Empowering nonprofits to use technology so that they can focus on their impact work

Helping TechSoup to realise their vision for the impactful use of technology by non profits and digital makers
For over 30 years, nonprofit social enterprise TechSoup has led the way in creating social impact through supporting over 1 million nonprofits globally. TechSoup helps these organisations gain access to the technology and services they need to build a more equitable planet.

TechSoup, with all of their experience with tech and nonprofits, noticed something. Many of the nonprofits they helped weren't making the most of the tech they had access to. It was a missed opportunity for these organisations to maximise their impact.

Recognising the potential, TechSoup envisioned an exciting solution: a digital "marketplace." This marketplace would offer much more than discounted technology; it would bring together solutions with  customised training, tools, and subject matter expertise that was already in place and enable a community so nonprofits could do their thing own better, whether that’s being more impactful, effective, or fundraising.

We saw the potential in the idea and the people of TechSoup too, we were eager to collaborate. But we knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. The marketplace idea had the potential to be many things to many people. Where to start? What tech do we need? How to get everyone on board? Who should we roll this out to first?

And then, just a few months before COVID hit, we met with some of the key TechSoup stakeholders responsible for the vision." We suggested that we roll up our sleeves and get going with some workshops. Our goal? To figure out the 'why, who, what, and how' of the marketplace, so that we could begin to answer those niggling questions.

But, of course, COVID had other plans. Our workshops and projects had to adapt to a whole new virtual reality. It was a crazy time, unlike any other partnership we’d experienced, an amazing partnership, over two and a half years, our collaboration took place entirely online, and the result? The birth of the first digital version of the marketplace, delivering a new service for NGOs moving away from one off transactions with an admin user, to a new NGO membership offer providing subject matter expertise, added services, discounted products and community engagement across a range of new community spaces, all  to multiple members of each NGO TechSoup served -  a new service with that greater value now live in a  proudly known as “Quad”.

This journey wasn't just about solving tech problems; it was about working with some incredible, inspiring people at TechSoup and their partner network. Together, we set out to change the game for how nonprofits use technology and what a journey it’s been.

Impact in focus

We created a digital platform that contains

3 × Communities of purpose
5 × Communities of practice
70 × Pieces of technology content
3 × Member technology offers

Which reaches


Member sign ups*


Nonprofit organisations


Members per nonprofit organisation
*Since the completion of our work, as of As of June 2023. Quad has launched in Poland and US, been localised into multiple languages and they are looking to expand into the thousands in the coming years.

And aims to help them by

Becoming better educated on how to best use technology for their cause
Cost effectively using the latest technologies
Providing expert support to answer questions

Working with

2 × elsewhere employees
3 × elsewhere freelancers
20 × TechSoup stakeholders
30+ TechSoup employees

Across the following countries


Some kind words from TechSoup

Marnie Webb
Chief Community Impact Officer - TechSoup
At TechSoup, we're dedicated to building a dynamic bridge that leverages technology to enable connections and innovative solutions for a more equitable planet. In 2020, we embarked on a critical project - nonprofit technology marketplace to meet the demands of today’s organizations. This involved creating a modern customer experience, incorporating new business models, and taking advantage of opportunities for process efficiency. This was -- and is -- a large project that impacts most of our staff and more than 600,000 civil society organizations world wide . To navigate the complexities of this  ambitious undertaking, we brought in the talented team at elsewhere.

From the outset, Elsewhere proved to be more than just a design firm. They were insightful partners. Their dedication went beyond merely generating work flows, wire frames, and visuals; they delved deep into our vision, helping us organize our thinking and clarify our objectives. This involved developing service maps that showed how our systems worked at that time and how they could work.  It involved working with us run focus groups and learn from the organizations we serve. Through a collaborative process, they challenged our assumptions and pushed us to consider perspectives we hadn't fully explored. This critical step ensured that the designs they presented weren't simply beautiful, but strategically aligned with our goals.

elsewhere's commitment to fostering a sense of team was truly remarkable. They seamlessly integrated with our internal team, building trust and open communication at every level. This collaborative spirit created a shared sense of purpose, ensuring everyone felt invested in the project's success. This not only fueled creativity but also facilitated smooth implementation and ongoing buy-in.

Their commitment to excellence extended beyond aesthetics and collaboration. elsewhere's meticulous documentation was invaluable. They captured every decision, design iteration, and rationale, creating a comprehensive roadmap that has allowed us to continue developing and expanding the marketplace even after their formal engagement ended. This invaluable resource empowers us to maintain consistency and build upon the solid foundation they established.

As we learned, we were able to incorporate the work that elsewhere did into a final product that was not what either of us expected.  On our end, the work we did with them made us realize we had to make more significant changes to our business model and the work they did with us is now instantiated as Quad, a global membership offering support NGOs as they manage and optimize their digital stack.  

We learned about our organization, our community, and our capabilities as a result of our work with them. We got structured deliverables that moved our thinking and our project forward.  I can’t give a better endorsement than that."

Our journey

The time we spent together

3 years

The projects we worked on together
5 × separate project stages
Apr 2020
May 2020
A pragmatic first step; workshops to understand the TechSoup vision
Duties included
Online workshop design
Online workshop facilitation
Requirements gathering
Jun 2020
Sep 2020
Insight into the people: understand the needs of nonprofits, the employees and operations of TechSoup
Duties included
Employee research
Customer reserarch
Service design
User story mapping
Workshop facilitation
Product strategy
Oct 2020
Dec 2020
The first digital version: UX, UI and code for the first version of the platform and user testing it
Duties included
UX/UI design
Front end development
Product management
Digital analytics
Backlog management
Jan 2021
Mar 2021
Strategically looking ahead; Define the long term vision and roadmap. Platform launch, promotion and listening
Duties included
Digital Product strategy
UX research
Platform testing
Product ownership
Apr 2021
Apr 2022
Iterate and improve: Make changes to the platform through user feedback. Helping TechSoup to create their own internal product team to manage the product in house
Duties included
Digital Product strategy
Digital analytics
Team building
Front end development
User research

People in focus

People outcomes we feel most proud of

Aligning a diverse set of 20 senior stakeholders around large complex multi faceted vision. A vision which was held dear by many within the organisation over many years
Leading, motivating and mobilising a team hybrid team of TechSoup and elsewhere employees to design, and code the first visions of the platform
Helped to build a self sustaining product team that could continue the successes of the platform after we’d gone

Technology in focus

Service maps to understand where people, processes and technology intersect
A modular design system for the platform using Figma so that the platform can scale and grow
A combination of frontend coding, built on the Circle community platform formed the technology stack
Set up of Google Analytics and product measurement tools to understand how the platform was being used and where it could be improved

Other cases

Unlocking the power of digital impact measurement for funders and change makers
Reimagining the way that hard to find luxury fashion items are sourced

See something that makes sense to you?

Book us in for a meeting and we can talk about it more.