Vera Solutions is a social enterprise and Certified B Corporation using cloud and mobile technology to amplify the impact of social sector organizations worldwide. Their clients—more than 200 organizations in over 45 countries—include major iNGOs and funders, award-winning social enterprises, and community-based organizations. Their solutions help organizations working in health, education, and development to collect, analyze and utilize real-time programmatic data, automate processes, and work more efficiently and effectively. Vera’s work is centered on the Force.com platform, the world’s leading cloud application development platform. They are a Salesforce.org International Impact Partner.
Vera is a growing organization, with over 50 full-time staff based in Boston, Cape Town, Geneva, Mumbai, Nairobi, New York, and Washington DC. They have been honored with Echoing Green, Rainer Arnhold, Dasra Social Impact, Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation, and Global Good Fund Fellowships, the Genesis Prize, and have been featured in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, the Empact100, and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 30 Startups to Watch.
Vera founders Zak, Taylor, and Karti met in 2008 while working for an HIV-prevention organization in South Africa.
Though the program staff were committed to using data effectively, vital information that could help inform programmatic changes and improvements was trapped in stacks of paper and increasingly complex Excel files that were only updated quarterly. Despite everyone’s best intentions, the data were often a burden, generating little more than frustration and a periodic donor report.
They helped to design and build an application that promised to alleviate this burden. Built on Force.com, it tracked each of the program’s hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries—along with data on individual attendance and pre/post outcome changes—monitoring the program’s progress and helping staff track subsequent testing, referral, treatment, and follow-up. The system transformed the program, enabling staff to quickly answer specific questions about effectiveness, efficiency, and scale, sharply reducing the burden of reporting to funders, and driving forward a culture of data-driven decision-making.
They soon realized the challenges faced by this program were nearly universal: most social impact organizations—from large i-NGOs to community based organizations, from funders to social enterprises—use paper and spreadsheets to track their operations and performance. Most organizations they met had trouble answering the simplest of questions like, “How many people do you serve?” or “How many products did you sell last week or last month?” or “How do your inputs and outputs break down across communities, countries, regions, populations, or program areas?” They started Vera Solutions with the goal of using simple, cost-effective technology to help social impact organizations ask and answer increasingly targeted and relevant questions about their operations and performance. They believe more transparent, automated and user-friendly data systems make workers happier and more productive and organizations more efficient and effective in everything that they do.
Today, Vera brings together a diverse team with years of experience in public health, conflict resolution, development economics, finance, and technology. They are committed to helping innovative organizations achieve greater impact by transforming their ability to collect, analyze, and use data in their daily operations. Together, they have worked with 170 organizations in more than 45 countries, and both their team and their footprint continue to grow.
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