Nonprofit Organization Equips Leaders Serving in Low-Income Communities Worldwide

Alongsiders International launched their partner portal on Liferay SaaS as a future-forward, unified solution.
children and youth involved
countries served
partner leaders equipped
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Key Takeaways

  • Save IT resources and infrastructure costs with SaaS.
    With Liferay SaaS, Alongsiders can allocate the IT team to other critical tasks without the time or expense of self-hosting and updating their solution.
  • Create unifying solutions for even your least tech-savvy users.
    The new partner portal brings together formerly disparate resources into a single, user-friendly dashboard.
  • Choose a platform suited for your unique business model.
    Alongsiders had specific process requirements that Liferay SaaS was able to meet with a solid foundation and the ability to create and integrate with custom technology.


Founded in 2003, Alongsiders International is a nonprofit organization that equips young people from twenty-five countries and counting to make the simple but powerful commitment to walk alongside those who would otherwise walk alone. Challenged with choosing one vulnerable child from their community as a “little brother” or “little sister,” these young people, or alongsiders, are enabled to invest in, train, and mentor their little brothers and sisters throughout the ups and downs of their lives.


Since its inception almost twenty years ago, Alongsiders has experienced incredible growth, seeing a 300% increase in the past eighteen months alone. With more than 17,000 young adults and children involved across Asia and Africa, Alongsiders needed to address the technological challenges that came with that growth.

A few of those challenges included:
  1. Limited technical know-how. Many of the leaders working to empower alongsiders in their own empowerment efforts lacked the technical skills necessary to find important resources on their own.
  2. Limited internet access. These leaders were frequently located in low-income communities without access to reliable WiFi, so they needed to be able to get equipped and manage their progress with alongsiders quickly.
  3. Limited data reporting capabilities. Alongsiders’ IT team had built a custom data collection tool, but the data remained mostly static and difficult to report easily.
[Liferay SaaS] is great in that it takes all of the burden off of us for infrastructure, support, all of those pieces … As an organization, we don’t have to deal with any of that, which is a huge resource and burden.
Jesse Orndorff
Tech & Innovation advisor


The Alongsiders team wanted to combine their data collection tool with the right dashboard solution to serve as a partner portal for their leaders. After researching multiple options that ended up being too simplistic and non-customizable, the team found Liferay SaaS.

Liferay SaaS provided a strong out-of-the-box foundation that could be customized according to the unique nature of Alongsiders’ needs, and its flexible low-code technology meant the portal could be integrated with Alongsiders’ existing tools. Crucially, Liferay SaaS was completely hands-off for infrastructure management and support, so Alongsiders could funnel IT resources elsewhere.

From design to launch, Liferay Global Services was instrumental throughout the entire development and implementation process. Liferay SaaS features like Liferay Objects drastically cut development time, and Remote Apps made it possible to build customizations without changing the platform's architecture. Despite encountering delays, the new partner portal launched in six months.


Within the partner portal, leaders worldwide can log in and access everything they need from one dashboard, including training and resources. Leaders can see the number of alongsiders and little brothers and sisters currently in their movement, the growth trajectory over the last few months, and milestones to the next stage. Alongsiders has even gamified getting to the next stage to incentivize growth and participation.

Implementing their Liferay SaaS-powered partner portal has also benefited Alongsiders with:
  1. A modern, easy-to-use interface. The dashboard’s design is simple but functional, enabling even leaders with very limited technical experience to use it and make the most out of sometimes spotty WiFi.
  2.  Accessibility for multi-lingual audiences. With English frequently not the dominant language in key countries, Alongsiders leveraged Liferay SaaS's localization capabilities for seamless transitions between languages.
  3. Scalability for the future. Because hosting, support, and updates are all taken care of with Liferay SaaS, the partner portal can scale with Alongsiders’ continuing rapid growth.
Scalability with Liferay SaaS in particular is paramount as Alongsiders plans to expand to the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. As a tool for equipping and supporting Alongsiders’ leaders, the partner portal is just one piece of Alongsiders’ global impact strategy to reach and transform the lives of children for the better.