Tech Forward’s Technology Innovation Awards are now open! The TIA grants recognize nonprofit organizations' plans to use innovative technology projects to create a positive impact on their communities and change lives. With help from our stellar sponsors, including Okta for Good, Tech Forward will grant $10,000 to nonprofits to help implement these technologies.
We had a chance to speak with the team at Okta for Good about the importance of the nonprofit sector, the biggest technology opportunities, and the Technology Innovation Awards. Here's what they had to say...
How is the Okta for Good team helping nonprofits? What resources are available to them?
Okta’s goal is to enable any organization to use any technology. The mission of Okta for Good, our company’s social impact initiative, is a natural extension of that goal: to strengthen the connections between people, technology, and communities. Nonprofit organizations are at the heart of our communities, which is why they’re at the heart of Okta for Good’s work.
We support nonprofits in a variety of ways. As a result of our founders taking the 1% Pledge, every Okta employee gets paid to volunteer for three days every year. We also support our employees to run giving campaigns for the organizations that are meaningful to them. We’ve been amazed by the diversity of causes and organizations to which our employees dedicate their resources.
At the company level, Okta recently announced a $10 million, three-year nonprofit technology initiative. This commitment of resources—the largest in Okta for Good’s history—reflects Okta’s belief in the importance of strengthening nonprofit institutions. We’re proud that Tech Impact is one of our marquee partners in this initiative.
We also help make Okta’s products more accessible to nonprofits around the world. For example, every validated 501(c)3 organization is entitled to 25 free licenses for all of Okta’s workforce identity products. Nonprofit organizations are also eligible for pro bono professional services to help with implementation. We invite organizations to learn more at okta.com/okta-for-good.
Why are nonprofits such an important area of focus for Okta?
Nonprofits do society’s hardest work. They serve our most vulnerable people, advocate for our dearest causes, and protect our most important resources. So, investing in the nonprofit sector means investing in stronger communities for everyone.
From a technology perspective, many nonprofits face a "perfect storm" of risk: trying to secure some of the most sensitive data with extremely limited resources. As a security company, we see that risk as a unique opportunity for our products to make a positive impact.
What technologies present the biggest opportunities for nonprofits?
In the past, organizations often faced a trade-off between security and usability. VPNs are a case-in-point: they provide a degree of protection but they also add friction for the user. Modern identity solutions, like Okta, allow organizations to significantly improve their security postures while actually making life easier for end-users.
Take the combination of Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as an example. Your organization probably uses more and more applications each year. Without SSO, each new application becomes another isolated “identity” for your IT team to secure and manage. However, Okta SSO—leveraging standard protocols like SAML—enables organizations to freely adopt and deploy any application without creating new credentials. Securing your SSO portal with MFA dramatically increases user security, regardless of how many applications you deploy. That’s how Okta increases security and usability at the same time.
What made Okta want to get involved with the Tech Forward Conference?
Tech Impact has fostered an awesome community around the Tech Forward Conference. We love this community’s authentic commitment to supporting each other to do great work. Tech Forward is an opportunity for Okta to listen to the challenges and needs of a diverse group of nonprofit technology leaders. We’re honored to partner with Tech Impact to support this dynamic event.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s TIA grants?
2020 has been a hard year for every organization. We know that nonprofits are struggling to respond to the myriad challenges presented by this global pandemic. Some are finding opportunities to reinvent themselves while others are focused on simply maintaining critical services. In the face of tragedy and uncertainty, we’re looking forward to being inspired by stories of creativity, resourcefulness, and dedication.
Learn more about how Okta for Good supports our sector and can help your organization with its security needs at okta.com/okta-for-good.