This weekend I hosted a party and one of my guests recently started working at Twitter. We had a nice conversation about social media and technology, and how in light of recent high-profile public offerings (Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Pandora, Yelp, Zynga, etc.), little has been known about how these technology companies are turning a profit, like the recent 60 Minutes profile of Groupon.
I live two blocks away from the Zynga headquarters and walk past the Twitter's new building on my way to work each morning, so technology is a community interest for me, in some ways.
And for those tech companies that offer information or tools, it's fascinating to see some great examples of non-profit tech companies that serve a social mission, making the internet more of a nonprofit space, where ads and marketing aren't influencing the user experience.
I've been thinking more and more about this conversation and so I decided to explore the mission statements of my top 10 favorite nonprofit tech companies.
They are (in alphabetical order):
1. Bay Area Video Coalition (San Francisco, CA) bavc.org
Mission: The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) inspires social change by enabling the sharing of diverse stories through art, education and technology.
2. Craigslist Foundation (RIP, San Francisco, CA) craigslist.org
Mission: to empower people to strengthen their communities by connecting them to the resources they need to effectively engage in community building.
3. Creative Commons (Mountain View, CA) creativecommons.org
Mission: Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.
4. Electronic Frontier Foundation (San Francisco, CA) eff.org
Mission: The Corporation was formed for the purpose of understanding and fostering the opportunities of digital communication in a free and open society.
5. Internet Archive (San Francisco, CA) archive.org
Mission: to offer permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
6. Kahn Academy (Mountain View, CA) kahnacademy.org
Mission: to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.
Note: Kahn Academy was recently featured on 60 Minutes.
7. Mozilla Foundation (Mountain View, CA) mozilla.org
Mission: to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web,
8. TechSoup Global (San Francisco, CA) techsoup.org
Mission: TechSoup Global is working toward a time when every nonprofit and NGO on the planet has the technology resources and knowledge they need to operation at their full potential.
9. Tehnology, Entertainment, Design (New York, NY) ted.com
Mission: Spreading ideas.
10. Wikimedia Foundation (San Francisco, CA) wikimediafoundation.org
Mission: to encourage the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to provide the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.
Please share your favorite nonprofit tech companies with me! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.