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Wipfli partners with Microsoft, nonprofits to accelerate world-changing goals

Friday, September 11, 2020

Five years ago, the United Nations (UN) outlined 17 ways to make the world better. Its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressed global challenges, from poverty and inequality to climate change, peace and justice.

Like every good goal-setter, the UN established a deadline: In order to create a more sustainable future for everyone, the UN said all 17 goals must be achieved by 2030.

Well, we need to pick up the pace.

As of mid-2020, the world is off track for achieving the SDGs on time – and the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t to blame. But, we can get back on course by reshaping how people work, learn, live and consume, UN leaders have said, if we act consciously, concertedly and cooperatively.

Partnerships make it possible

Microsoft pledged its support for the UN’s SDGs and launched the #Buildfor2030 campaign in March to help accelerate change. The campaign highlights ways innovative technology can enable powerful outcomes and recognizes Microsoft partners, like Wipfli, who are building world-changing solutions. Leveraging platforms including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Wipfli is helping Operation Smile – and many other nonprofits – meet their goals more effectively. 

“Our clients are working on SDG goals through their missions, and we help them multiply that by a large factor,” said Ryan Risley, the principal in charge of Wipfli’s CIO Advisory Practice. “Our goal is to guide the nonprofits to realize their exponential potential and to leverage platforms that can be employed by others to do even greater good.”

How we help

“One organization can’t save the world,” Risley said. “But putting the right people, processes and technology together multiplies our collective impact. Wipfli’s role in the nonprofit sector, along with our own corporate and philanthropic practices, makes a difference.”

Wipfli has led many impactful human-centered design sessions with clients such as Medicine Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders). The process involves proven frameworks that focus on empathizing with those being served and involving many perspectives throughout the process. Wipfli also works extensively with NetHope who connects nonprofits and technologies together that are fighting the world’s toughest humanitarian problems to technology and innovation.

“Brute force from a few key players can’t solve the problems we’re facing, but collectively we can have a massive impact when we apply technology and put platforms and make them available to communities,” Risley said. “Everyone can achieve more together.”

Through its clients, Wipfli is advancing nearly all 17 of the UN’s SDGs.

Wipfli is helping:

  • Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders envision secure digital medical records that travel securely with refugees so they receive better medical care, good health and well-being.
  • NetHope build an online benchmarking tool for nonprofit organizations to gauge their digital strengths and weaknesses, and to match their missions with technology and digital skills that improve performance.
  • Team Rubicon protect the personal identification information of disaster survivors.
  • The Vera Institute for Justice enhance their social justice dashboard that tracks law enforcement spending, incarcerations, demographics and other data for police precincts across the U.S. With this information, and by making it available to others, communities can take policy action.
  • Urban Institute ensure equitable housing and living conditions and the policy decisions that influence them by leveraging the power of microsimulations and cloud computing.
  • Winrock International reimagine the end-to-end financials systems it uses to manage 100+ agriculture, environment and social development projects around the world.

“The real heroes are the clients we serve, impact is measure by the ultimate beneficiaries of their mission,” Risley said. “We bring nearly 90 years of experience, an outward mindset and innovative technology to nonprofits so they can tackle these important issues.”