Nonprofit organizations are constantly fighting an uphill battle when it comes to staying up-to-date with current demands that require the newest technologies. Technology services for nonprofits are not always easy to come by, and they can often be quite expensive and difficult to navigate. Technology challenges for nonprofits will vary, but there is an intertwining thread that connects the needs of most nonprofits and that is many nonprofits have hesitations about adopting modern elements into their tried and true systems. In this blog, we hope to shed light on how implementing the right technology can drastically improve the way your nonprofit is run.
The great thing is that you do not have to have someone on your team that is tech savvy, as our team at CIM can walk you through the process of implementing the technology and manage it for you, operating as an extension of your team.
Some of the challenges that nonprofits face that can be remedied with the right technology include customer relationship management (CRM) software, donation software, and content management systems, to name a few.
How Can Technology be Used for Fundraising?
Fundraising is how most nonprofit organizations make money in order to keep operating. The process of fundraising can become strenuous on a team, especially if it is not automated. Luckily, there are ways in which technology can aid in the fundraising process while still keeping intact the human experience of the process. Artificial intelligence is a resource that might seem far out of reach for nonprofits, but in actuality, an organization could utilize AI-equipped software to personalize the experience of each unique donor by gaining a deeper understanding of their preferences. This will then allow the organization to garner the best results for themselves while giving the donor the best experience possible.
Another area in which technology can aid fundraising for nonprofits is with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Using the right CRM could arguably be the most important tool in a nonprofit’s arsenal when it comes to fundraising. Along with the more common function of being able to better organize their data, a CRM can allow an organization to better manage its relationships with the donors. By having more information about the donors as it relates to your organization can allow your team to cater to the donor experience. Other types of software that could benefit your organization would be volunteer management software, donor management software, HR, and accounting software.
How Does Technology Affect Nonprofit Organizations?
In general, nonprofits want to reach as large of an audience as possible to get their message across. The more eyes you can have on your work means the more opportunities that your organization will have to make a real impact on communities. Technology can give nonprofits the ability to expand their reach while making certain aspects of their work less troublesome. Going back to the fundraising topic, most donors choose to donate electronically for the simple fact that it is much easier. While in-person donations from an event can have a profound impact, technology can allow your effort to reach people across the country and world.
Can Technology Transform the Nonprofit Sector?
The shortest possible answer is yes. Nonprofit organizations tend to operate on tight budgets, and therefore have to be savvy with their money. Integrating technology into your strategy can help transform the wealth of data that most nonprofits have into actionable resources that can improve the impact or outreach of your organization. In other words: technology can actually drive your mission to new heights!
Ignoring the ever-changing landscape of technology can negatively impact a nonprofit as well. Organizations that refuse to invest in the necessary technology will eventually see a gap between their outcomes and those organizations that chose to implement said technologies.
How Much do Nonprofits Spend on Technology?
On average, nonprofits spend 3,2% of their budget on technology. Smaller nonprofits actually end up spending more of their budget on technology, coming in at around 4.2%. This number can vary depending on whether the spending is on the first-time purchase of new technologies or an upgrade to technology that the organization is already using.
Before purchasing any technology, nonprofits should look out for key indicators.
One of the biggest mistakes that nonprofits make is that they do not prioritize technology enough, and this often leads to these organizations creating their own shortcomings. Implementing the right tech could save an organization money in all of their departments.
For example, a nonprofit might not invest in a CRM because the person that is assigned to keeping track of donors is doing so with an old fashioned method like an excel spreadsheet. This might appear to be saving the organization money because they are not spending money on a software license. However, it actually loses them a lot of money because the fundraising employee has to spend time on wrangling spreadsheets and manual data entry to get the info they need to keep donors happy. CRM’s automate a lot of the data entry process, and have built in reports and tools that can help their fundraising person identify donors who are ready to move up a level and easily find opportunities like that.
Blast into a Bright Future with Computers In Ministry
At CIM, we understand that most organizations are weary about the impact of technology, but selecting what to use and how to implement it can become a challenge. Computers In Ministry is not a vendor but a ministry partner, an extension of your team. We offer shared services with certified expertise in the following areas: organizational/consulting services, security and risk management, network administration, and user services.
If you want to discuss how CIM can work alongside you to ease your technology battles, contact us today.