Quantcast
Latest Stories

Inquirer Visayas

IT expert softens software cost for NGOs

By

ROBIN Abello at work. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—When Robin Abello developed a software for his sister’s charitable foundation, he never thought that other nonprofit organizations would use it as well.

Abello, 42, who is based in the United States, helps his sister, Micmic Abello-Golez, in fund-raising and overall planning for the Tapulanga Foundation, which she heads, in Negros Occidental. The group aims to uplift the lives of poor people through scholarships, healthcare assistance and microcredit loans.

The foundation also runs the St. Francis of Assisi School for children from farm communities in Silay City, also in Negros Occidental.

Abello runs Percworks Inc., a small computer technology company in Howard County, Maryland, which offers technical support, consulting, training and web applications development services. He obtained a bachelor of computer science degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore and a master’s degree in software engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Global access

He explained that he developed the software, called Akubo, so he could access Tapulanga data from any part of the world. He recalled that the inputs made in the United States would not automatically be reflected in their records in Negros Occidental.

“We initially started with Excel, then we moved to Access, but over time, it became very frustrating to deal with our setup,” Abello said. “We looked for an online database solution and most of the services we found were geared for medium to larger organizations.”

“We decided to build our own solution, starting with a very basic online database and over time, we added more features we needed,” he said.

He said Akubo was initially developed in 2007. “I probably wrote the first version in one weekend. Of course that was the very basic version. It then took me a year to build it to the point where other nonprofit (organizations) could also use it,” he said.

“Akubo provides the convenience of placing all the data in one place accessible from any computer, smartphone and tablet browser, anytime, anywhere,” Abello said. The software got better and better and so he decided to share it with other small organizations and businesses that operate the same way, he said.

 

Small data house

He said he wanted the software to be Filipino so he named it Akubo, which means a “small house for your data.”

Users of Akubo in the United States are in the hundreds, Abello said, and it has also been well received in the Philippines.

Among the Philippine organizations using Akubo are Caritas Manila, Operation Blessing, World Wildlife Fund Philippines, Philippine General Hospital Foundation, Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation, Radyo Veritas, St. Luke’s Medical Center, St. Paul’s University Quezon City Alumni Association, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and De La Salle Dasmariñas.

“Akubo gives you everything you need to build your donor and client database, manage and track fund-raising campaigns, and send e-mail and snail mail communication campaigns, all in one place,” he said.

User interface

Through the years, many improvements have been made—some based on suggestions from clients, Abello said. The rest of the improvements reflected changes in the technology, he added.

“For example, back in 2007, Facebook was not really used that much in the fund-raising world. But, it’s now very much a part of the fund-raising world, so we added an integration between Akubo and Facebook last year,” he said.

With more people using mobile phones and tablets, Abello said he was focusing the software’s development on a user interface instead of a PC screen interface.

For Abello, Akubo is more than a business. He considers it a chance to help nonprofit organizations. In fact, using the money earned by Akubo, he has built a chapel at St. Francis of Assisi School in Silay and has provided a college scholarship.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Akubo , information technology , NGO , Nonprofit Organization , software




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement