Ballmer Group Makes $59 Million Commitment To Software Company Social Solutions To Accelerate Use Of Data By Nonprofits And Public-Sector Agencies
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "I'd like the tech industry broadly to innovate in this sector as well, bringing more tools, integration, and expertise on how to use data to improve our communities."
BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ballmer Group – the philanthropic organization co-founded by Connie and Steve Ballmer – is announcing a $59 million, five-year commitment to Social Solutions, the Austin-based software company whose product Apricot® is the nation's leading data and case management platform for nonprofit and government social service agencies. The strategic partnership will accelerate product development and cut the software licensing costs for users to enable affordable access to Social Solutions' Apricot software. One key new area of product investment will enable better collaboration across government agencies, nonprofits, and other community organizations using data to achieve common goals.
"Our mission is to give kids living in poverty in the United States a chance at moving up – and demand for social services to enable that is rising faster than the nonprofit sector's ability to meet it," said Connie Ballmer. "We need to strengthen this sector, and measurement of the impact of services is at the core of any progress here. Social service organizations can often be 20 years behind the private sector in the availability and use of data and technology, and so in order to help nonprofits and the families they serve, we want to support leaders in this field like Social Solutions."
"After studying this space for the past couple years, we are making our largest commitment yet to improving data use for nonprofit, education and social services work, and we hope this acceleration of innovation will really help these organizations more effectively serve kids and their families," said Steve Ballmer. "We are impressed with the mission and work of Social Solutions, and I hope others in the tech industry will also accelerate efforts in this sector, bringing more cloud solutions and expertise on how to use data to improve our communities."
Social service organizations are looking for affordable case management solutions which help them track their clients and service delivery and analyze how to serve them better. They also want to integrate with other systems – drawing community, education and child-specific data together to help measure and drive improvements in education, health, safety, and other indicators.
"The future of philanthropy belongs to those who leverage technology to drive opportunities and outcomes," said Kristin Nimsger, CEO of Social Solutions Global. "This alliance between the Ballmer Group and Social Solutions will equip government agencies and nonprofits and their funders with the data and intelligent technology solutions they need to dramatically accelerate the impact of their work and change the lives of millions of people. Together we will help nonprofit leaders and funders imagine and create the future."
The commitment will be divided between:
enabling Social Solutions to double-down on research and development to more quickly expand product features and improve design of the Apricot platform,
facilitating integration with other public and non-profit systems, using robust data-sharing agreements to protect privacy, for better analysis of service results, and
cutting the licensing costs for early showcase users to show the possibilities in using Apricot.
Apricot clients use the software platform to combine data from local participating community programs, school districts, and government entities to create actionable insights. For example, the Local Investment Commission (LINC), a nonprofit organization in Kansas City, Missouri, uses Apricot software to share data between local schools and its after-school programs. They are able to track critical indicators like student attendance for over 7,000 students across five school districts in the region. Before switching to Apricot, LINC relied on paper records, spreadsheets, and data files that were not always informed by school records and meant that teachers, tutors, and program staff were not always alerted to early warning indicators, particularly among students who were on a path to drop out. A broad range of social service programs, including those focused on job placement, neighborhood improvement, family support, and mentoring can also use the software platform.
In connection with the strategic partnership, Ballmer Group will obtain a financial interest in Social Solutions, which may return a profit if the company increases in value and is sold or goes public. In addition to the financial commitment, Steve Ballmer will become a Board Observer for Social Solutions, bringing the perspectives of his philanthropy work and his technology and business career.
About Ballmer Group
Ballmer Group works to improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. It supports the use of data and strong partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit organizations at the community level to more effectively serve families. Ballmer Group was co-founded by philanthropist and civic activist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers. Twitter: @BallmerGroup
About Social Solutions Global
Social Solutions Global, the provider of Apricot® and Efforts to Outcomes (ETO®) Software, specializes in outcomes management software for human services, workforce, and education programs. Across the globe, our software is the leader in equipping thousands of organizations with the tools needed to transform the lives of children, adults, and families by making data useful to staff at all levels, from case managers to executive leadership. Follow us on Twitter: @SocialSolutions