Technology has tremendous power to spur innovation and improve human lives. And for social services organizations, specifically, technology makes it possible to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and secure more funding—while scaling their services to serve more underprivileged communities.
While technology can help nonprofits accomplish more, they have long been at a disadvantage compared to for-profit corporations when it comes to accessing the digital tools they need. While 85% of nonprofit leaders believe technology is critical to the success of their organizations,1 social services organizations spend as much as four times less on technology than private sector companies, regardless of industry.2
The problem is that barriers such as tight budgets, competing funding priorities, and pressures to keep overhead low prevent nonprofits from making the technology investments that can increase their social impact.
To help bridge this funding gap, F5 recently awarded a series of Tech for Good Grants designed to help nonprofit organizations accelerate their digital transformation efforts. Begun last year, these annual grants are aimed at helping nonprofits invest in the technologies they need to build the strength and efficiency of their organizations.
Today, the vast majority of nonprofit funding is designated for specific purposes. In the US, for example, less than 15% of foundation support is unrestricted.3 What’s more, nonprofits are under pressure to restrict overhead to less than 10% of their budgets,4 limiting their ability to adopt the core technologies that could help them accomplish more.
With more freedom to invest in ihis traditionally underfunded area, social services organizations can streamline their administrative efforts, adapt to remote needs, and—most importantly—expedite their missions to do even more as they work to bring about healthier, more vibrant communities.
To that end, we’re excited to announce the 2021 Tech for Good Grant partners. Altogether, 20 nonprofit organizations were each awarded $10,000 USD to be used toward their technology infrastructure needs.
These recipients are tackling a wide variety of important social causes in countries from the US to India to Mexico and Peru. The recipients were selected from among nearly 200 applicants by a committee of F5 employees from F5’s LatinX, Multicultural, and FAB (F5 Appreciated Blackness) Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs) based on a range of criteria including each nonprofit’s commitment and approach to serving people of color.
In the coming months, F5 will share the stories of some of these nonprofits to demonstrate the myriad ways in which technology has helped them scale their social impact.
We believe that technology can have a profound impact on the ability of nonprofits to accomplish their missions. By telling these stories, our hope is to encourage more investment in this critical area—ultimately helping nonprofit organizations expand their reach as they work to bring about a more equitable world.
Sacred Valley Project: Providing boarding and supplementary education to young women from low-income families in remote communities of the Andes so that they can continue and complete their secondary education.
Thriving Families: Serving low-income women and families in Denver, Colo. during pregnancy and just after a baby is born through educational and postpartum groups, case management, and mental health counseling.
Women & Children’s Free Restaurant and Community Kitchen: Providing a vital safety net that fills nutritional gaps for women and children in need while fostering dignity and respect, both within our restaurant and in the community.
Please check back over the next few months to see the specific ways technology is helping Tech for Good Grant recipients improve their effectiveness as they work to achieve greater impact.
To learn more, visit the F5 Global Good webpage.
1 2nd Edition Nonprofit Trends Report - Salesforce.org
2 Roadmap for Funders: Investing in Digital Infrastructure, Aug. 12, 2020
3 Why Fund Tech for Nonprofits - Box.org