outskirts labs

Technology for Good

by Casey Link

Does your non-profit or social enterprise need custom software to achieve your mission?

Your organization is one of the good guys. Your goal is to make a positive change. But you need a technical solution to realize your vision.

Yes? I'm Casey Link. I create software for cause-focused organizations like yours to make the world a better place.

Technology For Your Cause.

Not every social cause needs technology, but yours does, that's why you're here. We might make a good fit if:

You need an ICT Strategy

You understand your mission, and I understand the tech

Let's identify the right problem before jumping to a solution. With my Roadmapping Process, I'll learn about your objectives - what you want to achieve, when and for whom. We'll work together to determine how ICT fits into your communications, operations, campaigning, fundraising and marketing strategies.

You're ready to Go Mobile

Increase your impact and reduce costs with a mobile app

Do you need to collect data in the field? Do you work in locations without constant internet or electricity? Or maybe you want to recapture your audience by getting on their homescreen? I can build you a mobile app that improves the quality of your services in the field.

Your org is suffering from Growing Pains

Your org is growing, the tools you rely on must grow too

Have you outgrown your excel spreadsheet? Reduce your costs and make your internal control systems work for you rather than against you. I'll ease your growing pains with targeted enhancements to your existing systems.

It's time for something different

A custom solution for an innovative approach

Does pursuing your cause require something new? Does it involve the web, mobile, desktop, or even specialized hardware? Do you have data that needs to be tamed? Not sure what you need? Let's talk, I want you to succeed.

More than a Mission Statement

Because some things are more important than work or money.

As a freelancer this is my commitment to my values and my clients’ values. My aim is to encourage decision makers to think about the impact of where they spend their money.

Privacy & Security

I believe in the right to privacy.
The age of the Wild West online is over. Today organizations have a responsibility to protect their customers. Security & privacy are fundamental features to all modern technology and not options that can be bolted on in an afterthought. I build privacy and security into designs from day one.

OPEN SOURCE

I believe in the power of collaboration. Working together results in a better product and lets us stand on the shoulders of giants. Leveraging open source technology lets us work faster, transparently and guarantees long-lived reliability.

Keeping it Simple

I'm here to solve your problem and make your tomorrow brighter.
My recommendations and approach will always be driven by your objectives and needs, and not a desire to use technology for technology’s sake. Technology doesn't make change. People make change. I always put people first.

Read my full Ethical Statement 2 min read Read my full
Ethical Statement
2 min read

Results. Delivered.

A collection of case studies from previous clients. Dive in and discover how I solve problems and deliver results.

Branding, Mobile Apps, Web Presence, Web Radio Player

    The Mission

    Passion Radio Network started in 1988 as a single radio station. Their mission is to broadcast quality family programming and hit music to Northern New Mexico.

    Today Passion Radio has grown into three stations serving the entire Four Corners region of the USA, broadcasting in English, Spanish and Navajo. They reach hundreds of thousands of listeners with uplifting music and a message of hope every minute of every day.

    As a listener supported station, fundraising and donations make up the bulk of the revenue stream and are critical to growth and development.

    No Digital Strategy

    While Passion Radio Network had grown through the '90s and '00s with new stations, towers, and new programs, their 21st century presence was non-existent. Their growth was stagnating along with the rest of the industry.

    A key audience, the Millennial generation, is 60% more likely to listen to radio online, but Passion Radio had no easy to use streaming presence.

    Donations and fundraising were also suffering as the donation workflow was confusing and, well, downright ugly.

    Clearly Passion Radio needed to be brought into the 21st century or face decreasing revenues and audience decline.

    A Fresh Look

    Passion Radio Network's Logo

    The first step I took was to overhaul Passion Radio's branding. In the age of icons and apps, a strong visual identity is needed to differentiate yourself from the noise.

    The heart and cross pictograph is visually distinctive and identifies Passion Radio with or without the accompanying title text.

    To go along with the fresh look, I created a new website for Passion Radio containing brand new advertising spots opening up a new revenue stream.

    600% Increase in Donations

    Donations are the lifeblood of Passion Radio and is the most important interaction, second to listening, the audience has with the network. I combed through years of financial reports and made important discoveries:

    • Monthly donors are the most valuable supporters
    • Donations in the $35-$100 / month range are the most common
    • Single donations accounted for less than 5% of donations

    Armed with this information, I redesigned the workflow a user takes to make a donation. Rather than a single donation form, with every possible combination, I created three main monthly donation levels.

    Passion Radio Network's New Donate Page

    Monthly donations increased by over 600% in the months after launch. I was able to achieve this astounding increase by simplifying the user's choice, highlighting the monthly packages, and making the form easier to fill out.

    Going Mobile

    Mobile is here. The great folks at Passion Radio Network knew they needed a mobile presence to retain and grow their audience as they begin consuming content on-the-go.

    I created a native Android application and an HTML5 web-player to cover 96.3% of smartphone devices in the world. The web-player is built using modern technology allowing listeners to stream from their desktop and mobile devices.

