Nonprofit Tech Outfits Offer Solutions During Pandemic

Written by: Michael Theis
Published on: Apr 15, 2020

Tech-focused nonprofits have had to quickly adapt to the global coronavirus pandemic. Many, particularly in the education-software field, have pivoted to allow free emergency access to their resources. Others are trying to build tools to better diagnose and track the spread of the disease.

Health Care

Medic Mobile

This San Francisco-based nonprofit develops tech tools for health-care workers. For example, on a short-turnaround development schedule, the group designed and launched an app to help authorities in Nepal screen passengers coming into the country through ports of entry.


This nonprofit developed software that connects remote health-care workers with doctors for diagnosis and triage. Its system is deployed on projects in Haiti, India, and the Philippines. On the back-end, the software also can funnel data to health authorities to better track outbreaks. The group has ramped up its outreach efforts to provide technical support to health agencies dealing with the pandemic.



This California-based nonprofit developed mobile translation software that uses bilingual volunteers and video streaming to translate conversations between health and humanitarian workers and their clients across the globe. Currently, it has about 20,000 volunteer translators on call. Tarjimly announced in mid-March that its apps were being used by health officials in the United States and abroad to facilitate translation between doctors and patients.


Khan Academy

Social-distancing, school closures, and shelter-in-place orders have forced hundreds of thousands of parents around the world to suddenly take up home schooling. The California-based nonprofit Khan Academy, which makes remote-learning coursework, has published a suite of scheduling resources and syllabi for parents and teachers thrust into the world of distance learning.


This nonprofit provides online math tutoring to low-income high-school students. During the coronavirus pandemic, the group said it will provide free access to its platform to low-income schools.


Designed for teachers who now suddenly find themselves remotely instructing their pupils, this nonprofit produces an app that lets school systems and teachers communicate with students and families in their native languages. The group announced it would make TalkingPoints available for free to "high-need" schools and school districts.


This nonprofit develops digital literature curricula for teachers and school systems. During the pandemic, the group is making its offerings free to parents. It is also providing "mini units" of reading materials to school systems for free.

Mental Health

Crisis Text Line

This nonprofit, which provides free confidential counseling services, has been swamped by increased demand brought on by the coronavirus, according to a blog post from co-founder Bob Filbin. In addition to its normal services, the group has also compiled a list of mental-health best practices and resources.

Food Security


San Francisco-based nonprofit RePlate has branded its service as "food rescuers." Its mainstay service makes it easy for restaurants and businesses to donate surplus food to food banks and pantries. Since the coronavirus pandemic landed on U.S. shores, the group has had to adapt quickly. On Twitter, it reports its sources of surplus food have "dried up," and it is looking for donations so it can continue to pay its workers.


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