make-a-diff

On Wednesday, the Australian software company unveiled MakeADiff.org, a website that connects technology experts with nonprofits who couldn’t otherwise afford their services.

“It’s almost like a Match.com that connects technology volunteerism with charities and causes,” Atlassian president Jay Simons told VentureBeat. “Imagine if charities could get engineering help from Google, Facebook, or Atlassian — that’s what we’re hoping to provide.”

Since Atlassian’s 2002 inception, the company has placed a major emphasis on social philanthropy. Through its foundation, Atlassian donates 1 percent of its equity, profit, employee time, and software licenses to nonprofits. MakeADiff is a natural extension of the company’s volunteerism, said Atlassian cofounder and CEO Scott Farquhar.

“The charities like our money, but what they really want is to solve problems,” Farquhar said in a recent conversation with VentureBeat. “And the skilled people don’t want to go to the soup kitchen and label stuff, they really want to [leverage their technical talents to] make a difference.”

MakeADiff has been in the works for about four months. The idea came about after a nonprofit asked the Atlassian Foundation for $100,000 so it could hire some engineers to create a web application. While the financial negotiations were in progress, three Atlassian engineers just went ahead and built the app — inspiring the creation of MakeADiff.

At the moment, the MakeADiff website leads to a landing page that describes some of the pilot projects, which are only open to Atlassian employees.

Read more at VentureBeat