Digital Aid for Mutual Aid

Where We're Coming From

As certain societal structures break down, pause or shift in capacity during this pandemic, gaps in basic needs are both emerging and widening, and some are left suddenly and extremely vulnerable.

We are all uniquely affected by this crisis. And there are communities especially affected, and for whom the next few weeks of emergency mobilization are make-or-break. It is more evident now than ever that we need to help each other out, and figure out how to do so with respect, at scale, and with a particular emphasis on the digital world.

It is increasingly evident that our wellbeing is tied to one another's, and our notions of “community” are breaching prior boundaries, providing the unique opportunity to skill-share in this way.

Where We're Going

People and organizations are already stepping up, quickly and efficiently mobilizing to meet these needs. In fact, many groups have been doing this work for a long time, and their wisdom is not to be overwritten. At this time, their efforts may be deeply aided by:

  • access to a typically premium product

  • dedicated help building web or mobile apps

  • data-driven decision-making

  • process optimization software

  • reaching specific online populations through growth marketing

  • training to use social media, remote work, or video conferencing platforms

or otherwise accelerating and adapting their work in this particular environment and beyond.

For this to work well, is worth highlighting the importance of technologists being somewhat embedded in the communities they are aiding. Therefore, we ask that:

  1. Mutual aid clients welcome volunteer technologists as members of the team for the duration of the project.

  2. Volunteer technologists do their best to:

  • hear & understand developing needs

  • ideate on proposed solutions if needed

  • practice honesty about what they can contribute (other team members are available!)

  • create and commit to an accelerated timeline to complete the project, and

  • equip the community organization with the necessary training to continue utilizing the tools.

  1. The projects that emerge from this matchmaking go forward if (and only if) all parties agree that it is beneficial to the ongoing mutual aid efforts in question.

Onward - with gratitude and solidarity