It seems that innovations and new technical facilities are all about businesses and spheres where people trade and buy. But it is not so: charitable companies and nonprofits sometimes prove to be more innovative and creative. Here are top 10 of them.

 

Seeding Labs

There are a lot of talented and perspective scientists in the world. But what if talent is not enough to make a discovery? Sometimes young scientists and labs from developing countries don’t have a necessary equipment for this even they have a great innovative idea. This is the question Nina Dudnik from Boston, the founder of Seeding Labs came up with in 2007. Being a Ph.D in microbiology she realized how is it important to unleash the potential of a perspective idea. Seeding labs is a small nonprofit that aims to develop science by providing researchers with not cash grants but tools. Their flagship program called “Instrumental Access” is ready to offers equipment from donor companies such as BioSurplus, GE Healthcare, US AID – overall more than 40 scientific brands. Year by year Seeding Labs receives prestigious awards, the latest one they earned in April 2017 by becoming a Classy Awards finalist.

 

One Laptop per Child

In the digital age education walks hand in hand with computers. However, not all the families and especially orphans can afford a laptop. One Laptop per Child, a nonprofit protected by UN and sponsored by such a tech giants as AMD, eBay and Google a nonprofit is here to help and to inspire. This nonprofit aims to power children through education by providing them with a created especially for the charitable purpose laptops: low-power and low-cost, small, light and rugged XO laptop. One Laptop per Child have developed hardware, content and software for collaborative, joyful, and self-empowered learning. With access to this type of tool, children are engaged in their own education, and learn, share, and create together. XO is given to kids from families with low income around the US and developing countries all over the world.

 

Code.org

It seems that future generations will be more educated in terms of informatics, data science and computer than us. But before it happens, here should be some kick start for this. What to start with to make the future of education closer? The project Code.org, launched in 2013 is already on the way. This organization, supported by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and other tech companies of the global level, is dedicated to making computer science available in schools all around the world. On their opinion, this subject has to be included into core curriculum in all grade levels, just as biology, geography or literature. Code.org offers educational coding online courses for children and also prepares teachers for computer science education and does outreach to classrooms.

 

TechSoup Global

TechSoup was founded 1987 and during all the 30 years they promote their main ideas and: to provide nonprofits and schools who need computers but face a lot of obstacles in getting them; and to find people who are talented in computer science and technology and who are ready to donate their skills by contributing big causes. TechSoup facilitates the exchange. In other words, TechSoup’s mission is to build a dynamic bridge that enables civil society organizations and changemakers around the world to gain effective access to the resources they need to design and implement technology solutions for a more equitable planet. By 2017 their network expanded to 236 countries and territories, and TechSoup is going to grow further.

 

Change.org

This platform literally allows to change the world in one click. Change.org is one of the largest platforms for online activism and petitions, that provides users with tools for promoting civic initiatives and for social issues effective solutions. Everyone can create his or her own petition and find opinion allies. It can even affect serious governmental decisions. For example, in 2014 petition created on Change.org platform prevented a mass slaughter of wild seals on the Far East of Russia. Now there are almost 200 million of users form more than 200 countries who use the platform to make a significant impact on their communities, cities, states or the world.

 

 Rockefeller Foundation

This family name equals to billions of dollars. If there are a lot of money, so why not to share it?  The Rockefeller Foundation  makes lifechanging gifts to the societies all over the world. For example, in 2014 the foundation donated $75 million to Smart Power in India, a program that aims to provide an access to reliable electricity for almost 300 million of rural people who lack basic lighting. By the year 2017 about 1000 Indian villages were electrified, and now the Rockefeller foundation is planning to apply such a model to Asian and African regions. Overall, the foundation spends around $200 million per year to put charitable projects like this into action.

 

Center for Democracy and Technology

Digital nonprofits work for digital security and privacy. The Center for Democracy and Technology is a nonprofit that is dedicated to driving policy outcomes that keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. It has spent over 20 years advocating for groundbreaking legislation, winning landmark court cases, building winning coalitions and promoting industry standards and practices. It aims to enhance freedom of expression, to protect right to privacy and to define the boundaries of technology in our everyday lives. The CTD provides leadership and advocacy to help shape public policy. Currently their working groups focus on government privacy issues, consumer privacy and free expression.

 

Crisis Text Line

We use our cellphones just every minute in our everyday lives. But it can also be a critical minute. To use smartphones more efficiently in emergency situations, Crisis Text Line service was designed.  It provides free, lifesaving 24/7 support for people in crisis by text; collects, analyzes, and shares the data to inform system change, policy, and research. There are a lot of problems to solve: 43 million American adults suffer from mental illness each year. They quietly struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying, homophobia, suicidal thoughts, and more. But such a service as a CTL makes its users feel more private by texting, so no one can overhear their intimate fears and worries. That’s why the method is so effective – the user feels confident so he or she can tell about the problem as soon as possible, so the solution and help will be found faster.

 

Hack the Hood Bootcamp

Last week we have been discussing the issues that entrepreneurs of color face. But there are still young people of color who have just started their way to success. There is a nonprofit called Hack the Hood Bootcamp that aims to provide low-income youth of color with hands-on, real-world training in web development and design, marketing, tech job readiness, and entrepreneurship by hiring and training youth to build mobile-ready websites for small business clients, as well as offering mentorship, career exposure and exploration. Their goal is to prepare youth for jobs starting at $18USD/hour or more through increased education, skills, and credentials.

 

BairFind Foundation

The BairFind Foundation uses the best marketing technologies not for finding clients but… for finding missing children. The organization places profiles of children in high traffic areas at no cost to the families. By developing partnerships with professional sports leagues and other entities, BairFind has created new distribution methods for photos of missing children, reaching tens of millions of people, so there are more chances that a child will be recognized. As a child is safely located, a “found” decal is placed on the profile educating the public that there is hope that a missing child can be found. The goal is to have BairFind signs in professional sports stadiums, arenas and other venues throughout the nation. More than 100 children were found, more than 500 were featured and about 4000 volunteer hours were donated.

So, innovations are not only a businesses’ privilege. It can walk along with charity, providing nonprofits with better and more effective facilities.

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