TechSoup Review

The American charity TechSoup Global's nonprofit community website and their software and hardware distribution service to other charities can be found at http://www.TechSoup.org


This is our review of the American service TechSoup Stock run by the charity TechSoup Global of San Francisco, USA which provides a wide range of donated software and hardware products to registered charities and educational institutions in return for service fees.

August 7, 2008

TechSoup.org is now outsourcing some internet jobs outside of the USA to India

Are global U.S. charities starting to outsource non profit jobs overseas using the same model as multinational companies and should we care?

Recently, I received an email from npo-techies@lists.compasspoint.org and from someone whom I believed to be from the American charity TechSoup.org in San Francisco counseling me to check out some tech thing or some seminar they would be hosting.

“Welcome to the home of the NPO-Techies list sponsored by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. I'm posting this on behalf of NetSquared/TechSoup. I thought this event might be of interest to many of you.” It was promoting: “ Mobilizing Generation 2.0: How Nonprofits Can Use Technology to Engage Youth --July 8, 2008 TechSoup/CompuMentor - San Francisco, CA”

I became curious because I hadn’t heard of “Bryan Forst" at TechSoup before so I checked out the email address of the sender and learned that it came from India and not the good ol’ US of A.

In delving further I found that it came from a profit orientated arm of a non profit organization in India called “Uddami Software Services” that seemed to also be training people – was I part of the training – or was this strictly a monetary transaction paid to them to reduce costs at TechSoup as they go global in their marketing efforts?

Uddami states that their rates are much lower than any North American organization could offer - “ TERMS -Prices for basic web development, digitization, data entry are typically quoted at 6 USD per hour.”

The following thoughts jolted me into commenting now:

  1. I have never received outsourced email from India for a US based charity before,
  2. I think I should have been told that this was an outsourced marketing service as it felt like misrepresentation to me,
  3. There seems to be something wrong for a charity to displace local staff or volunteers to go with the global low cost human services sourcing model by profit seeking US, Canadian and European multinationals,
  4. The state of California on July 31, 2008 has laid off 22,000 part time workers, intstituted a hiring freeze and lowered the pay of minimum workers – maybe some local SF Bay area residents could use a few bucks,
  5. I felt strangely disconnected and marketed to where before I had felt it was more as one collaborative charity partner informing another.

It also seems to be a bit negative to me that this email contract seemed to be going to transplanted Americans and their US registered charity not a charity in India developed by local Indian citizens.

Don’t forget to take a kid fishing this summer!
Cheers,
Bill


July 21, 2007


The American charity CompuMentor's nonprofit community website (their name has been changed to TechSoup Global in 2008) and their software and hardware distribution service to other charities can be found at http://www.TechSoup.org

How will TechSoup.org support IT volunteers to help charities with it's millions from Microsoft now?

TechSoup Stock, is the service which was originally based on CompuMentor's agreement with Microsoft in the mid 1990's to provide Microsoft Windows and Office software to charities in return for a fee which was used to support their computer volunteer program in San Francisco to assist other charities with computing and the internet.

This volunteer matching service was the basis for the charity's initial growth and led to their leadership role in the non profit Technical Assistance Provider area in the U.S.

Currently, CompuMentor uses their huge e-commerce site TechSoup Stock to distribute donated software to charities in the United States and now to other countries. This provides over $5,000,000 in revenue per year. These funds can be used as they see fit in San Francisco or in the United States.

Unfortunately, even with this dramatic success and sustainability they have decided to cancel or discontinue providing volunteer services to small charities who are without the in-house technical capacity to harness the internet for their particular community missions.

This website TechSoup.ca is a news and information reporting service on TechSoup by CompuCorps Mentoring, a Canadian charity that works with computer volunteers to help other charities with technology. We will update it periodically.
Cheers, Bill

William Marvel, Executive Director
CompuCorps Mentoring/ Les Mentors de CompuCorps

www.CompuCorps.org | www.TechMentor.ca | www.TechReuse.org | www.Techfeather.org

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