The nonprofit sector operates on tight budgets making programming and initiatives to further the mission a priority. Technology tends take a backseat with most nonprofits spending more on software than IT hardware, according to the Nonprofit Technology Network’s (NTEN) 10th annual “Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report,” which comprises data from more than 250 organizations.
This report reflects an adage that we are all familiar with, “the more you have the more you spend.” According to the report, the larger the organization… the larger the IT budget. Very large nonprofits spend an average of $235,445 per year on IT, large ones spend $101,064, medium-sized nonprofits spend $45,184, and small groups spend $7,595.
What if those statistics changed and small to mid-sized (SMBs) organizations made a greater investment in their technology?
Below are the Top Ways that Technology Can Enhance Your Nonprofit
Funding: Never Lose Focus of Your Mission
Most people choose to work for a nonprofit because they are driven by the mission and the impact their organization is making as a whole on individuals, families, the environment … the list continues. It is important not to lose sight of that.
When meeting with donors of all types, do not focus on the challenges that current systems or infrastructure are having on your operations. Focus on how technology can help further the mission.
Upgrading technology can increase productivity and efficiency, streamline operations, and enhance fundraising efforts. Technology upgrades will also improve interdepartmental collaboration and best practices as it relates to file sharing, backups, and protocols, ensuring that all organizational data remains secure. Taking this approach will allow you to plan for organizational change through technology.
Private and public funding for technology is available to organizations of all sizes. Enlisting the aid of a qualified financial adviser that has experience in these areas can also be helpful. Use your passion and what you know to your advantage, but also allow experienced professionals to make your job easier.
Strategic Planning: Is Technology on the Docket?
Make sure that you are running your nonprofit like a business and encourage executives to seek coaching to help them plan for the big picture. Many times simple internal changes can reap large returns in employee morale… and properly working technology is an important part of this.
Strategic plans are vital to the success of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. All plans are not created equal, but all should include technology. In doing so, it will provide the documentation needed to further your discussion outlined above.
It is important to work with your in-house IT manager, consultant or IT Managed Services Provider (MSP) to develop a technology road map. There are many benefits to working with an MSP.
MSPs can provide technical assessments and audits on your environment to outline infrastructure and equipment upgrades, and make necessary project recommendations such as cloud migrations or file sync and share solutions. MSPs also monitor the health of your environment and proactively address technical issues to reduce possible downtime.
At The TNS Group we work collaboratively with you to understand your workflow and current business needs, as well as your vision for the future. This will enable us to effectively turn technology into one of your greatest assets.
Contact The TNS Group today and allow us to simplify your technology!
Kevin Mackay, Business Development, The TNS Group