    The first month saw a 200% increase in listeners vs the old windows media player based stream.

    Kiri Adventures
    Discover the Undiscovered

    • Branding
    • Web Strategy
    • Responsive Design
    • Front End Development
    • Back End Development

    The Mission

    Kiri Adventures is a social enterprise in northern Albania that eco-friendly and socially sustainable activities and tours.

    Northern Albania is a beautiful and enchanting place (I know, I've lived there!), but for travelers visiting the area, it is difficult to find anything to do. The language and socioeconomic conditions present an impenetrable barrier for most tourists.

    The result? They skim through the region without really experience it.

    Kiri Adventures aims to fix this sorry situation by connecting locals and travelers with authentic cultural exchange.

    The Challenge

    As a fresh social business getting off the ground, Kiri Adventures needed a full brand identity package, a full web presence (including social media promotion), and print promotional materials (flyers, embroidered shirts, etc)

    Additionally, the breadth of activities runs the gamut from simple walking tours to multi-day excursions, each with their own planning and logistical needs. This complexity required an information system capable of handling guest reservations, managing the ground crew (drivers, guides, etc), and coordinating the delivery of resources.

    A tall order to be sure. Let's see how I tackled each of these needs.

    Brand Identity — From the Ground Up

    Logo for Kiri Adventure's designed by Casey Link @ Outskirts Labs

    The kind of traveler Kiri Adventures caters to isn't your standard package-tour traveler. No, instead Kiri's targets the young and adventuresome travelers who are keen on minimizing their negative social and environmental impacts.

    Conveying these concepts in a split second is exactly the logo's job. The Albanian Alps pictured in the background and the eponymous Kiri river flowing to the front provide a recognizable anchor for the logo.

    The rough and raw typography combined with the uneven hand-drawn frame contrasts with the smart limited color palette imparts the nostalgic coloring book feel, the sense of excitement and risk taking earned from coloring outside the lines..

    Adaptable, but consistent

    A brand identity must adapt to various settings and formats in today's multi-media age. But it must always stay true to its purpose: identifying the brand. This is just as important for non-profits and social enterprises as it is for traditional companies.

    Here's the Kiri Adventures logo in different settings:

    Social media profile icon (small, square, and no room for text)
    Shirt embroidery (two colors, limited detail)
    Activities Brochure (printed, high resolution)

    Web Presence

    Travelers these days are connected. They arrive in a new place and the first thing they do is Google it on their smart phone.

    For Kiri Adventures I built a clean immersive website that puts mobile responsiveness first. It is built on Wordpress with a host of options that make maintaining and updating the site easy for Kiri Adventures' staff.

    The Activities gallery serves to highlight the beautiful landscape and sights in Albania

    A robust and elegant filtering system lets visitors narrow down the activities they are interested in.

    Keeping it Simple: Reservations and Logistics

    Engaging visitors with a beautiful site and memorable brand is only one side of the coin.

    Managing bookings from a range of sources (website, hotels, and other affiliates) in an easy to use database system was crucial to simplifying the logistics of organizing tours.

    I built a custom administration and scheduling system so Kiri's staff can manage reservations and contact information of guests without needing a degree in IT.

    Cost of development and ongoing maintenance was kept low and affordable for the capital-strapped business by building on the foundation of open source software used by millions world wide.

    Cropster

    • Project Management
    • Information Systems
    • Back End Development

    As a consultant who cares about the success of my client's mission, I provide more than just software.

    For organizations short on staff, I handle a variety of duties from development, to project management, technical direction, and client relations.

    Here is an interesting case-study where I brought these freelance-CTO skills to bear as a sub-contractor for a larger agency.

    The Mission

    Supporting Sustainable Agriculture

    Cropster is a social enterprise based that provides data information systems to small farmers and producers in Latin America. Working on 3 continents, they aim to improve livelihoods of small farmers in developing countries.

    Their online platform is a management and traceability tool. It helps farmers overcome efficiency problems, improve information flow, and achieve better market positions.

    Growing Pains

    Over the past years, Cropster's primary product has grown to support a wide variety of clients and business needs. The creeping scope was opening them up to new risks.

    To continue their electric growth and launch new products, they needed technical assistance on their existing codebase before the risk got out of hand.

    Ongoing six-figure project timelines were at stake.

    Rapid Treatment

    Cropster brought Outskirts Labs on-board to help manage ongoing client projects and get the scope creep under control.

    Dropped into their near-decade old enterprise software platform without previous experience in the technology particulars, I dived in to learn their system.

    Within days I was writing code, putting out fires and getting the projects back on track. In a few weeks I had taken on the role of project-lead fore several clients.

    My involvement freed Cropster's primary staff to stay on track with their new product release. And Cropster's client was ecstatic over the results my project management attention brought to the table.

    Cropster's decision to put my unique fast-moving skills to work, not only saved time, but saved them the dramatic cost of having to hire and train a new employee.

