9 Best Charities That Enable Digital & Tech Literacy (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Enable Digital & Tech Literacy (Complete 2022 List)

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Diana Stancu

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Today, technology is an essential part of life and involves skills that improve a person’s overall well-being. But for people who don’t understand these new tools, technology can become a barrier, creating disadvantage and hardship. Approximately 16% of Americans are digitally illiterate, and 3,7 billion people worldwide lack any digital access or skills. Fortunately, charities around the world are fighting to equip people with the confidence, access, and skills to benefit from the digital world. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that enable digital & tech literacy?

The best charities that enable digital and tech literacy are Team4Tech, Older Adults Technology Services, and the Good Things Foundation. Other charities, like Compudopt and IT Schools Africa, bring digital training to underserved communities worldwide. 

Whether you want to help digitally excluded communities improve their tech skills, bring access to technology and digital training to third-world children, or support policies that fight to end the digital equity gap, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that enable digital and tech literacy are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Enable Digital & Tech Literacy Have in Common

The charities on the list were chosen based on their impact, communities served, achievements, and transparency ratings. They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, providing technological training and grants to bridge the digital divide.

The charities on the list offer digital literacy training to disadvantaged communities to improve their economic and educational opportunities. They also improve access to technology by coaching local teachers and bringing new or refurbished devices to poor individuals. In addition, they advocate for policies that address the digital divide among nations. Moreover, some charities teach basic computer and tech skills, while others deepen their classes to coding, digital design, or STEM lessons. Yet, through different means, all of these charities share the same goal of creating digital citizens by enabling digital and tech literacy worldwide.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Enable Digital & Tech Literacy

Below are our favorite charities that enable digital & tech literacy:

  • Team4Tech
  • Older Adults Technology Services
  • Good Things Foundation
  • Compudopt
  • IT Schools Africa
  • Community Tech Network
  • Digital Literacy Rocks!
  • Generations on Line
  • Digital Literacy Foundation

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Team4Tech: Bridging the Digital Equity Gap

Team4Tech was founded in 2013 by Julie Clugage and Lilia Ibrahim to improve the quality of education for under-resourced learners worldwide. Today, they deliver digital training lessons and aid local nonprofits through technology solutions and grants.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Team4Tech has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, with a 100% score on two metrics. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We are an impact accelerator, bridging the digital gap in education to create inclusion and opportunities for under-resourced learners around the world.

Team4Tech

What they do: Team4Tech partners with companies and social impact projects to provide technology training and grants to underserved learners. For example, they support teachers and students worldwide in advancing their STEM skills, from digital literacy to coding. They also help Cambodian children with digital design training to increase their educational and career prospects. In addition, they empower African girls to grow their engagement and abilities in technology or the STEM field so they can improve their economic opportunities. Moreover, they work with local partners in the US to help disadvantaged communities access digital classes

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Team4Tech has improved educational and economic opportunities for over 130,000 under-resourced learners from 24 countries, with the help of 1,500 volunteers. They have also distributed more than $19 million in technology training and grants to over 50 nonprofit partners worldwide. Furthermore, after finishing their training, 94% of educators increased their technology skills and teaching abilities. In addition, their programs helped 72% of South African participants to attend university, compared to the 5% national average. Moreover, in 2019, they helped 3,300 Asian and African girls to advance their STEM and tech skills. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Team4Tech via their website. You can also contribute by volunteering or subscribing to their newsletter. In addition, you can join them as a corporate partner or a nonprofit partner

Older Adults Technology Services: Aging Better in the Digital Age

Older Adults Technology Services was founded in 2004 by Tom Kamber to help seniors learn and use technology so they can live better in the digital age. Today, they support elders with digital trainings and resources regardless of socioeconomic circumstances, geography, or educational background.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Older Adults Technology Services has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We are on a mission to harness the power of technology to change the way we age.

