Established in 2003, Gawad Kalinga (GK), which translates as ‘to give care’ in the Filipino language, is an organization dedicated to a wide range of nonprofit and community work — working towards the goal of alleviating poverty for five million families across the Philippines by 2024.
Having experienced unprecedented growth in its operations over the past few years, GK started collaborating with Microsoft Philippines in 2008 to bolster its information technology (IT) infrastructure in order to keep up with the evolving needs of local communities. Through Microsoft’s software grant programme, GK has been utilising tools such as Microsoft SharePoint® and ProjectTM software to improve data management, communications and project tracking across its various departments.
Issa Cuevas-Santos, Director for Systems and IT at Gawad Kalinga, said, “We have been able to utilise SharePoint to facilitate better team collaboration among our own employees and volunteer base, providing them with systems and tools that simplify work processes and improve efficiency. With SharePoint operating as our ‘mobile office’ across disparate locations, we are also able to keep track of our critical files and documents, share information and manage our schedules more efficiently.”
Another example of how GK has been able to utilise the latest technology is the development of its social mobilisation platform. The website — which is built on a Microsoft platform — serves to connect its volunteers and communities around the world while generating significant cost savings in terms of communication expenses.
Microsoft technology is also integral to the development of GK Unity, a web-based software which is the operational support system and database for GK communities and its global funding partners. GK Unity incorporates key workflow features for the organisation to manage partner pledges, needs matching, programme tracking, as well as a directory of key personnel and partners.
Equally significant to the success of its nonprofit work, the integration between GK Unity and GK1World has also made it easier for funding partners to have a better view of the transformation and social impact in communities that GK serves.
Ms Cuevas-Santos said, “Technology has a big role to play in terms of improving how we share useful information and best practices with GK-related communities. As we engage more partners and increase the scale of our work, robust IT systems will play a bigger role in allowing us to earn the trust and respect of our volunteers and funding partners through sharing the impact of our community work in a more immediate and transparent manner.”