ONE WORLD’s 4th annual Innovations in Corporate Social Impact summit is just a few weeks away. As we prepare to bring together impact leaders from across the Bay Area, we’re chatting with experts in the field to understand the current state— and growing opportunities— in this important field.
We recently talked with Ken Tsunoda, Vice President of Development for TechSoup, a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed $12 billion in donated or specially-discounted technology and other resources to 1.1 million non-profits globally.
Why is corporate social impact an important topic?
Leading corporations, especially technology companies, can make a unique contribution to the world’s 12 million civil society organizations that serve billions of the world’s most vulnerable people. Financial support is important, but even more importantly, corporations can contribute their products, services, and human capital to nonprofits around the world that need them.
How do senior leaders in large companies view corporate social impact?
Corporate leaders are increasingly focused on offering solutions their companies can uniquely provide to address problems that nonprofits face in accomplishing their missions. One example is digital transformation. TechSoup is working with a coalition of tech companies including Microsoft, VMware, Adobe, Box, Cisco, and Okta to help nonprofits move from on-premise software to cloud-based solutions, transforming their resiliency and capacity to serve their communities.
How is TechSoup helping companies in innovative ways?
TechSoup has created a next-generation giving platform that has facilitated $12 billion of in-kind product philanthropy contributed by 100+ corporate partners, as well as funding facilitated by an increasingly diverse set of philanthropic services and giving programs like NGOsource, which streamlines international grantmaking. In collaboration with our 60+ global partners, we help companies offer donated and discounted product and service offers to 1.1 million nonprofits in 236 countries and territories. TechSoup can do due diligence on nonprofits in all those countries and validate that they meet local charity standards.
Can you explain in basic terms what is a DPO?
TechSoup’s Direct Public Offering (DPO) stems from our belief that TechSoup should be financed by people and entities of diverse economic means who care about supporting civil society. Our DPO allows nearly anyone to invest in TechSoup and receive a financial benefit, while helping our organization grow its capacity to support more changemakers worldwide. TechSoup is the first nonprofit organization that the SEC has qualified to do a Reg A+ Tier 2 offering, which allows us to reach out to our stakeholders in all 50 states and engage them as impact investors. We’re hoping it will be a model that other nonprofit social enterprises can use to raise growth capital in the future.
What will help companies drive more social impact? (For example, additional senior leadership support, other?)
I’m excited to see that more companies are interested not just in giving donations, but also in making impact investments in social enterprises, including nonprofits like TechSoup. Impact investments by companies can help social enterprises raise the growth capital they need to build their capacity and scale.