Picture this. Your nonprofit has been growing steadily over the past few months, and with this new growth, you need to expand. Dealing with more donors, volunteers, and greater public interactions means you need to be able to keep up on the technological side. You think about hiring a chief technology officer (CTO), but discover that you won’t be able to afford one. This reality is not uncommon for many nonprofits, but it does not have to be yours. The rise of fractional executive services has meant that more organizations are able to benefit from the experience of bringing on a C-suite executive without having to pay Fortune 500 prices.
Today we are going to cover how fractional CTO services work, and how affordable they can be for your team.
A Fractional CTO manages technology for a company at a reduced level. As they typically work on contract and not a salary, it can be helpful to think of them as a freelance CTO. These CTOs typically involve themselves in both the technical aspect (IT maintenance, working with developers, etc.) and on the business development side. Their responsibilities can include daily operations, technology contracts, product strategy, and growth planning. At the core of the role, it is their responsibility to design the organization’s technology strategy.
Acquiring one of these executives is unlike hiring a normal employee. Based on their previous experience, and the fact that they won’t be working full-time for your organization means that it is difficult to nail down an average price. Some nonprofits are able to hire a fractional CTO for $50 an hour, while some pay into the hundreds of dollars an hour.
The best way to figure out whether or not you need a fractional CTO is to assess your current technological situation. To help discover if your organization is in need of this kind of support, here are some areas that a fractional CTO can assist with.
This is not the only factor that you can use to discover whether now is the right time or not. Your organization may want to test the waters before going all in on this new role, as a CTO salary is not cheap. You can trial a fractional CTO to see whether they are a good fit for your team’s culture and if they bring the right skills to drive the nonprofit in your desired direction. Think of it as buying a new car. You always test drive first to ensure that everything is in order before making the purchase. Even an experienced CTO with a great business plan won’t work out if both parties are not aligned on all their goals.
The entire process could take only a few weeks of interviewing or several months of back-and-forth conversations. Unfortunately, you are not going to find an answer written in stone. Ultimately, the timing will come to how urgent your current situation is. If you have the time to conduct a lengthy search, that can be beneficial as it would leave your team with more time to find the perfect match. The last thing you want to do is rush into hiring a new part of the team only to learn that both of you are not the best fit.
There is an option that many nonprofits may not be aware of. Instead of relying on a single individual performing the services of a CTO, you can call upon the IT expertise of an entire team. That is only a fraction of what our team at Computers in Ministry (CIM) can do. We are able to meet your team at various stages.
There is a wide gap between nonprofits and the technology that can help them meet their goals. CIM exists to bridge that gap and bring organizations like yours up to speed with all the technology available today. If your organization is ready to reach new heights with a tech overhaul, contact us today.