We were excited to be a part of the premier event focused on the intersection of philanthropy and technology: TAG2022, The Technology Association of Grantmakers annual conference. Roughly 375 philanthropy tech changemakers convened in person in San Antonio (for the first time since 2019) to share, learn, discuss, relate, and come away ready to take on the next challenge. Here we will share some of our major takeaways from the event. Enjoy!
Opening keynote: Insights from Afua Bruce and Amy Sample Ward: Afua Bruce and Amy Sample Ward kicked off the official conference program with their insightful and thought-provoking keynote talk highlighting important findings from their recently published book ‘The Tech That Comes Next’. They discussed the importance of building a world around systemic inclusion and dove into what that means in a practical sense. The speakers talked about the importance of being very explicit around values and not making the mistake of building on assumptions. Additionally, acknowledging the knowledge and wisdom of lived experience and ensuring the participation of a diverse group of people, regardless of their knowledge of technology, helps to facilitate inclusion. The pair also shared their hope for a future of neutral technology that doesn’t rely on systematically biased algorithms. Their message to the group was to advocate for proactive policies, commit to inclusion, build equitable knowledge of tools, and fund for failure. This was a very inspiring and thought-provoking start to a conference focusing on the future of technology in philanthropy!
Highlights from the Salesforce.org Partners & User Group Meetup: We were happy to be invited to participate in a meetup luncheon with other partners of Salesforce.org and Salesforce users attending the TAG conference. Our table’s discussion focused on impact measurement and analytics and we proudly hosted alongside a representative from our partner Vera Solutions. We enjoyed having the opportunity to talk with Salesforce users working at foundations and grantmakers about what their organizations are prioritizing in terms of impact measurement. The conversation steered toward how data is being captured or collected from grantees and how to streamline and consolidate reporting. It was great to see Salesforce users candidly sharing their system integration and data consolidation challenges while gaining inspiration from how others are approaching similar problems. We look forward to the next opportunity to engage with Salesforce users in person!
2022 State of Philanthropy Tech: An exciting part of last week’s conference was the publication of TAG’s 2022 State of Philanthropy report, available on TAG’s website now. The report is full of key findings including the ongoing, long-term shift to fully remote or hybrid workplaces for the philanthropy sector. In terms of funding technology investments from a budget perspective, 50% of respondents allocated between 1-5% of operating budget to technology. Essentially, technology investments continue to remain stubbornly underfunded. But it’s not all bad news, as the report found that cybersecurity breaches at foundations have significantly decreased in the past two years. Additionally, the report found an increase in the trend of using the same system for both grants management and CRM, further blurring the lines in the philanthropy tech space. Download your copy of the 2022 State of Philanthropy Tech report here to dive into more findings from the report.
Thanks for reading this recap of our experience at TAG2022 in San Antonio. If you would like to connect with us to learn more about how we can support your foundation or grantmaking organization with strategic advisory services or ongoing support, drop us a line!