    Guardian Project

    People, Apps, and Code You Can Trust

    • Mobile development
    • Software library development
    • Security and privacy

    Mobile Security For Everyone

    The Guardian Project creates easy to use apps and tools that protects your communications and personal data from unjust intrusion, interception and monitoring.

    While smartphones have been heralded as the coming of the next generation of communication and collaboration, they are a step backwards when it comes to personal security, anonymity and privacy.

    Guardian Project aims to step the industry forward, and reclaim privacy and security on the side of the user.

    Through the development of tools, and awareness outreach through trainings and research, they help activists, journalists and humanitarian organizations safeguard their work in this age of perilous global communication.

    Behind The Scenes

    I worked with the Guardian Project enhancing their suite of tools for mobile app developers.

    These tools to the form of supporting software, called libraries, that prop up important communication and data storage security features in other Guardian Projerct products.

    With the goal of making easy-to-use app-level encryption available to app-makers, we built the IOCipher library.

    This innovative open-source technology puts the user in control of their data, which is where we think it should be.

    CacheWord is another behind the scenes tool I developed for Guardian Project. It's a tool that makes it easy for developers of security-conscious applications to add password management to their apps.

    Gnu Privacy Guard (GnuPG) for Android brings the widespread standard in OpenPGP encryption to Android. GnuPG is the standard for email encryption. It also allows you to verify from who a file or email comes from.

    At Guardian Project, we ported the GnuPG desktop application to run on the Android mobile operating system, and created a developer library for using this powerful cryptographic tool in other apps.

    Success Stories

    Here are a few major successes powered by the tools above I helped create:

    CameraV

    Trust, but verify, what your eyes see

    CameraV is based on the InformaCam platform, and was developed for use by activists, journalists, advocates and others, working in very difficult and high-risk situations, to capture and gather visual evidence and proof of abuse and rights violations.

    CameraV contains a fully encrypted storage capability, that appears as a single file on the device storage. It uses IOCipher's virtual file system for this, and enables metadata to be directly stored in encrypted format, without ever being stored in the clear on the device.

    This is vital, as once you store something unencrypted on a mobile device, it is then vulnerable to being copied or intercepted by other apps. And even being forensically recovered at a future time.

    Verifiability in CameraV is powered by GnuPG for Android, and password management by Cacheword.

    Secure Verifiable Photo & Video Camera
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      Your Mission Deserves More

      Ready to learn how your organization's technical needs can be met on-time and on-budget?

      A Bit About Me

      Software doesn't make change, people make change. Software can help them along.

      For over 5 years I've been solving tough problems for clients all over the spectrum: non-profits, human rights and developmental organizations, to companies in the communications, education, research science sectors. They all have two thing in common:

      1. a cause worth pursuing
      2. a business problem to solve

      I love working for clients who are trying to change the world , or at least their corner of it. It doesn't matter if you're a big global organization, NGO, non-profit, or a small social enterprise.

      It is my prerogative to work with great people on great projects. I don't compromise on quality or responsibility, and only take projects where I can deliver the most value.

      I limit the number of clients I work with so I can invest in the relationships that I am committed to. If I work with you it's because I am excited about your project and believe I can boost it by committing to you.

      All good causes deserve a chance to flourish, and I'm here to help them do so.

      Technology isn't a magic bullet. An app or flashy website isn't going to solve anything by itself. But technology combined with passionate people, a sharp vision, and superb technical execution, can change the world.

      I want to get to know you, your idea, and your organization then work with you to craft a development strategy suited to your goals. Together we can make your idea, reality.

      My Ethical Statement

      I truly believe in seeing my clients get the best possible return on their investment. But some things are more important than work and money.

      Saying yes to cause-focused organizations

      I love supporting charities, non-profits, social enterprises, and other organizations devoted to making a positive difference in the world.

      To a few of these organizations I offer reduced rates, plus I keep an amount of pro-bono days in stock for consultation and development.

      Saying yes to open source

      Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to producing social impact. Others have made the open source case for businesses, I don't need to here. I offer reduced rates on projects that heavily use open-source or go open-source themselves.

      Saying no to exploitation

      I do not work with organizations who exploit human rights, are associated with the industrial military complex, harvest unmanaged natural resources, or are involved in cruelty to animals.

      Keeping it simple

      Technology that no one can use is not just wasted time and effort, it's wrong. I want my work for you to be ready to use, like you need it, right away. I'll keep the solutions I deliver to you as simple as possible. When it is time to grow, I'll ensure that growth is thought out and straight-forward.

      Doing what's right

      I don't mean to sound judgemental with this statement. Integrity and professionalism in business are my priorities, and being open about which projects and clients align with my values is part of that. Contact me directly if you have any comments or questions about this ethical statement.

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      It Starts With a Conversation

      Are our organizations a perfect match?

      We'll never know unless you reach out. Schedule a free consultation now.

      Or Contact Me Directly

      [email protected]