Older Adults Technology Services

What they do: Older Adults Technology Services runs the Senior Planet program as a digital learning space for older adults. Through this, they offer seniors a wide range of virtual classes, like online banking and telemedicine, to develop their digital skills and improve their internet navigation. They also run an online social community for their learners to create friendships and use the digital tools from their courses. In addition, they equip organizations nationwide with the tools to help older adults access technology and use it to enhance their lives. They also create social projects and advocate for policies about senior digital inclusion

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Older Adults Technology Services has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of older adults across 256 program sites in 5 states. For example, in 2019, they provided nearly 700 technological trainings to 4,200 older adults. Thus, they held 360 ten-week courses and 120 five-week courses that included 350 learning modules in total. Among the modules, they offered 99 Computer Basics classes and 39 iPad Basics lessons. Furthermore, in 2021, they helped nearly 21,000 seniors become digitally literate through more than 7,000 virtual program sessions.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Older Adults Technology Services on their website. You can also contribute by subscribing to their newsletter, applying for a job, or through employee giving

Good Things Foundation: Fix the Digital Divide for Good

The Good Things Foundation was founded in 2010 in the UK by Helen Milner to enable the most disadvantaged to lead better lives through digital inclusion. Today, they reach communities nationwide to help overcome social challenges and improve digital technologies and literacy.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the Good Things Foundation spent 100% of their total income on charitable activities.

We have one clear mission – to fix the digital divide for good. We aim to create social change and support socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital.

Good Things Foundation

What they do: The Good Things Foundation works with national partners to create online learning resources and help underserved people understand the digital world and its technology. For example, their Learn My Way website offers free online courses to develop digital skills while ensuring that students practice online safety. Moreover, their Make It Click website improves people’s digital skills for better progress in their careers and productive remote working. They also run an Australian learning platform with in-depth courses that advance digital literacy. In addition, they organize national programs and campaigns to advocate for digital inclusion and online safety. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Good Things Foundation has supported over 3,5 million people to improve their lives through digital inclusion. For example, in 2019, they worked with 5,262 national partners to reach over 440,000 people worldwide and help 300,000 people build key digital skills. In addition, their Learn My Way site provided 21 digital literacy courses to nearly 130,000 people. Moreover, their digital inclusion campaigns reached over 70,000 people through 2,300 awareness events from 900 partner organizations. Also, since its launch, their Australian branch has funded over $20 million to help 100,000 people increase their digital literacy with 5,000 digital mentors.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Good Things Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by donating digital devices or campaigning for digital inclusion. In addition, you can coach a loved one to increase their digital skills.

Compudopt: Equip. Connect. Inspire.

Compudopt was founded in 2007 by Jonathan Osha to give every child equal access to digital education and opportunity. Today, they deliver hands-on digital literacy and programming classes for disadvantaged youth to provide them with necessary employment skills. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Compudopt holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We provide technology access and education to under-resourced youth and their communities.

Compudopt

What they do: Compudopt runs interactive lessons for children and digital classes for adults to strengthen computer and technology literacy. For example, they provide early graders with insight into the importance of technology by designing digital games with animals. They also help elementary and secondary students improve their digital skills through storytelling and mystery-solving games. In addition, they teach high schoolers to code and create personal websites. Moreover, they aid youth with IT knowledge and skills while helping them explore careers in IT. They also provide Digital Skill Building classes for adults, including computer basics, email basics, and internet use

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Compudopt has impacted nearly 200,000 people and helped 71,000 students become digitally literate through more than 225,000 hours of technological lessons. For example, in 2021, they served individuals across 15 states and 23 cities, investing over $5,6 million across their digital learning programs. In the same year, they distributed 19,000 laptops and computers to more than 12,000 families to ease access to tech learning. In addition, they started a $35 million partnership with Santander Consumer USA to deliver their IT trainings to underserved communities nationwide. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Compudopt on their website. You can also contribute by volunteering, starting a Facebook fundraiser, or donating a computer.

