A technology partnership that fights human trafficking

Masterworks’ partnerships with nonprofits are about more than just marketing and fundraising.

Case in point: Allies Against Slavery, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit on the frontlines of the battle against human trafficking in Texas. Since 2010, Allies has worked to train support workers and coordinate collaboration between agencies that fight trafficking.

While Allies Against Slavery has a solid record of identifying and helping potential victims, many victims were still falling through the gaps between dozens of service organizations and law enforcement agencies. Allies needed a better tool to help them identify, track, and coordinate the care of victims — and potential victims — as well as measure the overall effectiveness of their efforts.

Allies contacted Masterworks for help with enhancing their existing, data-driven solution for identifying vulnerable people who may need help. Their tool, called Lighthouse, needed to be used by a variety of professionals, all involved in the care and protection of those at risk of sex trafficking.

Our development team worked with Allies to extend the capability of Lighthouse.  Multiple groups can now share and jointly contribute to victim identification and care coordination, starting with identification in, for example, a community shelter, all the way through support provided by government juvenile services. 

Additionally, Masterworks incorporated the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool (CSE-IT) endorsed by the Child Sex Trafficking Team of the Office of the Texas Governor. Lighthouse became a streamlined reporting tool for partner organizations and a data resource for combatting human trafficking efforts for Texas.

As a result of these improvements, more than 40 new organizations joined the consortium of Lighthouse users, bringing the total number of users to over 400. The number of case records entered in the database is growing dramatically, demonstrating that it meets a clear need among law enforcement and direct service agencies working to fight trafficking.

John Nehme, President & CEO of Allies Against Slavery, says, “Masterworks was instrumental to our digital transformation as a nonprofit. Their expertise, strategic guidance, and technical partnership catalyzed Allies’ transformation into a technology and data-focused nonprofit with new product offerings and competencies.”

The real satisfaction for us is that more kids are being helped. Dawn Owens, Assistant Director at Bell County Juvenile Services, shared that “Lighthouse allowed us to identify more kids who would have slipped through the cracks. Now we look at every single kid differently, through a trauma informed perspective. They are getting advocates in us.”

Bryan Brown, our EVP of Product and Services, adds that “We’re proud of the work we’ve been able to do in partnership with Allies Against Slavery these past three years, and I want to commend Trevor Bunch, our VP of Technology, who has led this effort and the whole team, for a job well done.”

Over the years, Masterworks has helped nonprofits of every kind do much more than improve their marketing and fundraising results. We’ve consulted on everything from organizational restructuring to donor database installs. We understand how to help nonprofits thrive, and we care deeply about moving hearts and minds to act.