Nasscom body launches online donor scheme

The Hindu Business Line Business Line (www.thehindubusinessline.com)
August 27, 2007 
 

New Delhi, Aug. 27 Nasscom Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Nasscom, today joined hands with TechSoup, a San Francisco-based non-profit technology capacity building organisation, to launch a technology assistance programme for non-profit and non-governmental organisations in India.

The programme ‘BiG Tech’ would act as a platform to facilitate the distribution of software and solutions (donated by corporate partners) to various NGOs.

Software giant Microsoft has signed up as a partner for the programme in India to distribute its software to NGOs. The company is already a global partner in the programme, and donates a range of products including Office and server software. In India, however, only those NGOs which have a FCRA clearance, would be able to apply for Microsoft’s donations, Nasscom Foundation said.

“India is important to TechSoup programme as it offers an opportunity to serve the civil society, and enables us to forge partnerships to reach underserved communities,” Mr Mike Yeaton, Director, TechSoup Global, said at a conference here.

The programme is already rolled-out across eight countries and the international partners include Microsoft and Adobe. With the India launch, it would now seek to rope in more partners for the country. “One of the barriers to technology for NGOs, is affordability of technology products. BiG Tech, NF’s new online donation programme, is perfectly suited to address this issue of access to affordable technology,” the Nasscom President, Mr Kiran Karnik, said, adding NGOs seeking donations would have to adhere to the eligibility criteria and be subject to a due diligence.

TechSoup said that the programme is expected to serve about 25 countries and distribute product donations with a fair market value of $55 million, outside the US, in fiscal 2008.