Not long ago, after listening to a charity project at a TEDx conference, Prezi‘s director of engineering Jozsef Czapovics talked to the founder, offering him his help on a voluntary basis. Together with 20 engineers of the Budapest-based company, he was able to deliver a new web solution within one day, and the NGO could not be happier of the result.
The group wanted to do more, but with no other organizations asking for help, the team’s motivation started to fade. It all could have ended there but, in fact, it was just the beginning. What was needed to keep the momentum going, Czapovics envisioned, was a platform that would connect IT professionals from all over the world, willing to volunteer their skills, with high-impact NGO’s in need of tech-help.
“The overall launch of the project management platform, will be in late March. But in two weeks from now, tech volunteers will be able to create their #Charity’s profile pages via a LinkedIn authentication,”
“HashtagCharity’s SmartMatch algorithm will then match the profiles to the best-fitting NGO projects (nonprofits can directly sign up to the program through the homepage’s contact form).” There are already some 500 volunteers on board.
On the NGO side, the team is currently hand-picking NGOs and charities who actually need the help of volunteers, and who take their own impact metrics very seriously. “It’s sad, but unfortunately there are many NGOs out there who waste donor dollars, and we don’t want the same thing to happen to our engineers’ skills. Our number one priority is impact, and we have to build a community who shares that priority.”