Today, #GivingTuesday, is all about giving back to support causes that make the world better, and volunteering time and talent can be a great way to do that. If you are looking for technical skills-based volunteer opportunities with real, lasting impact and active learning though service, then we, at Benetech, invite you to join a growing global community of technical contributors—software designers, developers, product managers, translators, technical writers, quality assurance engineers, and more—who make a difference by volunteering with our SocialCoding4Good initiative.
SocialCoding4Good brings together technologists to volunteer their technical skills to nonprofit partners that develop and maintain free and open source software addressing critical social problems. SocialCoding4Good carefully curates these partners and their projects, identifying organizations that create real change through their innovative humanitarian services to disadvantaged populations around the world. Our partners include Amara, Medic Mobile, Mifos, Mozilla.org, Sahana Software Foundation, Ushahidi, Wikimedia Foundation, and others.
As nonprofits, these organizations have lean engineering teams, making volunteer contributions invaluable to their product development. Each contribution not only helps build capacity for the nonprofit partners, but also positively affects every person these humanitarian organizations serve.
Consider the story of Margaret Matinde, who used to live in a mud thatched house in Kuria, Kenya, working hard and never having enough to send her children to school. Her life changed when she had the opportunity to receive a loan to start a business: her own small restaurant. Margaret’s restaurant is now running successfully. She is able to save and pay school fees for her children, helping them build up towards their futures. The financial social venture that extended to her the loan delivered its services through an open technology platform provided by SocialCoding4Good’s nonprofit partner Mifos, whose mission is to bring digitally enabled financial inclusion to the poor.
Since 2012, SocialCoding4Good has stewarded volunteers who are lending their time and skills to Mifos as it continuously improves its Mifos X platform, which is used by dozens of financial institutions to reach more than 2.5 million customers as they rise out of poverty. We are fortunate to work with individual volunteers, like Markus Geiß, as well as with teams from Google and LinkedIn—two of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) partners—who have devoted many hours to improving Mifos X.
For example, in June 2014, at a Code Sprint organized by SocialCoding4Good during Google’s community service event, GoogleServe, a team of Google employees completed more than a dozen fixes and key feature enhancements to the Mifos X platform, Community App, and Android App. The Code Sprint lasted one day, but several Googlers continued to volunteer their time to Mifos X through the rest of the week.
The following month, on LinkedIn for Good Hack Day, SocialCoding4Good matched a team of LinkedIn employees with Mifos developers. During that day, LinkedIn volunteers added custom code/logic spanning over two thousands code changes to improve action execution on Mifos X.
With the newly deployed mobile features of its financial inclusion platform, Mifos enables its community of field officers to have critical customer account information at their fingertips—on a mobile device, even in the most remote rural villages. The world-class financial services delivered by the Mifos community touch the lives of millions poor and unbanked in developing countries—like Margaret Matinde—helping them make their livelihood possible and open up new opportunities for themselves and their families.
Want to make lasting impact this #GivingTuesday? Join the SocialCoding4Good volunteer community and help humanitarian, open source projects deliver better services around the world! To learn more, please contact Emma Irwin, SocialCoding4Good’s Developer Community Manager.
And did you know that your generosity has the potential to be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled? Volunteer hour match programs are part of corporations’ social responsibility, so there is a chance that you work for a company that will match the hours you spend volunteering through SocialCoding4Good by providing a financial gift to Benetech. Such gifts help us accomplish important goals, like better support our crew of volunteers as they contribute to the growth and impact of our partners’ open source communities!
Please consider checking with your company to see if it offers a matching gift program, or reach out to your company’s Human Resources department to discuss the idea of starting a matching gifts program, if one does not exist. For more information and assistance, please contact Benetech’s Development Team.
Thank you for your support, and happy volunteering!