Join an online community with more than 350,000 members from 150,000+ organizations, where you can ask questions and get advice.
TechSoup hosts free weekly webinars on a variety of topics, from cloud computing to fundraising to social media and tech strategy.
Thinking about updating software, investing in new computers, or deploying a network or server? Our IT consulting services can help!
Close this window
very much a two-sided coin. Charities carry out mission-based work. Foundations fund and coordinate mission-based work. Things
work best when the two sides are well aligned, and technology is an important area where we can do that.
Lisa Pool’s Technology Affinity
Group and Laura Quinn’s Idealware
are two organizations doing good work to make that happen. TechSoup also has a new foundation resource area for software donations.
Strangely, I find
that one side of the philanthropy coin seems to get the lion’s share of
attention — nonprofit technology. I know that by the numbers, there are far
fewer foundations than nonprofits in the US (94 percent charities versus 6 percent
foundations), but most foundations are relatively small.
of private foundations have
less than $50 million in assets. Foundations need tech support as much as
interested in online communities, I’ve been following the work of the Technology Affinity Group (TAG) for some
years. Here’s the way TAG describes
is a membership organization of foundations that promotes the understanding of
how information and communications technology can help its members further
their philanthropic goals."
TAG is an active community of around 550 foundation techies who:
Find out more about
what TAG offers on their members
benefits page. The project grew out of the Council on Foundations and led by one part-time staff person, executive director Lisa Pool. Lisa does an excellent job, quietly working in the background to keep a steady
flow of information happening.
Foundation techies can ask any type of question
on the TAG listserv, strategic or very specific, and nearly always get an
informed answer from a member on the same day.
has a very reasonable yearly membership fee and nonprofits are welcome to
participate. TechSoup has been a member for the last three years. If you’d like
to see who participates, have a look at TAG’s leadership page. I suspect it’s one of the best kept secrets
in foundation technology.
One of the least
kept secrets of foundation technology is probably the work of Idealware. They
actually work both sides of philanthropy technology — charity and foundation,
and do both well. They’re a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit software review
organization that seems to be everywhere. They do in-depth and impartial
software reviews for TechSoup and NTEN, run webinars for TAG, and present at all
the major conferences. Idealware was founded and is led by Laura Quinn.
Here are some of their
free foundation reports:
And while we’re on
the topic of getting good data, here’s a non-Idealware resource by the European Venture Philanthropy Association called
Practical Guide to Measuring and Managing Impact. It’s a free comprehensive
resource that distills the best practices in impact measurement into five steps.
Very intriguing in one of the most difficult areas of philanthropy — measuring the
actual impact of your grantmaking.
And then there's the new foundation resource area for software donations on TechSoup.
About a year ago, the whole thing started with our announcement that private foundations are now eligible to receive Microsoft software donations.
were pleased with that development because foundations became eligible for many of
the same donation programs as nonprofits and libraries.
Our new foundation section lists
several more donations to foundations from Intuit, Symantec, Adobe, Connect2Give, and Efficient Elements to
all of the donation programs you’re eligible for by using our Eligibility Quiz.
are some case studies on how foundations are using the program:
Image 1: Technology Affinity Group logo
Image 2: Idealware logo