By Frederic Kerrest, COO and Co-Founder of Okta
Across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, success and progress today depends on how well organizations empower their people to use modern technologies in critical ways. That’s particularly true in the nonprofit world, taking on crises that sadly headline the news daily.
Technology makes it possible to rescue more survivors of natural disasters, from South Carolina to Sierra Leone; provide safe drinking water to over 6.1 million people; and give identification to displaced refugees, like the Syrians emigrating to Europe. And as we’ve grown and evolved as a company, we’ve also sought new ways to use our technology and resources to support impact such as this.
It Starts with Access to Resources: Introducing the Okta for Good Fund
One of the biggest challenges nonprofits face is access to resources. In our work with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, we’ve witnessed the power of technology to improve the lives of others. That’s why we launched Okta for Good last year. We offered our IT products to nonprofits for free for the first 25 users, and we shared that we took the 1% Pledge, committing our time, product and equity to give back to the community. And today, I’m thrilled to announce that we are entering into the next phase of our social impact work — launching the Okta for Good Fund.
Our mission for Okta for Good is an extension of our mission for Okta — to strengthen the connections between people, technology and community — enabling us to engage in strategic philanthropy, starting with what organizations need most: resources. With the Fund, we’ll support the ecosystem for technology innovation in the social sector, empower our employees to give back, and support underserved groups in Okta’s global communities from San Jose to Sydney.
Joining NetHope’s Center for the Digital Non-Profit
Learning and collaborating with our partners has been a critical part of our growth in building Okta for Good, and when it came to our first Fund grant, we sought to partner with an organization that aligned closely with us — an organization that we could not only give to, but learn from. NetHope was the perfect partner: an organization that empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology. This consortium of 50+ leading global nonprofits unites with technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian and conservation challenges.
Our alignment with NetHope is almost uncanny — we’re both on a mission to bring together people, technology and communities. We couldn't think of a better way to bring our mission to life than through this first grant. Which is why as part of our inaugural grant, Okta is committing to be a founding partner of the Center for the Digital Nonprofit, a new initiative out of NetHope which will help NGOs improve their digital capabilities to better serve their own communities.
Okta for Good’s Next Phase: Learning Alongside our Partners
Erin Baudo Felter, our executive director of Okta for Good, is leading our effort to learn and collaborate with our partners as we continue building Okta for Good.
It’s still early days, but we’re off to a solid start. Since launching last year, we’ve directed $600,000 of donated technology to 130 organizations, reaching 365,000 people. Okta employees have invested 800 hours of volunteer time with nonprofits across our eight offices around the globe. And, focused efforts like our Global Tech Week has enabled our teams to inspire hundreds students and jobseekers with access, knowledge and hands-on experiences in the tech sector.
We’re proud of these numbers and the earnest commitment from our global teams that they represent. But what I’m most proud of is the way I’ve seen our customers, employees and community partners work together to learn, share and solve problems. As Okta for Good grows, we’ll focus on learning from incredible partners like NetHope, and we’ll share the outcomes that matter most to our communities.
For more information about Okta for Good, visit okta.com/okta-for-good.
This post originally appeared on Okta.com.