IT Schools Africa: Transforming Lives Through Access to e-Learning

IT Schools Africa was founded in 2004 by a group of professionals to improve life opportunities for students and local communities through e-Learning technologies. Today, their programs provide technological literacy to African youth while simultaneously supporting vulnerable individuals in the UK.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, IT Schools Africa spent 96.6% of their total income on charitable activities and 3.4% on fundraising campaigns. 

We aim to alleviate poverty and create thriving communities through access to quality education.

IT Schools Africa

What they do: IT Schools Africa ships refurbished computers to African communities, then delivers digital training and technical support to all recipient schools. They do this by coaching local teachers to give students the necessary digital skills to further their education. In addition, they work to create a digitally literate workforce across Africa to help advance its economy and access to the Internet. Furthermore, they run nationwide programs in the UK to improve the IT and digital skills of unemployed and disabled people. In addition, their Digital Champions UK program enables digital and social inclusion through one-on-one tech classes.

What they’ve achieved: Today, IT Schools Africa improves digital skills and access to technology across 10 African countries, especially Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. For example, between 2004 and 2021, they helped nearly 5,4 million African students access e-Learning and become digitally literate by sending over 65,000 computers to 2,500 schools. In the same year, they trained 843 teachers and equipped 211 students with tech education for future employment. Furthermore, between 2017 and 2021, their UK programs offered digital literacy classes to 22,000 people across 100 learning facilities. Moreover, in 2021, they trained 35 educators who served 3,000 tech learners.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to IT Schools Africa via their website. You can also support them by volunteering, fundraising, or donating your working IT equipment.

Community Tech Network: Transforming Lives Through Digital Literacy

Community Tech Network was founded in 2008 by a group of professionals to offer public digital literacy training for the socially and economically disadvantaged. Today, they fight to give equitable access to the Internet, provide technical support, and improve computer skills across the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Community Tech Network has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Our mission is to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy.

Community Tech Network

What they do: Community Tech Network brings digital education to underserved communities to decrease isolation and equip people with tech skills for their careers and daily lives. For example, their SF Connected program provides in-person, one-on-one digital literacy training and advice for older adults and people with disabilities. In addition, their Home Connect project offers a free digital device and 17 hours of remote digital skills coaching to seniors at risk of isolation. They also host educational events to pair learners with volunteers that answer their specific tech questions. Moreover, they give local organizations tools to help communities with digital education.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Community Tech Network has supported digitally-excluded communities nationwide. For example, between 2017 and 2021, they helped 7,300 learners with nearly 38,000 hours of digital and tech training. In the same period, they distributed over 3,000 digital devices to their students and provided them with almost 44,000 at-home visits to ease access to digital education. In addition, their 1,226 volunteers helped students across 4,500 volunteering hours to better understand the digital world. Furthermore, in 2021, they offered over 4,000 hours of tech instruction in 8 languages across 17 states.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Community Tech Network on their website. You can also contribute by starting a corporate partnership or volunteering as a digital coach

Digital Literacy Rocks!: Adult Computer Classes

Digital Literacy Rocks! was founded in 2017 by Robin Adams to enhance the quality of life for adult communities left behind by the digital divide. Today, they help community members, families, and businesses to skilfully use technology in their careers and personal lives.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Digital Literacy Rocks! holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Whether their needs are work-related or for their personal satisfaction, we guide and empower people as they learn computer skills in a way that makes sense to them.

Digital Literacy Rocks!

