TechSpense is investigating business models suitable for offering business and technology services exclusively to 501(c)3 organizations with the goal to enable NPOs to do more good work with less. Services are designed to:
- Increase the capacity of charitable organizations to more effectively fulfill their missions through technological and business process solutions.
- Provide leadership in digital literacy and education programs to improve the operational capacities of nonprofit organizations and their sponsored projects.
- Connect corporate, philanthropic, and government leadership to the technical issues and needs confronting nonprofit organizations.
- Facilitate Executive Director and Board vision formation by demystifying business and technical capabilities surrounding virtualization, cloud, social media, and traditional IT
As a nonprofit, TechSpense understands the fiscal challenges of the nonprofit field and provides all services at reduced cost or free of charge. Quality organizational support services are available to nonprofits regardless of size and scope, enabling client nonprofits to convert a commitment to service into results that advance their mission.
Non-profits are challenged to find volunteers and funding resources. Goals and operations are focused so as to be achievable with the resources available, and then program timelines are made to take into account volunteer training, fundraising cycles and windows of opportunity. Information Technology is an important enabler, but many non-profit organizations do not have staff trained in IT to now what can be used and how to make it happen. There are many volunteers with consumer-level technical knowledge knowing how to configure printers, work applications, get wireless networks running, but not enough to understand the underlying systems or best practices for when to use what. The scope of TechSpense is to provide guidance at the leadership level and actionable direction at the functional level so that non-profit organizations can make the most of computing technology without wasting precious resources.
- Business Services – Any organization will start with understanding the underlying need and how technology could be used. Business objectives drive how IT is applied, maximizing the non-profits’ thin IT budgets.
- Technical Services – Basic technical IT services must be in place before any technology project to increase likelihood of success and secure continuity of operations. Volunteers and staff will not waste time with unreliable IT services.
- Business Model – TechSpense’s business model is centered on creating a marketplace for non-profit IT project demand and non-profit/freelance technical talent supply. Its pilot projects are aimed at testing the business model.
One outstanding project is with the Audubon Society, aimed at creating an online cloud-based collaboration portal and secured file sharing of the non-profit’s 65+ year archives. The TAS Project involves strategy formation, archive mapping, cloud-based solution prototyping, usability and implementation. Resource consumption and technical skills needed are closely tracked, as are organizational characteristics including cash flows, specialized talent sourcing, timeline impact, and ongoing operations process formation. Clearly, the solution and the processes must be suited to how the Audubon Society operates.