Only the very largest and well-endowed charities can afford the kind of digital footprint that leads to real world results — as well as the branding that keeps them successful.
For most nonprofits, getting websites designed or mobile apps created is beyond both their bailiwicks and their budgets.
Now a new company — HashtagCharity — has launched to facilitate connections between nonprofits that need tech assistance and seasoned charity-minded professionals willing to donate their time and skills to do good.
“We would love to see a world in which, every day, technologists can make a tangible and direct impact on causes they care about most,” said Franziska Becker, who manages business development and marketing for HashtagCharity.
“The organization joins others that in recent years have started to match skilled professionals with nonprofits,” noted the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “The Taproot Foundation manages pro bono projects that rely on individual volunteers and corporate teams, like creating marketing materials, improving financial reporting, and migrating data. Sparked and Catchafire similarly pair nonprofits with what Sparked refers to as “expert volunteers.”
HashtagCharity believes its technology focus and custom project-management software platform distinguish it from the pack. The group employs a “mathematical formula to determine the interests and skills of its volunteers based on information gleaned from their LinkedIn profiles and matches them with relevant projects submitted by nonprofits.”
According to Becker, the feature is intended to increase volunteers’ commitment to projects.
While HashtagCharity is still developing its business model, they got a boost with a $250,000 venture capital gift from Austrian firm Fiedler Capital. The organization, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, says it will begin by working with nonprofits in the U.S. and Britain.
HashtagCharity honchos say the organization has recruited 600 volunteers and has seven inaugural nonprofit partners lined up.
“Receiving donated, high-quality IT service would greatly assist our online efforts in fundraising and outreach as well as communicating with the community we proudly serve,” said Christopher Cosentino, director of marketing and communications of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, which is working with HashtagCharity.