Category Archives: Technology
June 21, 2012, 1:14 pm
Programmers in San Francisco and Berlin got together recently to attempt to build a system that would allow immigrants to tell their families they’ve arrived safely at their destination without anyone else finding out.
In Nairobi, a similar group worked on a system to report election results in real time, including incidents of election violence and accusations of voter fraud.
In Toronto, others worked on a system that could allow Nepali women to send ultrasound pictures via mobile devices.
All of them were volunteers, willing to lend their technological expertise to nonprofits and causes.
These projects and others were part of the “Random Hacks of Kindness” weekend, a twice-yearly, 36-hour work session for designers, programmers, and technology experts to solve problems facing nonprofits and other organizations interested in doing good. The most recent events, held this…
March 19, 2012, 11:32 am
Something as simple as a map can help organizations make sure they’re reaching the people who most need services, says Holly Ross, executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network. As an example, she tells a story she heard from an employee at a local Red Cross.
The organization’s education department had a map on the wall with pins that marked the schools where the charity had made fire-safety presentations. One day a disaster-response colleague came by and asked about the map. He looked puzzled for a moment, and then he started to mark the locations of recent house fires.
The pushpins marking the fire-safety presentations and the X’s marking the location of the house fires were in different parts of town. Seeing the discrepancy, the organization realized it needed to reach out to schools in neighborhoods with a high incidence of fires, instead of just responding to…
March 4, 2012, 12:50 pm
A growing number of charities are turning to infographics and interactive data visualizations to explain complex issues succinctly, spur advocacy, support their fund raising, and show donors where their money is going. Click on the images below to see examples of their work.
Learn more: Data-rich graphics are transforming how nonprofits reach the public and helping them improve the way the serve others.
February 16, 2012, 5:04 pm
A Maryland company that develops interactive training simulations is holding a competition to put its technology to work for social change.
In the training movies that WILL Interactive creates, the viewer becomes one of the characters, and how the story progresses depends on the answers people give to frequent questions. The goal is to help viewers make better decisions when confronted with similar problems in real life.
Among the projects the company has worked on: a simulation that the U.S. Army uses in its effort to prevent suicide.
The first step in creating a…