Mar 17, 2014
In recent years, technology startups have been the talk of the industry. Each new company wants to provide the next newest and greatest tech service - just as the likes of Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google have before them.
That idealism is what has driven a large number of young software engineers and developers to attractive young startups over the past decade. However, the San Francisco Chronicle recently found that these talented individuals - once motivated by money and potential glory - are now shifting attitudes and jumping to the nonprofit sector.
Working on donation management software is just part of the overall picture.
Youth wants meaning behind work
Young hardware developers can find work in the technology sector fairly easily. Their talents aren't easily acquired, especially with continual development in the industry. That said, The Chronicle discovered an interesting trend in the field: young adults making dramatic changes to find work they could connect with.
The Chronicle profiles a young man named Zac Halbert who recently left his position as a Web designer with a billing management software company. The 28 year-old felt that there wasn't much meaning behind his work, so he jumped ship to a nonprofit called Samahope - a group that organizes and streamlines online fundraising tools for doctors in the developing world. Although Halbert took a pay cut , he told The Chronicle it's not all about the money.
" Most of the people I know in the tech sector don't set out to create a trivial product," he said. "For me, I wanted the outcome of my work to have a more positive impact, for most of the hours of my day."
Similarly, Marc Abbyad left his position as a firmware engineer in Toronto and moved to San Francisco to become a product manager for a mobile health care technology provider. He cited similar motivation to that of Halbert: hope of making a positive impact in the lives of others who needed it most, The Chronicle said.
Nonprofits projected for increased mobile use
The unique skill sets of these individuals are following a growing trend in the tech field right now: a shift in paradigm to mobile technologies.
According to charity technologies website Charity Digital News, the nonprofit sector is likely to become mobile-centric, especially since it's largely dependent on processing donations. Accessibility on any and all devices is vital not only because it keeps people connected, but a recent Pew Research Internet Project study found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults made an online donation in 2012, and 1 in 10 adults took advantage of a text message donation program in the same year. That percentage is likely to grow in the coming years due to increased smartphone usage and public accessibility of wireless Internet.
With a growing shift into online and mobile technologies, nonprofits can continue to recruit young and skilled professionals to their organizations and focus more on nonprofit payment processing and integrating their websites into their overall missions.