Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Not-for-profit sector opportunities and challenges were shared at the Prime Minister's Digital Economy Forum.

Connecting Up is one of 40 innovators invited to attend the Prime Minister's Forum on the Digital Economy today, joining Google, Facebook, PayPal and Microsoft as well as leading businesses such as Commonwealth Bank, Virgin Australia and start-ups like Birds of Prey and Nicko’s Kitchen.

Connecting Up will bring the not-for-profit sector’s (NFP) perspective to the table with Ms Jane Brabham, Deputy Chair, of the Connecting Up Board, representing the organisation at the Forum. As an entrepreneur herself, Jane will comment not only on the key question of how Australia can maintain an edge in the growing digital economy but to ensure the NFP sector which represents 4% of GDP, is included in future policy and programs. As the not-for-profit sector contributes around $43 billion to the Australian economy it is larger than the communications industry, agriculture or tourism and can benefit greatly from the digital economy opportunity.

“Building on the current NBN investment it is important to ensure that all funding and support programs available to business are also available to not-for-profits,” says Ms Brabham. “There is an urgent need for education and training of decision-makers in NFP organisations in the current digital realities,” says Ms Brabham, “the sector has over 900,000 employees and they need to be digitally literate if they are to be ready for the future.”

As Australia’s leading technology not-for-profit, Connecting Up recently celebrated the success of their innovative technology donations program. Since its inception five years ago, Connecting Up has facilitated over $150million worth of IT products and services increasing the capacity of not-for-profit sector. This was achieved through linkages to the Tech Soup Global network and engagement with IT companies that want ‘to make a difference’ such as Microsoft, Symantec, SAP and Cisco.

Delivering a fully digital program, from the high quality ordering, payment and distribution systems to the effective online engagement with not-for-profits through creative use of data gathering, marketing and social media ensures that Connecting Up is leading by example. Providing webinars and online resources tailored for NFPs, Connecting Up sees many success stories of how technology is delivering social outcomes - helping the helpers do more with less.

Cloud services are increasingly important and according to TechSoup Global’s recent Cloud Survey of 10,500 NFP and charitable organisations from 88 countries, 90 per cent of NFPs worldwide are using some form of cloud technology; however 86 per cent attribute lack of knowledge as the biggest barrier to the adoption of additional cloud services. With 66 per cent of Australian NFP organisations planning to move to the cloud within the next three years, there are ample opportunities for the Federal Government to support the uptake of new technology.

For the not-for-profit sector to fully harness the power of ubiquitous high-speed broadband, dedicated resources that focus on the specific digital economy development needs of the sector, from charities to social enterprises, are needed to deliver economic and social development outcomes for all.

Contact Profile

Connecting Up

Connecting Up is a not-for-profit organisation that works to unleash the power of the not-for-profit and community sector in Australia by providing a variety of information, products, resources and programs. Connecting Up’s technology assistance program provides donated and discounted products and services from companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, Sophos and Kaspersky to eligible income tax exempt (ITE) Australian organisations. Through this program not-for-profits can access the latest in IT products. Registering with Connecting Up can be done online at http://www.connectingup.org. Connecting Up’s services are available to approximately 600,000 organisations across the nation whom they help to develop relationships with business, community and government sectors for capacity development.

About TechSoup Global Network

Together, the members of the TechSoup Global Network are committed to building the technology capacity of the NGO sector worldwide. All of the network members believe that increasing the technology capacity and expertise of NGOs allows them to better serve their constituencies, bringing critical services to the communities that need it most. The TechSoup Global Network works with technology leaders and major foundations — including Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, SAP, Symantec, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — on localised programs that meet the technology needs of NGOs, both large and small. Together with these partners, the TechSoup Global Network has reached more than 183,000 organisations and enabled recipients in 40 countries to save more than US$3.1 billion in IT expenses. For more information on the TechSoup Global Network, visit www.techsoupglobal.org/countries
Kelly Hutchinson
P: 61403803543
W: www.connectingup.org


Not-for-profit sector opportunities and challenges were shared at the Prime Minister's Digital Economy Forum.



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