerings. The 12 million civil society organizations around the world are serving billions of the world’s most vulnerable people with critical services like food security, health care, and education. But they’re really very desperately under-resourced in an increasingly digital world. And so our mission at TechSoup is to change that.
Interested in listening to the full episode and hearing more from other nonprofits? Check out more episodes here Charity Charge Show