Technology promises great benefits to organisations. Yet for nonprofits, it is often seen as a luxury beyond their means. Already faced with the constant challenge of limited manpower and resources, improving the way they use technology seems out of the question.
That is why Microsoft Philippines organised Tech4Good Day on 31 March, inspiring nonprofits to adopt IT. Attended by 85 representatives from 51 local nonprofits, the event showcased how other organisations in the sector are using Microsoft product donations to boost workplace efficiency and achieve greater impact on the communities they serve, and how they can access discounts and donations to Microsoft solutions.
Nonprofits gathered at Microsoft Philippine office in Makati
Noel Macalalag, Assistant Secretary of Policies and Plans Group at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), opened the event with a keynote that dived into the trends of technology. He was then joined by Celia de Jesus from the Caucus of Development NGO Networks and Regina Layug-Rosero from the Mulat Pinoy – Kabataan News Network, as they explored the role of technology in transforming the way nonprofits operate and advancing their missions to better serve beneficiaries.
Macalalag further shared how his organisation has tapped Microsoft Data Warehouse and Power BI to deliver better services. “The solutions enable us to harness the data we have so that we can identify trends and patterns, analyse deeper, and hypothesise and experiment better to improve the way we design social welfare and social protection programmes,” Macalalag explained.
Nonprofits learning from each other how technology has enhanced their work
The audience also learned from other nonprofits on how Microsoft technology has enhanced the way they work. Issa Cuevas-Santos from Gawad Kalinga spoke of how Office 365 has streamlined their operations and developed a paperless work environment that lets them accomplish more while being more efficient with their resources. It also partners with Microsoft for the We Speak Code initiative, allowing them to interact with young people in poor and remote communities, and introduce technology to them.
“This makes our work very real as we see the direct impact of the work we do, not just because the kids learn technology, but because it helps us build their community,” Cuevas-Santos continued.
And it is not just the nonprofits that are enjoying fruits of technology. In the case of PeachTech, it utilises Skype to conduct its Global Classroom programme. High school students from Mindanao, Metro Manila, and the Visayas are connected via teleconferencing for joint Social Studies and values education lessons aimed to help them improve their learning, and build tolerance between different religious and ethnic communities. They even built friendships despite their distance.
Legal and Corporate Affairs Director Raul Cortez dived into driving productivity in nonprofits
Speakers from Microsoft and TechSoup Asia then wrapped up the event by demonstrating the latest Microsoft technology and the positive impact it has on productivity in nonprofits, as well as elaborating on how they can receive these technologies through donations and discounts from Microsoft Philanthropies.
But the work to build the IT capacity of nonprofits does not end here. Microsoft recently wrapped up another Tech4Good Day in Cebu, and will be conducting deep dive sessions on the 27 April, as well as 2 to 3 May, to provide nonprofits with hands-on training on activating, deploying, and utilising Office 365. It will also include virtual trainings via Skype to reach out to more nonprofits across the Philippines.
Find out more about software donations and discounts here.