I’ve been working with a really fantastic organization, Techsoup Canada, on helping them launch their new site. They do really amazing work connecting non-profits and Charities to technologies that they might otherwise not afford.

Techsoup Global was founded in 1987 by a couple of guys in a station wagon, who went around collecting all the freebee software sent to publication for review and re-allocating it to organizations in need. These robin hoods of silicon valley eventually grew the organization to the point where, in 2008, they were receiving annually tech donation worth 312$ Million.

The real beauty here is that Techsoup has become more than just a great enabler – connecting organizations to a myriad of corporate donation programs in a centrally administered repository. Their success has mad them an important advocate for the non-profit sector.

For years, Techsoup has served the needs of Canadian NGO’s and NFP’s through their San Francisco office. Establishing a Toronto base of operations will allow the organization to better administer the intricacies of Canadian donation programs, and to support the language needs of French Canada. Techsoup Canada is the result of a collaboration between the Centre for Social Innovation,  the Information Technology Association of Canada, and the Trillium Foundation.

Working on the website has posed numerous challenges. Namely, coordinating workflows between a development team in Poland, the San Fransico office, and Toronto. Drupal has always been challenged when facing the dev-staging-production workflow, but I haven’t faced butted up against it this much before. The Drupal community desperately needs to smartly seperate database content from configuration, and develop better logging and migration toolkits.

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This is the blog of Andrew Mallis, a Toronto-born, San Francisco-based polymedia artist. I work in new(er) media with code, photography and electronics, and in traditional media by writing, drawing & painting.