Ten Companies Using Tech to Make a Social Impact

Tech companies are changing the world, but some of these companies are doing so by tackling humanitarian issues and working with underserved communities. We’ve compiled a list of companies that are using technology to make a social impact in education, finance, design, health, and more. If you’re interested in using your tech skills for a good cause, here are 10 companies worth checking out!

 

DataKind

New York, NY

DataKind is a nonprofit organization that connects skilled data scientists with NGOs that address humanitarian issues. The organization offers various programs for volunteers to get involved in: DataKind Labs, DataCorps, DataDives, and community events. The organization is headquartered in New York City but has chapters in Bangalore, Singapore, Dublin, the UK, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

 

Change.org

San Francisco, CA

Change.org allows users to create campaigns, mobilize supporters, and drive solutions for issues that they care about. A crowdfunding tool also allows users to raise money for their campaigns. This social change platform has over 150 million users in 196 countries.

 

Crisis Text Line

New York, NY

Crisis Text Line is a nonprofit that offers free, 24/7 text message counseling for people in need. Since launching in 2013, Crisis Text Line has amassed more than 3,700 counselors and has processed over 50 million messages. Crisis Text Line is built around technology, using data to improve internal counseling services and to improve external crisis research.

 

HandUp

San Francisco, CA

HandUp, now part of South Oakland Shelter, is a startup that is addressing homelessness and poverty in San Francisco. The online platform allows people to donate to nonprofit human services organizations that need funding for special programs, client needs, and operational expenses. Users can also donate to individuals in need. Partner organizations ensure that donations are used on basics like food and clothing.

 

Code.org

Seattle, WA

Code.org is dedicated to expanding access to computer science programs in schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. The company organizes the Hour of Code, a one-hour introduction to computer science that demystifies code. The organization has received donations from some of the biggest companies in tech, including Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

 

Spoiler Alert

Boston, MA

Founded at MIT in 2015, Spoiler Alert helps farms, businesses, and nonprofits to better manage surplus food. The online platform acts as a secondary marketplace, allowing businesses to recover value from unsold food inventory and organic waste. Some of the platform’s capabilities include donation management, buy-sell transactions, distribution networks, and accounting systems.

 

Kiva

San Francisco, CA

Kiva pioneered microfinancing in 2005 with a mission to alleviate poverty by connecting people through lending. The company enables lenders to make loans to entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. Kiva lenders crowdfund an average of $2.5 million in loans per week. As of October 2017, $1 billion was lent through Kiva. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and has an office in Nairobi.

 

Watsi

San Francisco, CA

Watsi is a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals to directly fund medical treatments for people in developing countries. Real-time data is collected to show where the money goes, allowing anyone to track their impact by health outcomes. The company is also piloting community-based health coverage in rural Uganda. As of March 2017, a total of 6,132 members were enrolled.

 

IDEO.org

San Francisco, CA

IDEO.org branched out of global design firm IDEO in 2011. IDEO.org practices human-centered design, creating products and services that improve life in poor communities. The company’s work is organized into four programs: Health XO, Financial Health, Launchpad, and Amplify. In addition to its main office in San Francisco, IDEO.org operates in New York City and Nairobi.

 

ArtLifting

Cambridge, MA

ArtLifting helps homeless and disabled individuals sell and license their art via an online art gallery. The works are sold directly to businesses, including offices, hotels, and restaurants. Artists earn 55% of each sale while 44% of the purchase is used towards ArtLifting’s mission. The remaining 1% supports art services for community partners. MIT, Google, and Starbucks are just a few of ArtLifting’s clients.

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