2020 introduced unprecedented challenges. To satisfy the second, leaders throughout the social sector stepped as much as deploy scalable, tech-driven options to deal with the myriad of points. Pushed by an unwavering dedication to fairness and enhancing lives, the affect of their work made waves across the globe. From reaching 13.7 million individuals with life-saving details about COVID-19, to operating one of many greatest voter turnout campaigns within the U.S., meet eight tech nonprofit leaders who made a big effect in 2020.
Edith Elliott, Co-Founder & CEO of Noora Well being
Entry to correct details about COVID-19 is important for slowing the unfold. Elliott and her group at Noora Health, the nonprofit well being group enhancing outcomes by key conduct change practices, are delivering life-saving details about COVID-19 to individuals throughout India and Bangladesh.
Up to now, Noora Well being’s COVID-19 coaching and content material has reached over 13.7 million individuals by each in-hospital and at-home applications. Their open-source COVID-19 Useful resource Library incorporates participating well being training content material in 14 regional languages. Powered by partnerships with over 70 organizations, Noora Well being is reaching even probably the most distant communities with this vital info. Innovation is core to their mannequin – the group can be deploying inexpensive tech options by WhatsApp and SMS to ship info to households on their telephones.
Debra Cleaver, Founder & CEO of VoteAmerica
Extra individuals voted on this U.S. election than in every other. A key participant on this effort was Debra Cleaver. She and her group at VoteAmerica ran one of many largest voter turnout campaigns within the nation, sending greater than 101 million peer-to-peer textual content messages to 30 million voters in 49 states and Washington, D.C.
To make voting extra accessible, VoteAmerica constructed progressive options like an e-signature instrument that allowed voters to request a mail-in or absentee poll proper from their smartphone or laptop. And when Debra and VoteAmerica discovered Texas didn’t have a manner for voters to trace their ballots on-line, they constructed one; hundreds of Texas voters used TXBallot.org to ensure their votes counted.
Lisa Wang, Founder & CEO of Virtually Enjoyable
Distant studying exacerbates glaring inequities in our training system. Lisa Wang is empowering BIPOC and low-income college students by making at-home studying enjoyable – nearly. Her tech nonprofit Almost Fun engages college students by culturally-relevant content material that reaffirms and celebrates their identities. College students can study grammar by music lyrics, math by phrase issues about related social points, and studying comprehension by film scripts.
And their method is working: information reveals that the Virtually Enjoyable platform can enhance SAT scores by greater than 60 factors. They’re now supporting over 3,000 college students each week, and due to an thrilling new partnership with Snap, are poised to increase their attain much more in 2021. They’re teaming up with the social media platform to construct an integration that brings social studying experiences to college students. Powered by Virtually Enjoyable’s content material library, the function will permit college students to study proper inside their favourite messaging app.
Kimberly Seals Allers, Founding father of Irth
Black ladies in America are three times more likely to die from being pregnant and childbirth-related causes than their white friends. Kimberly Seals Allers is on a mission to deal with this unconscionable disparity. She’s constructing a Yelp-like evaluation and ranking platform for Black and brown mother and father. Irth, “as in ‘Beginning’ however we dropped the B for bias,” says Seals-Allers, permits moms and their companions to seek out and go away evaluations for each maternity and pediatric docs, in addition to, birthing hospitals.
This yr, Irth made massive strides in its mission to fight racism and bias in maternity and toddler care. Over 1,000 mother and father have shared evaluations about physicians and hospitals on Irth’s web site. The group can be teaming up with vision-aligned physicians and hospitals to push for institutional change. By enabling healthcare professionals to leverage its real-time information as a monitoring and accountability instrument for anti-bias and cultural competency efforts, Irth will play a key function in driving apply enhancements in our healthcare system.
Kiah Williams, Co-Founding father of SIRUM
Kiah Williams and her group at SIRUM scaled up in 2020. As the biggest medication redistributor within the U.S., SIRUM connects Individuals in want with surplus prescription medication. They’ve already redistributed almost $85 million value of medication – and are going full velocity forward to increase this affect even additional.
This yr, SIRUM was chosen as a participant of The Audacious Venture, a funding collaborative housed at TED. With The Audacious Venture’s assist, the group will develop their provide of donated medicines tenfold and increase their platform to seven new states. The result? SIRUM will ship $772 million value of treatment to at least one million individuals over the following 5 years.
Alex Bernadotte, Founder & CEO of Past 12
Alex Bernadotte is tackling the faculty completion problem head-on utilizing information, tech, and the facility of relationships. By way of an interactive platform that mixes a campus-customized cellular app, digital one-on-one teaching, and a back-end analytics engine powered by machine studying, her tech nonprofit Beyond 12 helps first-generation and low-income college students achieve school and past.
Past 12 doubled down in 2020 to offer college students the assist they want in the course of the pandemic. The group acquired cellular platform GradGuru to additional drive pupil success by “nudges,” or reminders about college-related duties. Past 12 is increasing its digital teaching platform too. By way of an thrilling partnership with Google.org, YouTube, and former First Woman Michelle Obama’s Attain Greater initiative, they are going to deploy over $1 million to carry personalised teaching to hundreds extra college students.
Clementine Jacoby, Founder & Govt Director of Recidiviz
The US incarcerates extra individuals than any nation at any time in historical past. Recidiviz, led by Clementine Jacoby, who was named one in every of FastCompany’s Most Creative People and one in every of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, is constructing expertise that provides prison justice determination makers the information they should safely, equitably, and completely scale back incarceration.
Early within the COVID-19 pandemic, Recidiviz constructed a tool to assist jail and jail directors forecast the affect of the virus on incarcerated individuals, workers, and surrounding communities. The states that used the instrument advisable early launch of tens of hundreds of incarcerated individuals, saving numerous lives inside services and surrounding communities.
Rose Afriyie and Genevieve Nielsen, Co-Founders of mRelief
For mRelief, addressing starvation is a matter of racial fairness: Black individuals in America are 2.5 times more likely to be meals insecure than their white counterparts. And whereas applications like SNAP are designed to assist these fighting starvation, hundreds of thousands of households aren’t receiving the meals stamps for which they’re eligible. That’s the place mRelief is available in. Led by Rose Afriyie and Genevieve Nielsen, the tech nonprofit is renovating the cumbersome SNAP enrollment course of.
mRelief helps households decide their eligibility for meals stamps and, in the event that they qualify, join SNAP. Through the pandemic, the necessity for mRelief’s answer spiked. When COVID-19 hit, the group doubled its customers. Up to now, mRelief has served over 900,000 households in all 50 states. They usually’re not stopping there. This yr, mRelief constructed two further COVID-19 options: Johnnie, a CRM platform for outreach staff to attach with SNAP beneficiaries on every part from on-demand assist to submitting paperwork, and a pre-screening instrument that informs SNAP recipients about the important thing flexibilities they could have throughout COVID-19, like having the ability to store with SNAP on-line.
These innovators give me hope about tech’s potential to positively affect lives. Their options will proceed to supply vital assist to hundreds of thousands as we endure this pandemic and rebuild in its wake. Displaying unwavering resilience and dedication to their missions in 2020, I’ve little question they’ll proceed innovating in 2021 and past. I can’t wait to see how.