Daniel Ben-Horin

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Daniel Ben-Horin
Photo of Daniel Ben-Horin taken by his staff.jpg
Ben-Horin in 2013
Occupationsocial entrepreneur
TitleFounder of TechSoup (formerly CompuMentor)

Daniel Ben-Horin is an American social entrepreneur,[1] known for founding the technology assistance nonprofit CompuMentor, now known as TechSoup, in the late 1980s.[2] He is also a former journalist who has written for publications such as The Arizona Republic, The Nation, The NY Times, and Mother Jones. Ben-Horin's debut novel, Substantial Justice, was published in June 2020.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Ben-Horin was born to Jewish parents from Latvia, who both emigrated separately to Palestine and met on a kibbutz in 1930. Ben-Horin's father was a Zionist activist and journalist. After the couple moved to Queens, New York in 1945, his mother earned an M.A. from Columbia University and became a probation officer for New York City.[4] He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[4]


Journalism and socialist views[edit]

After college, Ben-Horin lived in Phoenix, Arizona for six years,[4] where he worked at The Arizona Republic before becoming an editor of the Phoenix New Times.[5] In 1974, Ben-Horin moved to San Francisco.[4] He has written for publications such as The Nation,[6] Mother Jones[7] and Redbook.[8]

Ben-Horin has described himself as a "child of the '60s".[9][10] In 1977 he wrote the article "Television Without Tears", a socialist analysis of television and its role in popular culture and ideology, which was published in the journal Socialist Revolution.[11][12]

Nonprofit career[edit]

From 1981-84, Ben-Horin served as the Executive Director of Media Alliance, a nonprofit association of media workers in the San Francisco Bay Area.[4] In 1985, Ben-Horin became involved in social entrepreneurship through Larry Brilliant and Stewart Page, the founders of the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL),[13] after he encountered technologists who wanted to share their knowledge with nonprofits, but had no outlet to do so.[14] The following year, Ben-Horin approached WELL over a printer problem and was overwhelmed by the assistance he received in resolving the issue.[13] This led to him establishing CompuMentor in San Francisco in September 1986,[15] with the objective of trying to "help nonprofit organizations use available technical tools to produce better work and to activate a truly skilled sector of the population--technically adept people--by getting them into the community to do what they do best--talk about technology and teaching."[16]

In April 2009, Ben-Horin received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN), and two months later the Ashoka Foundation elected Ben-Horin as a Senior Fellow for his work.[17] The NonProfit Times named Ben-Horin in its Top 50 most influential people in the nonprofit sector four years in a row from 2004 to 2007.[18]

Ben-Horin was the CEO of TechSoup until 2013, when he became Founder and Chief Instigator,[19] with Rebecca Masisak replacing him as CEO.[20] As of 2017, TechSoup Global had a staff of 212 and an annual operating budget of $34 million.[21]


  1. ^ Praszkier, Ryszard; Nowak, Andrzej (10 October 2011). Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94–99. ISBN 978-1-139-50433-1.
  2. ^ "Disconnecting from the Network". The NonProfit Times. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ Ben-Horin, Daniel (2020). Substantial Justice. Rare Bird Books. ISBN 978-1-64428-112-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e Ben-Horin, Daniel (25 November 2007). "A Serious Side of Fun". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  5. ^ The Nation - Volume 216, page 238
  6. ^ Armstrong, David (1981). A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America. South End Press. p. 346. ISBN 9780896081932.
  7. ^ Mother Jones. Foundation for National Progress. 1979. p. 16.
  8. ^ PC World, Volume 5 (1987), page 269
  9. ^ "TechSoup sees upside for nonprofits in downturn". San Francisco Chronicle. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  10. ^ McInerney, Paul-Brian (1 January 2014). From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market. Palo Alto, California: Stanford University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-8047-8906-6.
  11. ^ Ben Horin, Daniel (1978). "Television Without Tears". Australian Left Review. D.B. Young Pty.
  12. ^ Ben-Horin, Daniel, TV Without Tears - Outline of a Socialist Approach to Popular Television (full article), Australian Left Review, 1(65), 1978, 26-39.
  13. ^ a b Hawken, Paul (May 10, 2007). Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World. Penguin Publishing. ISBN 9781101202326.
  14. ^ The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier by Howard Rheingold, pages 261-262 (Addison-Wesley 1993)
  15. ^ Management Review. American Management Association. 1914. Daniel Ben-Horin.
  16. ^ Feldman, Diane (1977). A Match Made in Computer Heaven. Management Review, accessed via Questia. ISBN 9780231038393.
  17. ^ "Daniel Ben-Horin". CrunchBase. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Top 4-50 Equity and Influence Fueled Nation's Top Executives" (PDF). Non Profit Times. August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Daniel Ben-Horin". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Rebecca Masisak". CrunchBase. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  21. ^ "TechSoup". GuideStar.org. Retrieved 25 September 2017.

External links[edit]