Why did we start Changemakers? Because the capacity of technology to facilitate change and do good has never been greater than it is today. In a May, 2019 report, for example, analysts at McKinsey and Company asserted that “The development and adoption of advanced technologies including smart automation and artificial intelligence has the potential not only to raise productivity and GDP growth but also to improve well-being more broadly.”
This is exciting. It’s important to remember, however, that technology in fact cannot exact such benefits on its own. Technology tools only do good when those with the means to deploy it decide to use it for the most valuable causes. If we direct our sharpest minds and tools toward improving click-through rates instead of saving our planet, what good will that do?
It’s incumbent on the producers and primary buyers of high tech to make sure that the increasingly powerful platforms we produce do more than increase short-term shareholder profits. The world is full of people working hard to solve hard-to-solve problems. At Tonkean, we believe our responsibility is foremost to them.
That’s one big reason the Tonkean team is so excited to announce the launch of “Changemakers” — a week-long hackathon-style event designed to connect non-profit organizations with volunteer experts from the tech community who can help innovate ways to overcome those key operational challenges. These challenges include obstinate procedural bottlenecks, technology gaps, inefficiencies, and operational limitations of sale, impact, and delivery imposed often by a lack of resources. At large enterprises, such inefficiencies can be addressed — if not always solved for — by major investments in technology and talent. But for nonprofits and small businesses, those things are luxuries that aren’t always accessible.
The world is full of people working hard to solve hard-to-solve problems.
One goal of the Changemakers project is to level that operational playing field. Here’s how it will work. In late October — once Changemakers is officially underway — nonprofits who sign up for the project will be paired with one or more business operations experts for a full week of partnership and collaboration. They’ll work together on improving the nonprofit’s operational efficiency and addressing the roadblocks holding them back from focusing more time and effort on the things they should be focusing on.
Through Tonkean’s close partnership with the AdaptivOps Community, which has brought together hundreds of the world’s top operations and IT professionals to share ops knowledge, the Changemakers project will deliver hands-on advice from experts in IT, HR operations, sales operations, legal operations, financial operations and more. Each ops professional will be matched with a nonprofit based on their specific expertise and the organization’s operational needs, and will be provided access to Tonkean’s business operations platform to orchestrate their processes.
Starting today, professionals from the operations and IT communities can register to volunteer their time in late October, while nonprofits can sign up if they seek free operational support. Signups are officially open at the Changemakers project site.
“We’ve realized through our work with several non-profit organizations that there’s no shortage of passion and desire to make a difference for their causes,” said Sagi Eliyahu, CEO and Co-Founder of Tonkean. “What’s often missing is the technical structure and operational processes to get these organizations functioning as efficiently as possible. When you join a non-profit, you don’t do it because you love mundane data entry or project coordination, you do it because you want to change the world. We hope the Changemakers project will make that more achievable.”
One of those organizations Sagi is referring to is called Shopping Angels — a service that enlists volunteers to personally deliver groceries and other essentials to those who prefer to stay home, and was founded in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Tonkean team started working with Shopping Angels in March to help them more orchestrate their key processes. The best example is the taking in of requests for service and the routing of those requests to appropriate volunteers around the country. Ben Wallace, a volunteer coordinator for Shopping Angels, led the charge in using Tonkean to streamline this.
Here’s what Wallace — who has since joined Tonkean as a solutions engineer — said about the importance of the partnership:
“At an organization like Shopping Angels, you want to use any donations and resources for achieving the core goal of getting groceries in the hands of high-risk individuals. So you don’t want to invest time and energy copying and pasting email templates, looking up addresses, and manually checking for changes. That’s why it was so immensely valuable to have Tonkean’s assistance in refining our processes at Shopping Angels — it took the process of connecting shoppers with customers from a manual slog to a well-oiled machine in all 50 states overnight.”
In essence, that’s the kind of valuable and mission-enabling experience we seek to provide organizations and makers of change across the country with this project.
To register as either a non-profit or an operations expert, or to learn more about Changemakers, click here.