25 April 2022 Alliance magazine
25 April 2022 Steve Bernat
7 March 2022 Rhodri Davies
TechSoup (TS) set out to achieve a bold and ambitious goal: To raise $11.5 million by presenting donors and investors with a Direct Public Offering (DPO). TS seeks to use these funds to reach an additional 1.9 million nonprofits across 236 countries. For me, what is just as striking is that the organization is setting out to go from facilitating $1.9 billion to $4.8 billion of free or discounted products and services to nonprofits by 2023.
The potential for achieving macro-level impact deeply inspired me. My grant paid for an assistant to enable a senior staff member to put in an extra ten plus hours per week to raise funds. Nonetheless, I suspect that everyone involved was concerned. TS still needed to cross the finish line with an additional $3.5 million within several months to comply with STC regulations.
I knew I was taking a risk with this grant. Approximately one month before September 26, the official deadline, the DPO was still $2 million short. Watching this process was like trying to follow a very close election. We were seeing progress, but not as fast as we would like it to have been. Then on September 25, the DPO was about still hundreds of thousands of dollars short of crossing the finishing line, and I was short on hope. However, on September 26, when I returned to TechSoup’s site, I was thrilled – they made it!
While this is exceptionally good news, whether TS can achieve the level of impact stated earlier is yet to be seen. Regardless, I strongly believe that a very sizable number of nonprofits across the globe will have access to some of the most essential tools that no NGO should be without: Computers, hard drives, access to the cloud, the ability to work remotely, and basic software programs such as Microsoft Word.