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Nonprofit United States

Working on a project on behalf of Google and Microsoft to enable social change in the NGO sector

Executive Summary

Challenge: TechSoup approached us as they wanted to develop systems aimed at enabling social change and helping contributors understand the NGO sector.

Approach: During our collaboration, we have delivered and streamlined numerous applications, addressing the evolving needs of NGOs and libraries.

Result: Various technological solutions designed to enhance global philanthropy and simplify the donation process, guaranteeing high availability, performance, and security standards.

Table of Contents

About the client

TechSoup equips changemakers with transformative technology solutions and skills they need to improve lives globally and locally.

Founded in San Francisco in 1987, TechSoup helps nonprofit organisations and libraries in the world access resources and technology knowledge, which they need to operate at their full potential.

TechSoup’s catalogue includes more than 375 products from over 100 companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec and partnered with 70 world’s leading civil society organisations to improve lives globally through the use of technology.

Business challenge

Our partnership started in August 2010, when TechSoup was looking for an outsourcing partner outside the USA as a cost-effective use of resources and source of skills.

While looking for an outsourcing partner, we noticed that Future Processing is a big, experienced company. Back then you had around 150-200 people and you were still growing. I’m happy to see your vast expansion and that you’ve used your size wisely. The fact that so many people are eager to work for you also means a lot to us.

Michał Szwarc
Senior Director, TechSoup

Solution we delivered

  • NGO Source 

A service aiming to streamline worldwide philanthropy and simplify the formal process of direct donations. Offering support to communities in need is strictly regulated by law. Using the website, NGOs complete a questionnaire, on the basis of which a decision is made. Sponsors in the USA can search through the base of registered NGOs from around the world and reach them directly, with technological and financial support.

Future Processing created the functional part of the system and worked on legacy code of the existing solution, implemented the majority of core functionalities, and were responsible for performance testing and process automation.

  • TechSoup Global Network

A set of platforms that focuses on the development and maintenance of a network of Partner Platforms in approximately 50 countries around the world. They are aimed at simplifying and unifying the donation process.

Our role is to support existing features and develop new ones so that each platform has the same functionalities. Ultimately this work enables TechSoup to provide NGOs with technological solutions offered by local and global donors such as Google, Microsoft or Adobe, for a nominal administrative fee or at significantly reduced market prices.

  • International Guide Star 

An organisation based in London, for which we have developed and maintain a platform capable of storing, displaying and updating data for their network of civil society organisations (CSOs).

It is a solution that allows all the CSOs to report on their aims, activities, accomplishments and finances, adding transparency, accountability and visibility to their philanthropic work.

  • NGOk

The biggest project we executed from inception to go live – the development and product refinement process took almost two years. It enables TechSoup to validate NGOs for other organisations and was built in collaboration with the TechSoup and Guidestar’s teams.

The product has been deployed on behalf of Google (as a part of the Google for Nonprofits programme) and Microsoft for some of their philanthropic channels, with other global customers soon to follow.

As of 2015, the validation service is available for institutions operating in more than 40 countries. To meet vital requirements related to the availability, performance and security of the system, we decided to implement NGOk in Amazon Web Services.

We have also introduced Virtual Private Cloud, which increased security standards. Our team reviewed and tested the security of parts of the product’s system to ensure they are robust and secure. 

Watch the interview

Paul van Haver explains how nearshoring became the chosen alternative and what benefits working with Future Processing brings to the company.

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Main benefits of our partnership

We have greatly contributed to creating an innovative system aimed at enabling social change and helping contributors understand the NGO sector. Apart from the project work itself, we were also able to refresh TechSoup’s codebase and agree on a plan for further development.

Our team became very knowledgeable within the client’s domain, which allowed us to suggest additional features, agree on specific technologies and propose new solutions. Our ideas regarding improvement on technical and process level, are frequently encouraged and embraced.

What I consider a success story is when we built NGOK from scratch with Future Processing. We had to iterate around it and had to find the right solution for it. You strongly responded to our needs and delivered a solution that met our requirements and iterated to changes and integrated to other technology. We were pleased with their adaptive approach.

Today the product is working well in production and integrates with our other components in other technologies. This was also a good example of where we used our Future Processing’s resources and scaled them up and down. You provided what we needed at the time. The project showed how flexible you can be and indicated that Future Processing can not only build a product but also flex to levels of coverage needed in various stages of development.

Jonathan Toomer
Senior Director Global Data Services, TechSoup

Communication - a key to success

Considering the impressive vision of the projects we found that frequent communication with the stakeholders and on-site visits were vital to ensuring a clear understanding. As the various branches were located in different parts of the world, it was necessary to coordinate this communication effectively, taking into account time differences.

We also implemented a robust project management process which ensured visibility of progress at all times. The successful delivery of these projects gives evidence to the fact that location is not a blocker in delivering successful software projects, as long as your outsourcing partner is focused on clear communication and can demonstrate effective project management.

Frequent progress updates were also important to us to constantly gather feedback and analyse it on a regular basis. By doing so, we were able to a better understanding of business needs and we could make sure that the end product would be suited to the requirements.

We really appreciate the technical skills. Also, the rate is competitive, but at the same time, we get experienced, competent technical people. Another merit is the relationship that we have. It feels more like a partnership that has grown over the last few years. What I like most about Future Processing is the combination of these things: a competitive rate within good technical skills, the ability to be flexible and being treated as a partner.

Jonathan Toomer
Senior Director Global Data Services, TechSoup

Technologies used in the project

Looking to the future

TechSoup has plans to extend the range of Partner Platforms to 140 countries, which should be completed in a few months. We are delighted that we will be able to take part in their future plans by developing existing projects and adding new functionalities.

We plan to continue the cooperation. We have a significant backlog of tasks, but we also plan to extend the collaboration on new areas. As long as Future Processing is able to keep up with the latest technologies, I expect the cooperation to last.

Michał Szwarc
Senior Director, TechSoup