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This week, NGOs from 50 countries, who operate together as the TechSoup Global Network, will gather for three days in San Francisco. Collectively, the Network connects over 800,000 NGOs in 236 countries and territories to donations of products, services, time and funding, and helps more than 150 technology companies, foundations, corporations, and philanthropists scale their philanthropic programs.
Over the past 10 years, this group has delivered more than $7.6 billion worth of resources to support causes as diverse as refugee integration, gender issues, youth development, education, arts, and social services.
Here in San Francisco, 90 individuals from the TechSoup Global Network will work together to reflect on the political, social, and economic challenges in the world. They will chart a path for how a global nonprofit technology social enterprise can create even more impact in the next decade.
As the political climate around the world rapidly changes, and as governments diminish their role as guardians of societal welfare, civil society will be increasingly called upon to fill the gaps. Indeed, in response to need, civil society is steadily expanding.1
But it is also increasingly challenged and, in many countries, threatened. Across the globe, civil society organizations struggle with increased regulations, decreased resources, and, more and more often, direct threats to their existence and to the safety of their staff.
The TechSoup Global Network has a mission to build a dynamic bridge that leverages technology to enable connections and innovative solutions for a more equitable planet. We imagine a world where social change agents from all walks of life can fully access the profound power of technology and a connected world. Now more than ever, our work will help to ensure that gaps created by government action or inaction do not serve to harm our most vulnerable populations.
We are proud to affirm that we strongly believe in fostering and strengthening a globally connected world. To that end, partners in the Network are selected based on common values that transcend geography — inclusion, diversity, peer-to-peer learning, and creation of social impact based on social justice principles.
We believe that strengthening the civil society community is the best option for addressing the anxiety and sense of displacement that is spreading across the globe. And we remain strongly against policies that discriminate against groups of people based on categories like ethnicity, ancestry, or religion. This set of beliefs is core to everything we do.
To manifest our shared values in action, we commit to amplifying existing work and starting new projects in the following areas:
Tolerance, diversity, and fairness are the cornerstones of our approach. We wish to counter the lack of healthy dialogue and the lack of trust in media that is evident in today's climate.
We will continue to prioritize freedom of belief, expression, and due process, regardless of what the political or cultural climate brings. And we remain committed to listening to and learning from each other, in order to create a more just world for all of us.
We eagerly look forward to the upcoming exchange with our partners. We look forward to sharing ideas about how we can best navigate ever-narrowing democratic spaces in an increasingly digital and connected world.
1 Organizations of the type the TechSoup Global Network serves already represent one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the world. According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, in the United States alone, the sector accounts for over 10 percent of total private employment. It employs the third largest workforce among U.S. industries, behind only retail trade and manufacturing. In addition, it is adding employment at a rate that exceeds that of the country's for-profit business sector. Although this data is not always readily available for other countries, we see signs of similar trends.
This is great!
The work you do is as important today as it has ever been. Thank you.
Thank you for the great work!
Awesome! Would love to help however I can!
Thank you for all that you do.
Jonathan (Jon) Florin
No Stomach For Cancer
3510 Parmenter Street | Suite 200 | Middleton WI 53562
The Sun City Center Woman's club appreciates everything you've done for us. You have allowed us to save our hard earned money which helps provide more for us to give to the charities in our area.
Dear Ms Masisak,
Oh my, this is borderline embarrassing for Techsoup.
Honestly you and I agree; I don't care for our political climate either, as does 64% of the nation (rating as of today).
Yes, we understand your 2-3 heavily inferred disagreements of America's current political climate. But that's a personal matter, which is not connected to our organization's missions in the slightest. Is it?
Are we not above this?
After all we represent thousands. Not just ourselves or our employees, but the people our organizations serve. Thus we may in fact indirectly represent millions...
...all with different beliefs.
Which political side ought our leadership voices support? Neither side. Not because we are weak. Not because we don't care. But that is not our calling in the positions we are in. The most dignified, humble way we can respect and represent our people and who we serve is to serve through silent strength, without political commentary. This takes true resolve and controlling our emotions. Surely we agree on this. Yes there are over 60,000,000 real people who share your same political beliefs, but conversely there are over 60,000,000 who do not. While you might disagree, I see them as smart, hard-working, talented people even if they celebrate different political opinions than me. And for that they are entitled to respect without commentary.
I humbly beg you to put aside the veiled criticism and political commentaries. Please let us focus on what we do best: serving and treating all with dignity. Regardless of whether or not they voted differently than us.
Thank you for your valuable time and keep up the amazing impact in San Francisco and beyond,
We share your view & commitment to freedom of belief, express, due process - and also the inalienable right to live free from fear of violence, injustice & oppression. Thank you for your collective proactive stance.
TechSoup levels the playing field for many NPOs to engage in a marketplace that is not always driven by mission, and we are running the risk of having our world be even less mission driven. All of us appreciate the work you do.
Love the work you do. It helps us immensely.
Dear Rebecca & Crew
Keep up your great work
Thank you for the information. Will there be a live stream of conference events, transcripts of presentations, reports or any other interactive activities to participate in?
@YoungLivesMatterFoundation: We invite you to follow along on Facebook and Twitter where some of the conference content will be communicated, but we won't be streaming the entire conference live
I want to thank you for helping all the non-profits with the cost of the programs. The government is making cuts in funding to some non-profits that will make a huge dent in their financial stability, This is why we need groups like Techsoup to continue to help us all.
Everyone has their own political beliefs and I respect them.
Jorge from Earth Angels.
As NGO's are sought out by government to carry out their mission, Tech Soup becomes an invaluable tool to stretch our donated dollars. Thank you.
Heidi Doyle, Executive Director
Sierra State Parks Foundation
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.