PLATINUM2024

Technology Exchange Lab

The fight against poverty starts with satisfying basic human needs.

aka TEL   |   Cambridge, MA   |  http://www.techxlab.org

Mission

TEL is dedicated to bringing communities out of poverty by fostering the exchange of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions that improve the lives of people at the bottom of the pyramid. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, TEL was founded in 2009 by two alumni from the MIT Sloan School of Management, whose shared vision of bottom-up poverty alleviation was inspired by their collective years of experience in introducing technology-based innovations to improve the lives of people around the world.

TEL hosts a crowdsourced database of over 600 innovative solutions to problems of poverty. Through its Project Accelerator service, TEL helps NGOs and communities leverage appropriate technology solutions to maximize the impact of last-mile development.

Ruling year info

2010

President

Karen von Bismarck

Main address

1 Broadway, 14th Floor

Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

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EIN

26-3414936

NTEE code info

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Developing communities across the world face stubborn yet solvable challenges, such as lack of access to clean water, sustainable energy, adequate healthcare and agricultural productivity. While myriad products, technologies and solutions are proven to solve such challenges at the point of use, many community-based organizations lack the time and expertise to successfully identify and implement appropriate solutions.

Moreover, with so many innovations available on the market, it can even be difficult for development practitioners and aid agencies to efficiently evaluate different solutions, in order to make evidence-based decisions in the implementation of development technologies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solutions Database

TEL’s crowd-sourced and curated platform includes detailed information on over 450 point-of-use solutions to six problem areas of global poverty:
- Water & sanitation
- Agriculture
- Energy
- Education & IT
- Health & medical care
- Housing & transportation

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

TEL is dedicated to maximizing impact of development projects around the world, at no cost to the organizations we serve.

TEL users are passionate individuals and organizations that take innovative approaches to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of people at the bottom of the pyramid. Whether your work is nonprofit, public sector or through private enterprise, we can help accelerate your development project by leveraging appropriate technology solutions.

The solutions in our database were developed by a process of Human Centered Design in order to respond to the needs, dreams and behaviors of end users. Likewise, by intimately understanding our clients and the stakeholders they serve, we empower projects to deliver appropriate solutions that meet key standards of desirability, feasibility and viability.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Solutions Database

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Technology Exchange Lab is dedicated to bringing communities out of poverty by driving the adoption of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions that improve lives at the bottom of the pyramid.

Specifically, our goal is to provide high-quality, unbiased and up-to-date information on a variety of development technologies and solutions, while also empowering community-based organizations and practitioners identify and sustainably implement development solutions that are most appropriate for their particular contexts.

Crowdsourcing innovations: our crowd-sourced database offers up-to-date, curated and globally accessible information on over 650 technology-based solutions in six key areas of international development. This critical, non-commercial resource helps development practitioners discover innovative solutions to problems of poverty, while also providing a platform for innovators to make their solutions more visible and accessible.

Implementing solutions: through the TEL Project Accelerator, we help community-based organizations and development practitioners identify and implement technologies, products and service-based solutions to local development challenges.

Improving institutional effectiveness: Through institutional partnerships with development agencies and international NGOs, we build organizational capacity for making smarter, evidence-based procurement decisions.

In addition to hosting an online community of over 500 global innovators and social entrepreneurs, our multidisciplinary team includes full-time staff, research associates and volunteers with backgrounds in international development, management consulting, finance, entrepreneurship and academia.

We also work with institutional partners, such as the Massachusetts of Technology, Siemens Stiftung, the United Nations and USAID.

We have served over 500,000 users through our online portal and free database service. We also launch an average of 10 programs per-year to sustainably implement solutions for improved access to clean water, energy, health products and agricultural productivity. These programs directly serve over 15,000 beneficiaries across Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Moving forward, our plan is to increase organizational capacity in order to expand the number of programs we can launch every year and grow the TEL database of solutions.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

Technology Exchange Lab
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Technology Exchange Lab

Board of directors
as of 05/06/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Karen von Bismarck

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/23/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/22/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.