#Charity is a new digital platform that aims to connect experienced technology staff to charities who require their voluntary skills. Based in Budapest, Hungary, the initiative involves both an online community and project management platform to help find appropriate volunteers and manage the work they do for the selected charity.
The digital platform launches in March 2015 but is already ahead of schedule in terms of attracting volunteer IT staff. The organisation had hoped to recruit 500 volunteers but already has over 600 signed up.
Many of them come from major technology companies such as Prezi and Ustream. Indeed, #charity has been created by Jozsef Czapovich, Director of engineering at Prezi, who is keen to close the technology gap experienced by many charities through lack of skills and funding.
The #charity platform has already secured $250,000 seed investment form Vienna-based Fiedler Capital. It will launch with a range of tools including visual display tool Prezi, messaging tool Slack, code repository Github, project management tool Trello, and cloud-based storage facility Dropbox.
It has begun working on three initial projects with charities around the world:
• building a video streaming app for the NGO Action Against Hunger to showcase and monitor the impact of its projects in the field
• building a series of infographic-rich Prezi content (like this one for Syria Deeply) for nonprofit partners
• building impact data visualisation tools for the Chicago-based nonprofit Moneythink
Each project is expected to be completed within three months.
Hackathons for good
Between now and the launch #charity is planning a series of “hackathons for good” to test the software platform and engage more of the tech volunteers.
Yet another IT pro bono service?
There are plenty of pro bono technology services available to charities. What makes #charity different? The technology platform makes it stand out. So too does it volunteer matching activity. #Charity say that they used an advanced matching algorithm (authenticated via LinkedIn) to find and recruit the most relevant IT staff.
#Charity have just announced their manifesto, to give both volunteers and charities a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve.