Google for Nonprofits interviewed me to feature how our team at Nuru International uses G Suite robustly and effectively. My interview was referenced in a digital adoption report published by Accenture.
Nuru International is on a mission to end extreme poverty in remote, rural areas. It establishes locally-led community development projects, such as Nuru Kenya and Nuru Ethiopia, to deliver high touch, holistic programming – in Agriculture, Financial Inclusion, Healthcare and Education – to engage all household members in building resilience and ending intergenerational poverty.
Nuru has made every effort to eliminate overhead costs so that funds raised go to training local leaders with tools and knowledge to lead their communities out of extreme poverty. As a virtual operation, Nuru depends on home offices and coworking spaces rather than a central office in the United States, which allows it to invest more in its partner communities. Its employees work across 11 different time zones, meaning they rely on digital tools to collaborate.
Nuru has benefitted from the suite of G Suite. “In any company, people adopt technology at varying levels,” says Kim Do, Strategic Communications Director. “Google for Apps has worked so well for us because it’s an all-in-one solution, meaning that we train our team on using one suite of tools more and more robustly.”
Nuru is able to use Google Maps when liaising between those in the US and those on the ground. Despite being half a world away, the offices in the US can get a picture of what is happening and help can keep their workers safe by making sure they are adhering to local boundaries and avoid inciting conflict that could arise if they didn’t have that understanding. They have even incorporated maps in training new hires. “Nuru uses photospheres and street view to help incoming employees preview our projects in Kenya and Ethiopia before they even step off the plane,” says Brian von Kraus, Security Strategic Advisor. “Plus, having the ability to build personalized maps allows our local staff to visually see the scale of their impact and the number of farmers they have helped.”
They’ve also used YouTube to reach a wider audience. “Video is critical for our outreach because it’s our primary way of connecting supporters in America with the farmers we serve in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s remarkable to see our donors connect so strongly with our vision and mission after they see our work in Kenya and Ethiopia via film,” says Kim Do, Strategic Communications Director. “YouTube gives us the ability to seamlessly deliver our latest video updates in a meaningful, dynamic way as our donors are on-the-go. Plus, we really love the way YouTube allows us to fully customize our page, readily extending brand experience.”
“Video is critical for our outreach because it’s our primary way of connecting supporters in America with the farmers we serve in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Kim Do, Strategic Communications Director
Working in real-time with collaboration tools in G Suite has allowed Nuru to be more effective and efficient in their day-to-day operations across 11 different time zones. They’ve used Google Extensions like “Modify Event Default” to cut down on unnecessary back and forth emails when scheduling meetings. They pass along Google Drive links instead of attaching files for each employee to download — which is especially helpful in regions lacking strong Internet. Working in remote, rural areas with regular power outages, limited bandwidth and limited access to computer retail and repair means that knowledge management is crucial. Nuru has been able to streamline its knowledge management practices to overcome these obstacles.