Technology is the lifeline of any organization – for profit or not-for-profit. Most organizations rely heavily on technology to connect with customers, manage internal operations and to promote their services. While for-profit organizations typically have the resources to invest in technology, nonprofits usually have to be more strategic with their budget and be more careful when allocating their resources.
Seattle is home to several flourishing and impactful nonprofit organizations; most of which rely on technology to connect with donors, volunteers and sponsors to raise awareness in the community, and to measure and improve the outcomes of those they serve.
We often see the nonprofit community face two challenges when it comes to IT: you’re either overbuilt or underserved. The revealing signs of being overbuilt often look like an organization receiving lots of free software and only having one or two IT staff members to make it all function properly. Being underserved is an organization with disparate operating systems or old databases that are no longer being supported. While being overbuilt can happen to any organization, being underserved happens too frequently to nonprofits – the organizations that are dedicating their time and resources to the underserved.
Is your nonprofit one of the frequent victims of being underserved in IT?
- You have disparate operating systems
Are you losing track of information about an individual or the relationship they have with your organization? If your operating systems aren’t congruent, you’re likely also sending multiple, uncoordinated messages to the same individuals.
- You have old databases
Were your databases built a few years ago on old software by a family member who is no longer around, therefore your applications are not supported by the vendor or an internal person? Updating your current database and finding someone to support it could make a world of difference from developing consistent processes for maintaining data on your customers to establishing a secure system.
- You have frustrated staff and volunteers
Are your employees or volunteers expressing frustration due to slow applications? Is your volunteer techie overwhelmed with more help requests than can be handled alone? Maybe your website has crashed a few times, your printers don’t print, or your backups fail. Seek help from a qualified IT provider so you can continue to serve the community.
- You have hardware all over the place
Look around, how much hardware do you see? Think laptops, monitors, keyboards, printers, excessive cords, etc. Most hardware has a lifespan of about three to five years and that includes repairs. Old and inconsistent hardware can not only lead to increases in downtime and staff frustration, but it can also endanger security.
- You are using the server room as a storage facility
Did you put your server rack in your storage facility under a sprinkler head? Let’s hope the fire marshall doesn’t see that one. Work with a qualified IT provider to assess your situation and determine the kind of IT support you need.
It’s hard to justify spending money for nonprogrammatic expenditures due to the limited resources in nonprofits. However, in today’s technologically reliant world, choosing to neglect technology functions can cost your nonprofit significant money down the road and put a screeching halt to your community service. It’s important to assess your situation to determine how much of your budget you can spend on IT. Consider choosing an IT provider that does not require you to spend huge capital to get back up to speed.
Working on a strategic plan and budget with a qualified IT provider that has experience in nonprofits is one of the most important ingredients to effectively using technology in your organization and continue service in the community.
Net-Tech has created a consistent set of standards that have been tested and proven to scale diverse IT concerns. An IT solution should stand the test of time, regardless of how many new employees or volunteers walk through your doors.
You deserve technology that can effectively support the community. If you want to learn more about the excitingly simple and affordable solution Net-Tech offers, please reach out to us online or by phone, 425-452-8324.