Mastercard Changeworks Launches to Enhance Work of Canadian Not-for-Profits

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) has launched Changeworks™, a social-impact program that “helps Canada’s not-for-profits harness the power of technology and data to create positive change.”

To put this commitment into action, Mastercard has “made its first anchor grant to national not-for-profit, CanadaHelps, to launch a digital transformation program for charities across Canada.”

As noted in the update, Canada is “home to outstanding not-for-profits delivering critical social programs and services, but many of these organizations have not been able to adequately invest in technology infrastructure and digital skills.”

While a majority believe digital adoption is important and the resource crunch they face could be more effectively managed through digital technology, 55% of charities polled “say they do not have the funding, or the skills, expertise and knowledge for digital adoption1.”

This has “created significant obstacles for delivering programs and services efficiently, scaling impact and reach, and bringing in donations critical to support their work.” The pandemic has “made this situation even more challenging as not-for-profit organizations struggled to survive and to pivot to online models while facing decreasing revenue and increasing demand for services.”

Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada, said:

“Canadian not-for-profit organizations are vital contributors to our country’s economic health and social fabric, but many lack the necessary technology infrastructure and digital skills to deliver on their mandates and increase their impact. We aim to provide support, resources and expertise to help empower them do what they do best. It’s about creating a ripple effect that will make Canadian society stronger, more inclusive, and more equitable for everyone.”

As mentioned in the announcement, the core mission of Mastercard Changeworks is “to support Canadian not-for-profits – and the individuals and communities they serve – by helping them improve their technology and data capabilities.”

Designed with three program pillars: grants and partnerships, hackathons and datathons, and employee volunteer initiatives, the program will “launch with a targeted focus on not-for-profits in the entrepreneurship space, particularly those supporting Indigenous and Immigrant/Newcomer small-business entrepreneurs; a segment of the business community that continues to face significant challenges.” Over time, the program will “broaden to others in the not-for-profit sector.”

CanadaHelps is reportedely “the first anchor grant recipient of Mastercard Changeworks.”

The grant will “fund the development and piloting of a new program, CanadaHelps’ Charity Growth Academy – to help small and medium-size charities use tech and data to transform their strategies, operations, and fundraising.”

Eleven charities and not-for-profits in the entrepreneurship, Indigenous and/or immigrant/newcomer space will be “part of the pilot, each receiving a digital transformation assessment and customized action plan, training, coaching, and a grant from Mastercard to implement technology and/or data solutions customized to its needs.”

Lizz Bryce, SVP, Community and Strategic Initiatives at CanadaHelps, remarked:

“The prioritization of digital transformation is well understood and underway in the business world, and charities need the same support to go digital that has been offered to small businesses. The support provided by Mastercard Changeworks has taken Charity Growth Academy from a bold idea to a reality that was only possible with the significant investment Mastercard was willing to make. This program will enable our small and medium-size charity partners to kick-start their digital transformation journeys with the support of quality training resources, connections to volunteer experts, and funding needed to lay the foundations for long-term progress and success.”

Mastercard Changeworks furthers the mission of The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth “to advance equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion globally.”

Through a commitment to investing in actionable insights, impactful programs and cross-sector partnerships, the Center helps “ensure that technology works for people, meets their needs and makes their lives better.”

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