What they do: Digital Literacy Rocks! offers instructor-led classes, for beginner and intermediate levels, to help adults build their computer skills and digital confidence. For this, they give personalized instruction to each student, in one-to-one or small-group settings. During the courses, they provide information about Computer Basics & Microsoft Word, as well as Internet & G-Mail Basics. In addition, they offer in-depth classes on using Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel. Furthermore, they give students a final assessment which, if passed, grants them a Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate, recognized by employers across the US.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Digital Literacy Rocks! has continued to help adults improve their digital skills. For example, in 2020, they gave 62 final assessments to 32 students who completed multiple instruction modules. Nearly 85% of the students had a passing score and received the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate. In the same year, they helped 24 individuals improve their tech skills for employment opportunities. Moreover, 16 participants were unemployed at the time of instruction, and half of them got hired after completing the course. Furthermore, in 2022, they held 6 courses across 4- to 6-week sessions each. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Digital Literacy Rocks! via their website. You can also contribute by volunteering or starting a corporate partnership

Generations on Line: Simplifying the Internet for Seniors 

Generations on Line was founded in 1999 by Tobey Dichter to promote digital inclusion for seniors by providing step-by-step instructions to help them use the Internet. Today, the charity provides technological and digital training to people over 65 through expert-tested software

Their impact and transparency ratings: Generations on Line holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We simplify tech tools in order to foster internet literacy, access and skills to the elderly, and overcome the fear of the new electronic media.

Generations on Line

What they do: Generations on Line runs digital training programs to help older adults as technology evolves. For example, they teach the basics of touchscreen and keyboard use, as well as desktop navigation. They also help participants learn to use Google engines, Gmail, and other ways of text messaging or video calling while maintaining online safety. In addition, they create apps that offer tablet and smartphone training lessons. They also run an online library of educational resources to help seniors navigate the digital world. Moreover, they organize Sip and Swipe events in senior centers and living facilities to give organized coaching sessions.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Generations on Line has helped more than 200,000 elders master the use of the Internet. Today, they work across 2,000 senior care facilities from all 50 states, Canada, Australia, the UK, and India. Moreover, in 2015, the charity’s founder, Tobey Dichter, was named one of the 50 Most Influential Leaders in Aging in America and one of the six over 60 leaders in Pennsylvania. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Generations on Line on their website. You can also support them by following their Twitter and Facebook accounts. In addition, you can share their learning app with older friends or relatives who need internet coaching. 

Digital Literacy Foundation: Understand Technology

The Digital Literacy Foundation was founded in 1992 in Australia by a group of professionals to work with disadvantaged communities to achieve universal digital literacy and inclusion. Today, they help create digital citizens by building skills to get online confidently and connect safely.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the Digital Literacy Foundation spent 65% of their total income on charitable projects and 35% on administrative fees and fundraising.

Our purpose is to ensure people experiencing disadvantage have the skills to use the web confidently and safely, in order to reap the economic and social benefits that technology offers.

Digital Literacy Foundation

What they do: The Digital Literacy Foundation bridges the digital divide by pairing learners with volunteering Tech Mates. With this, they aid people struggling with technology through one-on-one mentoring sessions, either physically or by telephone and video chat. During the lessons, Tech Mates help learners do online shopping, use social media, or keep in touch with family and friends. Students can also learn to access health care and use tips for online safety. In addition, their volunteers receive ongoing training opportunities and support. Furthermore, they run iPad Programs for seniors by hosting events that bring devices and offer professional mentoring.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Digital Literacy Foundation has continued to improve digital literacy across Australia. For example, in 2020, their 125 Tech Mates provided nearly 1,300 mentoring sessions to 21 learners. In the same year, they trained 744 volunteers and offered professional development to 550 individuals across 51 events. After the trainings, 98% of participants said they enjoyed it and would implement what they learned in their careers and daily lives. In addition, the charity reached over 5,000 community members across 93 digital awareness events

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Digital Literacy Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by applying for a job or following their Facebook account. In addition, you can volunteer as a digital mentor or refer someone who needs digital support

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that enable digital & tech literacy. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to enabling digital & tech literacy – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Diana Stancu

Diana loves to research and write about topics that bring awareness to communities in need. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and considers herself a lifelong learner who strives to increase her knowledge and expertise. Outside of work, she enjoys writing fiction, creating cooking recipes, studying philosophy, and taking sunset photos.

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