This is part of a series of articles where nonprofit IT professionals share with us how technology has enhanced operations.
Founded in 1999, YCAB Foundation is one of Indonesia’s leading nonprofit organisations that has a strong focus in youth development. It aims to empower youth through educational provisions, economic assistance and welfare creation—enabling them to be independent for a sustainable future. YCAB, or ‘Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa’, means ‘Loving the Nation’s Children Foundation’ in Bahasa Indonesian. The nonprofit currently operates in 14 provincial cities across Indonesia.
Anton Suwoto is the Chief Strategy Officer at YCAB Foundation. With a passion for technology, he graduated from Bina Nusantara University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science in 2000, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Information System Management in 2010.
Anton has been a guest speaker at Microsoft events in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, where he has shared insights on how the latest technologies, like cloud computing and Office 365, can help nonprofits achieve greater operational efficiency.
What is your role?
As Chief Strategy Officer, I’m responsible for strategy development, communication and evaluation. My recent initiatives include improving business processes in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 (a quality management system for organisations), as well as aligning them with the strategic planning and management system to achieve a Balanced Scorecard (a tool to measure business activities against the vision and strategy of the organization).
Maybe you are wondering why my portfolio would include IT, too! I joined YCAB’s IT department in 2000 and became IT manager in 2003. Sometime in 2011, I had the opportunity to manage the strategy division as well. Now I handle IT on the strategic level; no longer on an operational, day-to-day level. IT has always been my passion, so I’m happy to continue working on it!
What is the organisation's relationship with Microsoft?
YCAB Foundation has been receiving financial and operational resources from Microsoft since 2010. These include:
- Grants for five of our community learning centres
- Software donation with a total value of US$465,887
- Grants for Microsoft YouthSpark in Indonesia
We were the first nonprofit in Indonesia to receive Office 365 and Windows Azure under Microsoft’s software donation programme for nonprofits.
Because we want a deeper exchange of ideas on how technology can be maximised for social good, we’ve been working on events that involve a wide cross-section of our industry and our targeted communities. So far, we’ve co-organised Microsoft NGO Connection Day and Microsoft YouthSpark events with Microsoft Indonesia for several years running.
School dropout Dody Syah Saputra is one of the many young people YCAB Foundation has helped. After being given sewing classes at YCAB’s learning centre and seed capital, he started his own fashion retail business.
What has technology done for your organisation or for your service delivery to beneficiaries?
Technology, especially cloud computing, has made a huge difference in the way we work. We have 100 colleagues working in 47 locations, but this is almost negligible now considering the ease and speed we have in communicating and collaborating through Office 365 tools. By being more efficient, we are able to be more effective in our work. The decrease in communication costs and increase in staff productivity translates into greater impact for our communities.
Can you describe a successful project where IT has played an integral part?
We’ve started some projects using SharePoint Online with Office 365 to facilitate collaboration among employees without time and location constraints. An example would be the ‘English Fun Learning’ site for the English teachers who handle similar work and face similar challenges at our community learning centres. These centres are located across 14 provinces, making it hard for our teachers to communicate and exchange ideas. SharePoint Online allows the teachers to share their curriculum notes, ideas, news and best practices—all without travelling for meetings. Without technology such as cloud computing, these projects would not have materialised. Cloud computing technology has brought about so much benefit, especially in the nonprofit sector, because it allows organisations to focus on their core operations without having to worry about ICT infrastructure and resources.
For more information about YCAB, please visit www.ycabfoundation.org