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How Tech Companies Can Thrive in a $2T+ Sector They Aren’t Reaching Now

If you are like most companies, you are struggling for new ways to stay relevant and gain additional traction in this post-COVID era. What if I told you there was a greenfield market segment where you could do well while doing good? In the US, there are over 1 million public charities and while 87% have mobile websites1, research shows that only 13% use technology to deliver on their mission2. The time is ripe to capture this market and support digital transformation in meaningful ways. “But there’s no money in that market” you might think. Think again. The social impact market in the US represents over $2.2 Trillion in revenue each year3.

Seattle and our surrounding region has made the national news for many things in 2020, from the first Coronavirus outbreak to the uprising of social justice activism. In the wake of these challenges, the tech community worked to adapt to a changing landscape where building products wasn’t nearly as important as finding purpose. Now, it’s possible to do both.

Last year, Seattle’s homegrown Tech4PI movement emerged with a focus on sustainable tech for good applications. Since then, Technology for the Public Interest, Tech4PI, has gathered steam with tech companies big and small and something special happened. X4Impact was born, a market intelligence platform for social innovation aimed to democratize access to data to support nonprofits, social enterprises and tech companies with a scaled approach to driving social impact, unlocking new funding sources and answering key questions such as:

  • Where is the money to fund social-impact solutions?
  • What are the details of the urgent social challenges to address as the world enters a global recovery phase?
  • Where can I use my tech talent to address social issues?
  • Which ideas to address social issues resonate with operating NGOs?
  • If we build a tech solution, will it be an economically viable venture?
  • What tech solutions are NGOs using?

Giving Tech Labs  in partnership with Microsoft created X4Impact as a free online destination to highlight challenges across all impact areas, allow for collaboration and shared insights from subject matter experts, showcase mission-driven tech solutions alongside reliable resources and discover financial data to demystify the nonprofit sector for technologists while making technology innovation accessible for those who need it most. 

Powered by AI and built on Microsoft Azure, X4Impact features over $2T in social impact money flow in the US and access to over 80M trusted resources to support your need for market intelligence. 

X4Impact was built to enable more of what is good in the world, while providing the unique opportunity for tech companies to reach the underserved market of over 1 million nonprofits in the U.S. 

Our region has led the way once again in showing what is possible when innovation meets impact.

AutoLung, a startup from Seattle, has an affordable and scalable solution to the many nations with little to no ventilator stockpile to fight COVID-19. Thanks to X4impact, they are getting matched with funders and potential partnerships and are exploring the opportunity to serve rural America and indigenous tribal areas because of the insights available through the platform. They’re building a software-defined respiratory assistant, which removes the complexities of hardware components, resulting in affordable devices that can be manufactured locally, using commodity parts. AutoLung is removing friction by solving cost, supply chain, and ease of use issues. 

Docugami was inspired to support the nonprofit market through X4Impact. Their state of the art AI system can help nonprofits reduce their operating costs related to case management, grants management, and repetitive manual workflows. The company uses Microsoft Azure alongside other stacks to simplify contract authoring and to automate reporting document information with the power of intuitive machine learning to recommend contract improvements. 

Outside our region, Footprint is an example of a revolutionary tech company making breakthroughs in material science to reduce single-use plastics in their quest to create healthier oceans and mitigate the harmful effects of plastic in humans. Organizations from hospitals to schools to tech company cafeterias now have a plant-based solution for food storage that is redefining what it means to innovate for impact.

Don’t know how to lean in? The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) provide a great framework to organize our world’s broadest impact areas. Today, X4Impact features over 825 challenges by UN SDG to inspire tech companies, funders and social entrepreneurs. We also have over 250 line-of-business solutions, a private search engine with 80 million units of knowledge, and $2T of social funding aggregated!

Companies interested in growing visibility in this new market are invited to join the  X4Impact Exchange. WTIA Members receive 10% off annual listing fees as a way to support social innovation and the scaling of technology for the public interest.

1  2018 global ngo report – nptechforgood – 5,362 npos in 164 countries
2  9th annual nonprofit tech staffing & investment report – 2015 – 701 responses – USA
3  X4Impact


  • Shelly Kurtz

    Shelly Kurtz is the co-founder & CMO of X4Impact and Giving Tech Labs in Seattle, WA, Their vision is to inspire entrepreneurs worldwide to drive positive impact and change through artificial intelligence, data sciences and sustainable models to address systemic social issues. The lab has created 7 social tech enterprises, serving over 61,000 individuals per month, addressing a social issue using technology from one of their ventures, resulting in 7 patents, research papers, government proclamations sparked and new legislation supported.

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