Innovation

10 awesome technology nonprofits you should know about

There are a plethora of nonprofits out there dedicated to making technology more affordable, accessible, and secure. Let's take a look at 10 of them.

One Laptop Per Child makes the XO laptop, a cheap, affordable, rugged computer for children all over the world.
Image: One Laptop Per Child

Many people are often on the lookout for new charities to become involved with, whether through volunteer opportunities or monetary donations. The nonprofit world, along with every for-profit industry, is changing rapidly with the advancement of technology. And now, there are many nonprofits out there dedicated to making technology more accessible, affordable, secure, and simpler for everyone. There are many to choose from, but let's highlight 10 of them.

1. NPower

NPower is a nonprofit dedicated to making technology for social good that has two main programs: Technology Service Corps, which includes technical courses, mentoring, and career development for underserved youth and veterans; and the Community Corps is a skills-based volunteering program connecting technology professionals with high impact nonprofits and innovative education through the web.

2. Center for Democracy and Technology

The Center for Democracy and Technology is a nonprofit that works to preserve the user-controlled nature of the Internet and freedom of expression. It has offices in DC and San Francisco, but also an international presence. It provides leadership and advocacy to help shape public programs.

3. Child's Play

Child's Play is a game industry charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of kids in hospitals by providing them with games and consoles. Anyone can donate games to one of the 70 hospital partners that Child's Play has. The organization provides an Amazon wishlist, and hospitals can apply to become a part of the network to get games for kids hospitalized.

4. One Laptop Per Child

This nonprofit aims to power children through education by providing them with rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptops. The XO laptop is about the size of a textbook and lighter than a lunchbox, and is given to kids in low-income areas in the US as well as developing countries around the world through this program.

5. Code.org

Code.org just launched in 2013, and is already doing some amazing things. The organization is dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and making it available in more schools around the US. They work to change policy to make STEM education and computer science part of the core curriculum in all grade levels. The nonprofit does outreach to classroom, preps teachers for computer science education, and creates course curriculum.

6. KoBo Toolbox

KoBo Toolbox is a nonprofit developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; it is an open source suite of tools for data collection and analysis for humanitarian emergencies. The organization is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but also has workers in Colorado, Canada, and Chile. KoBo has recently partnered with the United Nations and the International Rescue Committee to make electronic data more reliable in humanitarian crises.

7. The Guardian Project

The Guardian Project makes simple, secure apps, open source libraries, and customized mobile devices for anyone, whether they are just a citizen, journalists, or humanitarian organizations, to safeguard their online work from interception and monitoring.

8. TechSoup Global

TechSoup Global is a San Francisco-based organization that was founded in 1987 as "CompuMentor" is focused on two main ideas: that nonprofits and schools need computers but face a lot of obstacles in getting them, including a lack of resources and more focus on the overall mission rather than technology; and there are many people who are talented in computer science and technology that want to contribute to big causes. So, CompuMentor connects those two things to bring tech to nonprofits and schools that need it.

9. Code For Progress

Code For Progress is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing women and people of color into the coding workforce through investment in technical training. It's a year-long fellowship where participants are trained in coding and human centered design.

10. Change.org

Change.org is a web platform for petitions and and online activism. You can search for topics for petitions, such as animal rights, immigrant rights, or human trafficking. There are more than 85 million users in 196 countries that use the platform to change things in their communities, cities, states, or the world.

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About

Lyndsey Gilpin is a former Staff Writer for TechRepublic, covering sustainability and entrepreneurship. She's co-author of the book Follow the Geeks.

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