Benetech Unveils New Service Net Features to Empower Rapid Community Response to COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis

Human services information platform expands reach through new funding from Okta and Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative

PALO ALTO, Calif. — December 16, 2020 — Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, today announced significant enhancements to its Service Net platform to increase access to social services in California. The new features for the data exchange platform, which makes it easier for community-based organizations (CBOs), governments, and referral agencies to share information about available social and human services, will enable the onboarding of new users across a wider range of organizations and geographic regions. The additional funding from Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative and Okta for Good builds on existing support from leading health, technology, and finance organizations, including Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health, and Cisco Foundation.

This expansion comes at a critical time when more people need social safety net services than ever before due to the health and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. CBOs are facing the dual challenge of increased demand for their services and huge restrictions on how those services can be provided. As organizations adapt and expand their service offerings, Benetech Service Net gives them a platform to broadcast their changes in service to the entire safety net ecosystem.

“Okta for Good’s mission is to strengthen the connections between people, technology, and community. In support of this mission, we’re investing in Benetech’s Service Net initiative to make it easier for those in need of services to navigate the safety net system and find support,” said Erin Baudo Felter, Vice President, Social Impact at Okta. “Benetech Service Net provides the digital infrastructure that nonprofits need to navigate the existing crises and rebuild even stronger in the years to come.”

Updates Enable New Community-Based Organizations to Join Platform

Following the success of the 2019 pilot with Bay Area partners, Eden I&R, the Legal Aid Association of California, United Way Bay Area, Health Leads, ShelterTech, and the County of San Mateo, Benetech Service Net is expanding functionality to welcome new partners and users. The latest release of Service Net enables community-based organizations to join the network, further improving the quality and availability of this information for people in need. Features include:

  • Easy-to-use CBO portal: Users can filter listings by service type or geographic area and browse offerings in a list or map view on mobile or PC.
  • Real-time updates: Daily updates enable users to quickly communicate real-time information about service availability or changes, a crucial feature as organizations continue to adapt to evolving COVID-19 safety protocol.
  • Increased efficiency: Updates published to Service Net are automatically pushed to all organizations on the Service Net network.

All of these new features work together to ensure that no matter where a person in need first touches the social safety net, that person will have access to the most complete, accurate information about the full range of services available.

“For a family experiencing homelessness, good information about shelter availability and qualifications can be the difference between a safe place to stay and sleeping in their car,” said KP Naidu, VP, Benetech Labs. “Service Net empowers referrers with timely, accurate information so that they can connect a person reaching out for help with the right service, right away.”

Organizations interested in partnering with Benetech or joining the Service Net platform can email servicenet@benetech.org

About Benetech

Benetech is a nonprofit that empowers communities with software for social good. Our work transforms how people with disabilities read and learn, makes it safer for human rights defenders to pursue truth and justice, and connects people to the services they need to live and prosper. We’re constantly pursuing the next big social impact. Visit www.benetech.org.