Tech Matters, a tech-for-good organisation focused on bringing the power of tech to social change leaders, is now a new independent nonprofit. The organisation was founded in 2019 by serial tech and social entrepreneur Jim Fruchterman. It announced its new status as an independent nonprofit this week at Skoll World Forum in Oxford.
‘Tech Matters’ mission is to bring the benefits of technology to the 95 per cent of humanity typically ignored by traditional tech companies’, said Fruchterman. ‘Thanks to strong support from risk-tolerant donors, and early operational support from Benetech, we are ready to scale up our work to ensure that modern technology is deployed for maximum social impact, not maximum profit. In order to solve the world’s pressing issues, social innovators need to better use software and data that can drive change faster and more effectively.’
Tech Matters has raised more than $10 million since its founding from funders including Child Helpline International, Cisco Foundation, EcoAgriculture Partners, FJC, IFDC, the Jenesis Group, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Meta, Okta, Peery Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, the Safe Online Initiative at End Violence, Schmidt Futures, Skoll Foundation, Twilio and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The new Tech Matters Board of Directors includes Brigitte Gosselink, Head of Product Impact at Google.org, where she leads initiatives that leverage emerging technologies and Google’s expertise to address global challenges; board chair Nithya Ramanathan, CEO and Co-founder of Nexleaf Analytics, a nonprofit technology company that designs and deploys technology and data solutions to help countries build resilient health systems; and Fruchterman.
One of Tech Matters’ social enterprises is AseloTM, an open-source platform co-created with child helplines around the world that enables children in need to get help by texting in addition to traditional phone calls.
Tech Matters’ Aselo platform is currently being used by twelve national child helplines in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America, with plans to launch with another ten helplines in 2023, including in North America. The Aselo team is currently working with Eastern European helplines to support Ukrainian-speaking children who are refugees.
In the next few months, Tech Matters will launch Terraso, a set of tools for local community leaders to address the realities of the climate crisis.
Beyond these two social enterprises, Tech Matters also works to help social sector leaders increase the effective use of technology to support systemic change through its ‘karmic consulting’, as well as writing and speaking on tech for good, and producing the ‘Tech Matters’ podcast series featuring interviews with successful tech social entrepreneurs.