First there was Hoosiers. Then came Rudy. Now, there’s Pangea Foundation. We’re the latest in a long line of underdogs, tackling the technological challenges that come our way—and helping others do the same. Our objective: To deploy our thinking and our online innovations to solve the complex challenges of our time.
Ours is the story of the undrafted free agent. The walk-on. The kid who relies on wit, commitment, and good old-fashioned grit to make a difference.
Led by highly productive refugees from the mega-business world, where revenues are measured in billions, Fortune 500 is the sandbox, and the bottom line is the bottom line, Pangea Foundation has been a different kind of software company from the start.
All the solutions, services, and strategic acumen you’d expect from a Silicon Valley software company, with the passion and soul of a social-entrepreneurial nonprofit. Big enough to do it right. Small enough to do it better. That’s Pangea Foundation.
The men and women driving Pangea Foundation have come together from sundry backgrounds—from the West Coast to the East Coast to America’s heartland. We’re an eclectic blend of strategically disciplined, yet highly creative professionals who made the decision to bail out on their cushy gigs in the big sandbox, and homegrown prodigies who rejected the Big Boys from the start. But we each share a common professional passion: Creating online innovations that empower nonprofits to make a better world.
The truth is we love empowering nonprofits with capacity-building technologies. And we’re the sworn enemy of rogue spreadsheets, manual reporting, and inefficient processes everywhere!
When we gather around the campfire, we reminisce and share stories about the olden days—that bygone era when throngs of highly paid professionals, laden with dark woolen business suits and heavy starched white shirts, gallantly slogged through two-year old Word documents, trying to figure out what happened six weeks ago. It was a time when chain emails were volleyed back and forth hysterically like a barrage of artillery shells on a forlorn battlefield. A time when entire teams spent days building reports from scratch by manually manipulating raw data from oodles of disjointed spreadsheets, and then merging it. And copying and pasting it. And formatting. And refining.
Yep. Those were gloomy times back then—when dark clouds of burning dollar bills rained ash on an unbridled morass of duplicated effort and wasted resources. While the CEO was stuck holding a spreadsheet.
Fortunately technology advances. And so did we—which brings us back to 1996, the year it all began.
We started off small, but we had a huge dream: To invent a one-of-a-kind technology company—a company focused on leveraging the power of online innovations, not to get rich, but to expand the technological capacity of organizations serving people living at the margins of society. It was daring. Rare. Wonderful.
We called the company, Pangea Foundation, because the word "Pangea" symbolizes a world where people and communities are connected. And that’s what we set out to do. "We would change the world!"
Back in those days, they called us "online pioneers". Such a brave new world it was—the world wide web. A place where most humans had never gone before.
Silly, right? Sure.
But at the time the Internet was the bee’s knees. It was a far cry from web 2.0, but back then it seemed like we were mere weeks away from harnessing lightning and channeling it into the Flux Capacitor.
Convinced that "www" meant the death knell of paper as we knew it, we would march toward tomorrow—our feet keeping time to the inimitable beat of a 28.8k dial-up modem.
Since 1996—one by one—we walked into the light: left-brained thinkers, right-brained innovators, service-minded professionals. Together, a one-of-a-kind army set forth to wage an epic battle against the notion of solving today’s problems with yesterday’s technologies. (Think paper.) A valiant, solitary nonprofit charged with slaying the hoary dragons entrenched on the front lines of a broad, bleak battlefield of organizational chaos, and substituting a bold strategic and creative leap.
Yes, we were true believers! Not true believers as in the "plop-down-on-the-doorstep-of-a-high-profile-paper-manufacturer-demanding-an-immediate-halt-to-production"-kind-of-way. But more in the "Hey!-Why-use-old-fashioned-processes-that-stink?"-way.
As we came of age at the dawn of the online revolution, we saw opportunity in some technologies, hype in others. We embraced the innovations that advanced our mission and were proudly skeptical of many fads that fizzled out.
We were deploying Software-as-a-Service before the experts started calling it SaaS; creating web 2.0-like features for online communities when no one had heard of either; delivering Impact Visualization On Demand® while… Yeah, you get the picture.
Curiously, the formula always seemed obvious to us: Forget all the preconceptions about technology and its cost barriers. Figure out how to bring online innovations to nonprofits. And then do it. Not just another software company, but a team of people—real human beings—dedicated to creating true collaborative partnerships with nonprofits by challenging convention above and below the line.
They say we’ve done pretty well with it so far.
Oh, we know we’re not perfect. But thankfully, we’ve been doing this a long time. We’ve spent the last 25 years refining and honing the capacity-building approach we pioneered back in 1996, and we think we’ve finally gotten the hang of it.