Think of the myriad ways your for-profit company leverages technology to operate. How would your business model be impacted without the support of IT? So often people think of nonprofits as organizations that do good work, and don’t consider the resources required to operate, innovate, and work for long-term solutions in the same way that they would for for-profit businesses.
Apparo’s CEO, Kim Lanphear, states this causes nonprofits to face challenges in sustaining their services and growing their social impact. As fundraiser and activist Dan Pallotta puts it, “It's time to re-think charity. It's time to give charity the big-league freedoms we really give to business.”
Think of the possibilities within your community if all nonprofits had the technology resources they needed to succeed. Below are five tangible outcomes that nonprofits experience from the effective leveraging of technology:
1. Improved efficiency
When nonprofits are forced to work in manual, paper-based, and non-digital ways, they end up spending time on administrative work that could be spent on direct service and community impact. Technology can deliver increased efficiencies that streamline processes and amplify mission delivery.
2. Expanded reach
Technology helps extend reach by providing additional capacity to serve and help more people in more ways. Using technology to spread service availability and meet constituents where they have need can further the mission of nonprofits.
3. Increased revenue
How are donors connecting to the nonprofit? How are volunteers and donors giving? Is the community regularly hearing current messages about the nonprofit’s success? Technology can innovate the donation process and maximize the marketing message reach. Like in the for-profit world, this will grow revenue.
4. Decreased costs
Operational costs can be significantly decreased when technology works for the staff. When staff have adequate technology and training to use that technology, internal costs of antiquated or ineffective IT upkeep go down dramatically. As in the for-profit world, automating some programs can also decrease costs.
5. Mitigated risk
Data risk is a real issue for everyone and every organization. Having plans and the right technology tools and procedures reduces the risk of hacking, protects data and decreases the opportunity for lost files, documents and databases. An investment in the latest infrastructure ultimately protects assets and mitigates potential legal liability.