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Is Your Nonprofit Using Human and Technology Networks to Multiply Impact?

April 10, 2012 - 0 Comments

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in San Francisco. Hosted annually by the Nonprofit Technology Network, the conference is a gold mine of professional development and relationship-building opportunities for nonprofit staff who use technology for marketing, fundraising, operations, program delivery, and more.

Nonprofit Technology Conference

Cisco sponsored the Ignite Reception at NTC, where attendees had 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about how their nonprofits are using technology.

Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts operate at this intersection of human and technology networks, too. We know that by working with nonprofits, government agencies, or other businesses, we can accomplish much more than we could alone. And, by adding technology to the equation, we can multiply our impact even further.

Many nonprofits have similar experiences. They are collaborating–and using innovative, network-enabled technologies–to reach more people with better services.

If you work for a nonprofit that has used human and technology networks to multiply your impact, we want to hear your story.

Periodically on this blog we want to feature guest contributors who can share how their nonprofits are combining human and technology networks to benefit people, communities, and the planet.

Need a little inspiration? The Grameen Foundation and Feeding America are two nonprofits that exemplify the power of human and technology networks.

The Grameen Foundation develops and shares tools that organizations serving the poor can use to enhance efficiency and lower their operating costs.

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) use Grameen’s Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) to measure their clients’ movement out of poverty over time. The PPI is a simple 10-question survey that teams of field workers from MFIs in 46 countries–a human network if you will–administer to clients.

The Grameen Foundation also created the Mifos open source management information system that MFIs use to process, share, and analyze PPI data in real time, in addition to a host of other functions.

In this video, we chronicled the success one MFI–Fonkoze in Haiti–had using the PPI:

Feeding America and its 200+ member food banks (a powerful human network) distribute 3 billion pounds of food to 37 million hungry people each year. The organization is continually looking for new ways to use technology to streamline its workflow, save money, and increase efficiency. The organization’s new open-source online transportation management system, for example, could save its members US$1.5 million over five years, which could provide 12 million more meals for hungry people.

Do you work for a nonprofit with a story like this to share? Send us an email or leave a comment below with some details and we may invite you to submit a guest post for our CSR blog!

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