Twelve Australian not-for-profit organisations have been pledged over $1 million in tech support from IT giant, Tata Consulting Services.

Among the recipients are four Indigenous organisations: Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), First Australians Capital, Indigenous Marathon Foundation and the Kaiela Institute, Shepparton.

These 12 charities, all in the healthcare, environment and education sectors, will receive free tech expertise for services such as IT consulting, website development and technology optimisation, as part of Tata Consulting Services’ (TCS) annual Community Innovation Program.

Tata’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Australia and New Zealand Karen Iles said assisting the not-for-profit sector with IT services allowed them to scale up, improve their productivity and have a bigger impact on the community.

“One of the biggest things holding back charities and social enterprises in Australia from addressing health, social and environmental challenges is a lack of IT capability and capacity,” she said.

Iles said this was amplified for Indigenous organisations.

“The disparity in health and education among Indigenous people is so stark in Australia, and these organisations are achieving great outcomes.

“We hope they will be enhanced with some better tech,” she said.

As a recipient of this year’s funding, First Australians Capital Director and CEO Jocelyn King expressed how the technical support will help change the face of the Australian economy by bringing Indigenous innovation to the forefront.

“The support of TCS will enable us to develop a national digital platform to support Indigenous entrepreneurs to bring over 60,000 years of Indigenous innovation to the modern marketplace, connecting Indigenous entrepreneurs with capital, support, education and practical business tools that will drive a new economy for all Australians,” she said.

Iles said the opportunity to partner with First Australians Capital and the other three Indigenous organisations was incredibly exciting.

“The ability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses to transform lives in their own communities is tremendous,” she said.

Now in its second year, the program’s impetus was the company’s philanthropic work in India, where its headquarters are located.

In 2016, six organisations benefited from this pro bono initiative, including the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.

The other not-for-profits which have been pledged the collective $1 million in tech support are: Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, Camp Quality, Heart of Foundation of Victoria, Hello Sunday Morning, Motor Neurone Disease Australia, National Children's and Youth Law Centre, The Smith Family and the State Library of NSW Foundation.

Iles said the company was looking for organisations making the biggest difference to charity, no matter their size.

“We wanted to choose partnerships that felt had impact – for us this year there were 12 that really stood us for us as obvious choices and alignment with our skillset,” she said.

Not-for-profits interested in applying for 2018 can do so here.