Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 Views: 3159

Technology for Social Good

Meg Garlinghouse of LinkedIn for good opens the discussion.

On June 19th, leaders from the Technology and Nonprofit sector gathered to discuss trends about the intersection of Technology and Social Good. LinkedIn generously hosted the event at their facilities. Our panelists included Meg Garlinghouse from LinkedIn for Good, Fay Twersky with William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,  Tom Galizia, head of Deloitte’s Technology practice and Board Member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Jason Ricci, CEO of Fluxx grants management software, Jacquelline Fuller with Google, and Perla Ni, Founder and CEO of

What Does The Future Nonprofit Look Like?

Along with food and wine, over 80 individuals gathered to hear our panelists give their perspective on technology and the future nonprofits. Specifically, we addressed questions such as:

  • The biggest challenges facing the nonprofit sector and how technology addresses this
  • The limit of technology and the trade-offs of where technology works and where you need to evaluate whether you’re making the right choices
  • And, probably the most fun was envisioning what a nonprofit might look like 25 years from now

    From left: Jacquelline Fuller of Google, Perla Ni of GreatNonprofits and Meg Garlinghouse of LinkedIn.

Beneficiary Voice

One of the primary missions of GreatNonprofits is to empower the feedback and stories of beneficiaries. That is because, often the first source of insight comes from listening – in particular, listening to our beneficiaries. As Fay Twerksy said, “listening to beneficiaries is not just the right thing to do but, also the smart thing to do.” Beneficiaries are ultimately the people who need to adopt the changes, and so their feedback are leading indicators of the program’s success.

Meg Garlinghouse talks with guests.

Listen To The Beneficiary Voice

There are three ways people learn new information:  1) Listening, 2) Seeing; 3) Touch and Experience.  While it’s hard to bring the third to bear via the Internet, you can capture the first two through

If you are a nonprofit using

  • First, make sure you reach out to your donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries and ask them to write a review about their experience with your organization.   If they are willing, have these volunteers, donors and beneficiaries upload a picture as it’s often impactful to see who is giving a review
  • Explain the difference you make by adding comments on the impact your organization can make with $xx dollars or xx hours. This is helpful for those people who like to see numbers and stats.
  • Most importantly, be sure to upload pictures and videos.   When potential supporters can see the beneficiaries you help, they are much more likely to deeply feel the importance of your work.

And, volunteers, do you have a great story to tell!  If you’re a volunteer, we’re looking for stories about how GreatNonprofits helped you find or evaluate the nonprofit you support. Click here to share your story and get exposure for your favorite nonprofit.

GreatNonprofits team with Top-Rated Award Winner Shane Parkins of the National Firefighters Endowment