While working with tech non-profits I am always in awe of the kind of vision these entrepreneurs have — They are a wonder to me! What a beautiful combination of brain and soul — Our society needs more and more people like you. As a child, I always wanted to help people around me — and being in the IT industry I feel the tech non-profits are one of the best ways to give back to society. But how long can you help others if your resources aren’t replenished? We need oxygen ourselves to help the fellow passengers — Isn’t it?
Tech Non-profits face some common challenges -
Fund and Investments — You are trying to do something good for the society but the power to do it comes with capital. And getting capital from investors is never easy. Can there be break-even in an NPO? If yes how can we achieve it? Unless we find a way to generate revenue why will investors look into us? Is getting only the fund allotted for CSR enough? Any venture needs to be self-sustainable. I believe we can start with a CSR/Incubator fund but the model has to be good enough to sustain. We need to teach fishing and not fish for the people we want to help.
Manpower — Attrition is such a common problem in all companies that it is no rocket science to understand that Tech NPOs face the same challenges. And moreover finding techies with a heart is not very easy :). The same person getting a high score in EQ and IQ is not very common.
Branding — While it might sound unreal there is actually a lot of clutter in this space too. How many tech NPO names can a layman recall? You might say it’s not important till I am serving the community — But I say it surely is. A correct branding strategy would make solving the other issues much easier.
Reaching out to the masses — Why do so many brilliant ideas get an untimely death. I feel because the CEO hasn’t reached out with his vision to the masses. Any project to be successful needs support. And Tech NPOs need to reach out to bigger masses to make sure there are enough takers of the solution being provided. Often you being a techie would imagine the solution to be user-friendly but you don’t know till you reach out to the population and see for yourself the rate of adoption.
So here goes my 2 cents. If you can relate to any of the challenges I have listed it’s time to rethink the strategy. A lot of us want to help — But only a few of you actually do it! A little bit of business acumen mixed with your vision of technology and problem solving and make a really great impact which can ripple for many generations to come.
You can always reach out to me for support. Just post your details and I'll will get in touch at the earliest.