fish eye lens photography of high-rise buildings

For quite some time now, nonprofits have been the wave of the future. With more and more people interested in working together for causes ranging in scope from environmental strategies to housing and poverty, it’s no wonder that nonprofits are sprouting up everywhere.

And technology is becoming a growing part of the nonprofit industry. While more traditional methodologies such as fundraising events and donor thank you notes are still vital to the success of any philanthropic organization, so are tech skills. 

Modern nonprofits are using technology for everything from providing water to developing countries to making diapers–and so much more. Just in the last few years, the nonprofit industry has shown us:


Safe drinking water has been a global issue for decades. Many nonprofits have set up ways to get water to those in need, but sometimes the equipment that carries the water breaks down. water seeks to help through cloud computing technology and water sensors that detect issues in water flow. The technology can even dispatch repair technicians if needed.

Kobo Toolbox

What happens when you’re running a social impact organization involved in humanitarian or environmental causes, and you need to manage data? Kobo Toolbox is a nonprofit that provides a “data collection, management, and visualization platform” that has been used to help improve humanitarian assistance in Syria, displaced populations in Ukraine, bridge the gap between data science and disaster relief in Columbia, and much more.

The Markup

Investigative reporting is a time-honored tradition, but reporters can only go so far. What happens when you need to–as they always said in The Wire–follow the money? The Markup has been used to investigate everything from racial disparities in mortgage lending to Facebook misinformation to uncovering third-party tracking on websites.


You may recall reading or hearing about diaper shortages, especially in 2021. This seems to have been a combination of supply chain shortages, rising prices, and higher demand for diapers on the shelves. Baby2Baby answered the call in two ways: First, they started manufacturing their own diapers because it was less expensive than buying at wholesale. Second, they provided those diapers to needy families. 

Child’s Play

Since you read this website, there’s a good chance you love video games. Do you know who else loves video games? Children in hospitals. Child’s Play provides those children with consoles and video games, helping children have more “positive hospital-related experience[s]”, as one testimonial put it.

The Top 2 Tech Tips for Your Own Nonprofit

While we’re talking about nonprofits that are doing amazing things with technology to make a difference, what happens when you have an idea yourself? Where do you begin when you want to make a difference?

Technology can help there, too.

If you’re looking to change the world as your day job, here are the top two tech tips to consider:

Use Technology to Share Your Business Plan to People Who Can Fund You

In the old days, you might have needed to go to the library or bookstore and read books about drafting a proposal. Today, technology can help. We’re not just talking about templates and email; the templates at a subscription platform such as LivePlan can help show you what to do. Nerdwallet recommends something called Bizplan to help you get to the step after creating your plan: funding.

You can also use technology to help with grant writing, whether that’s finding freelance grant writers through platforms like Upwork and eLance or websites like GrantWatch and 

Start Building Your Brand and Reputation with Technology

You can start building your reputation early in the planning stages. You want a brand that people recognize, which means you need to come up with something that is your very own. This task needs to be taken care of in the early stages so that people get to know you and your brand before you start to ask for donations. Some of the ways to do this are through digital marketing, such as your website and search engine optimization.

Even in today’s world of social media and the internet, businesses still don’t want to hear that they need digital marketing to make a business a success. While you can still put out fliers, send snail mail and email, and even advertise on radio and TV, your customer base will probably come from social media and digital marketing.

In the old days, targeted advertising might have meant direct mail campaigns to mailing lists you could buy or running TV commercials at specific times of the day. Now, through social media marketing, you can target who you reach by such factors as demographic information and expressed interests. For example, let’s say your nonprofit has to do with reducing automobile emissions. You could target Facebook viewers whose interests expressly include electric vehicles.

If you’re not comfortable with marketing, there are plenty of companies out there that specialize in this type of stuff, in addition to online security to help protect your nonprofit from hackers.