Technology has transformed many industries, including the nonprofit sector. How do nonprofits use technology, exactly? Well, the truth is that there are many nonprofits out there and none of them do things the same way. When it comes to using technology, some nonprofits may find themselves in the position where technology is limiting their ability to fulfill their mission rather than transforming and enabling their staff, board members, and volunteers. However, other nonprofits may be able to find the right fit with a tech stack that can advance their mission, using tools such as:
There are many types of physical technology that nonprofits can use, including tools like laptops, desktops, phones, printers, monitors, keyboards, and more. Some nonprofits provide this type of tech, while others may be limited by budget constraints, having employees and volunteers bring their own devices.
This type of software allows nonprofits to manage their entire volunteer base easily, with tools like time tracking, scheduling capabilities, communication channels, and more.
Similarly, donor management software gives organizations the ability to track and manage their donor relationships efficiently. Being able to collect data and run reports easily helps nonprofits maximize their donor relationships and ultimately raise more money to drive their mission forward.
In the nonprofit sector, CRM can stand for “customer relationship manager” or “constituent relationship manager.” This software can be used for everything from tracking donations to managing events to coordinating volunteers.
Tools like Trello or SurveyMonkey are free options many nonprofits use to create prioritized workflows and collect data. These technology tools help organizations keep all of their stakeholders on the same page with deadlines and responsibilities.
Nonprofit organizations have specific needs for accounting and financial reporting. Choosing the right software is essential to help stay on track with cash flow, grant allocations, and donations.
Technology can help nonprofits make the most of their marketing efforts with software to manage different channels and tools like scheduling posts and eblasts.
Nonprofits are increasingly going remote, just like the for-profit sector. Having a tech stack that includes communication tools like Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams can help keep everyone connected throughout your entire organization.
As you can see, there is no standard set of tech tools that nonprofits use. With so many different tools, it can be overwhelming to select the right ones, which is where technology services for nonprofits can be of assistance (more on this later).
When used effectively, technology can improve and empower nonprofits. Many in the nonprofit sector believe in the potential of technology, as evidenced by the fact that 85% of nonprofits agree that technology is key to their long-term success. However, there are still plenty of nonprofits who aren’t using tech effectively… or at all. Unfortunately, this is one of the nonprofit technology trends that has held consistent over the past few years. One recent report shows that only 11% of nonprofits say they manage digital resources in a “highly effective” way. Technology challenges for nonprofits include a lack of knowledge about what tech to implement (and how to properly set it up and use it once installed), limited funds to purchase solutions, not knowing about tech grants or discounts, and lack of stakeholder buy-in.
Absolutely! And it already is. Consider the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), who used technology to pivot their services when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Their mission is to provide mentoring experiences for children by matching them with volunteers. When the pandemic started, BBBS was able to create an online platform in just eight weeks that could track conversations, activities, youth development plans, and support requests so that the mentoring experiences could continue virtually.
Using the right technology for your mission effectively can inspire creative solutions like this and help your organization better deliver on all the amazing things you are striving towards.
Most nonprofit technology needs boil down to one thing: the lack of knowledge. In fact, Salesforce found in a 2020 report that 93% of nonprofits surveyed stated a lack of IT or technical staff as a challenge to their organization’s adoption of new technologies. If you’re struggling with how to create a technology plan for your nonprofit, you’re not alone and you don’t have to continue struggling.
Here at Computers in Ministry, we are here to help you with your nonprofit technology strategy. With decades of experience in both the nonprofit and tech industries, we’re passionate about helping you develop a tech roadmap for your nonprofit that will get you to where you need to go. Our approach is to join you as a partner, supporting your important work and operating as a natural extension of your team. We assist you in deciding on what tech will give you the most transformative results and help you learn how to make the most of your tech investment.
To learn more about our four-step process and how we can help your nonprofit move forward with a successful tech strategy, reach out to us today. We’re looking forward to working with you!