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NerdWallet’s Top 5 Tech Nonprofits

July 30, 2012
Personal Finance
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If you want to succeed, you need to be up-to-date. These days it’s all about technological innovation, even if you aren’t in the moneymaking business. We tend to have a soft spot for tech nerds here at NerdWallet, and today we are saluting some great and innovative tech-based nonprofits that put their technology skills towards serving the people. Each nonprofit that made our list does something special, and we hope you like them as much as we do.


Benelab: Making everyday tasks a force for good

Based in Seattle, WA, Benelab is turning your web searches into charitable donations. This nonprofit operates a website search engine that works just like Google or Bing. It uses similar algorithms to bring you similar high quality search results. Just like these for-profit sites, advertisers pay Benelab to display their ads on your web search. Instead of cashing in on your online queries like the other big names, Benelab donates all of the search revenue to a different cause each month. Just about every nerd on the planet uses multiple web searches a day to find their answers, and Benelab has found a smart and techy way to make our nerdy curiosity help those in need. NerdWallet loves this innovation, and we also love how transparent Benelab is for its users. They make an effort to update users on every cause contributed to and every check and donation made. These guys rock! Start saving the world and searching with Benelab.

See their donations here

Darim Online: Success in the digital age

Darim Online is a tech nonprofit that is serving the Jewish community by helping individuals and organizations become more tech savvy. Darim offers training, coaching, and consulting services to educate and empower businesses and leaders to utilize technology tools to their full potential. Operating for more than 10 years, they have helped build websites for hundreds of Jewish organizations. Recently, they have focused on expanding social media and leadership consulting, including launching their Social Media Boot Camp program in New York in 2009. Darim’s numerous partners, including the Jewish Education Project and the Jvillage Network, have all benefited from their technology and business expertise, and have allowed Darim to help organizations all across the country. The also offer regular education webinars to help staff and leaders from Jewish organizations to benefit from their experience and insight. These nerds are working to keep the Jewish community at the forefront of tech and business innovation and we hope their teaching continues.


Earthrise Space, Inc.: Space entrepreneurs making a difference

This Florida-based nonprofit is one of the most interesting ones we have come across. What nerd hasn’t always dreamed of going into space? Earthrise Space Inc. (ESI) brings that dream closer to reality by developing space technology alongside academic institutions and industry professionals. Through their Omega Envoy Project, the organization is training students about the entrepreneurial space industry by having them design, build, test, and operate real spacecraft infrastructure. The students are then prepared for future careers in tech-based aerospace jobs or related engineering industries. The program works with small groups of students with hands-on projects to give them experience they would not have access to in their normal academic environments or through large corporate internships. ESI prides itself on capitalizing on the fact that space exploration and innovation is being taken over by the private sector, opening up a new world to potential entrepreneurs. The Omega Envoy Project’s goal is to create a viable lunar delivery service through spacecraft infrastructure. ESI is currently working on both lunar lander and lunar rover projects, and has secured large funding over the years for its projects. ESI is practically every nerd’s dream, and NerdWallet hopes these kids get to the moon soon.


Minnesota Computers for Schools: Technology for the kids

Minnesota Computers for Schools (MCFS) is committed to providing all K-12 children in Minnesota with access to technology. They believe that not only does working with technology provide unparalleled education opportunities, it allows students to develop confidence and skills that will benefit them in the workforce. Growing out of the Minnesota High Tech Foundation, the MCFS has been an established nonprofit organization since 2005 and collaborates with a wide range of community partners and corporate sponsors. Their innovative program involves serving and incorporating many different levels of the Minnesota’s communities. They partner with the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater to train inmates to refurbish computers donated by businesses around the state, These refurbished computers are then provided at low affordable rates to schools around Minnesota as well as other nonprofits that serve disadvantaged youth. MCFS brings technology to the nerds who need it most so that they can reach their potential. They are always looking for more sponsors, volunteers, and computers! NerdWallet thinks every kid deserves a computer to learn and play with, and we support MCFS and their hard work.


501cTECH: Nonprofits helping nonprofits

501cTECH is a technology nonprofit that serves other nonprofits in the Washington, DC area. For over a decade they have been providing IT services and solutions to nonprofits. These include cloud computing solutions, management services, and product discounts from vendors. Through their work, 501cTECH hopes to make nonprofits more efficient and frugal as they save money on support and specially designed technology to fit that specific organization. 501cTECH also offers classes, webinars, and training sessions for nonprofit staff to become familiar with the power of technology and help strengthen their nonprofit and communities. They are partnered with big name technology companies like Microsoft and Google, but are looking to expand their service offerings and grow their team. These tech nerds want to help the greater good with their savvy and tech expertise. We like that they help these nonprofits save some cash and bulk up their tech-know-how, and we hope you support them too.