How to Develop a Tech Strategy for Your Non-Profit

09 Nov 2020
How to Develop a Tech Strategy for Your Non-Profit

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that technological adaptation is critical to the survival of businesses and Non-Profits alike.

More than likely, your Non-Profit already relies on a variety of technologies — some new, others outdated — to support its operations.

How can you and your organization leverage the power of new technologies to manage donors and volunteers, drive fundraising, and achieve your KPIs?

In this article, we’ll outline five (5) steps towards developing a "tech strategy” for your Non-Profit.

GiveLife 365 How to Develop a Tech Strategy for Your Non-Profit
Step 1: Do a Tech Audit

Before you can say what you need, you’ll need to assess what you’ve got.

A “tech audit” is a careful examination to evaluate deficiencies or areas of improvement in your tech-related operations.

Ask yourself: Of the KPIs that drive success in your organization, which ones are supported by technical systems (e.g., CRMs, CMSs, social media tools like “Hootsuite,” etc.) and in what ways are those KPIs being supported?

Try to identify gaps between organizational needs and the technical systems you’ve purchased to fill them.

Step 2: Identify New Tech Solutions

Whether or not you consider yourself “tech-savvy,” you’re definitely “Non-Profit savvy.”

Thus, you’re intimately aware of the ways in which your current tech solutions either succeed or fail to support your organization’s needs.

If, for example, your Non-Profit uses a sophisticated email management system, but your donor lists are kept in excel spreadsheets or on paper, you should research systems that provide all-in-one tech solutions. For example, GiveLife365 offers a modern interface to manage all aspects of your Non-Profit’s operations — from donor & volunteer communications to grant & sponsorship management and beyond.

Remember: Finding new tech solutions is all about identifying gaps between your organization’s needs and the technologies you currently own. Once you know where the gaps are, you’re one step closer towards filling those needs.

Step 3: Outline a Budget

Let’s face it, you’re probably used to working with a shoestring budget.

To determine the “right budget” for your tech strategy, ask not just what you can afford to spend in the future, but what you’re already spending.

Are you using disconnected tech solutions to manage different aspects of your operations?

If so, you’re probably spending more than you need to spend.

Customizable, all-in-one tech solutions like GiveLife365 offer the advantages of email marketing, donor relationships, and grant writing management systems — all at a fraction of the cost.

To determine what you’re currently spending, perform a “total cost of ownership (TCO)” analysis of your digital assets.

This means calculating the price of each asset you own, as well as the operating costs over the asset’s lifespan. Add it all up. That’s your TOC.

Odds are, you’re spending more than you think.

Step 4: Research Vendors

Now that you know what you own, what you need, and what your budget is, it’s time to research vendors who can provide solutions your Non-Profit requires.

Ultimately, you’ll want to narrow the list to vendors who can customize solutions at an affordable rate.

To get started, write down all of the KPIs that drive success in your Non-Profit.

Create a checklist. As you research, ensure that the vendor you choose ticks as many boxes as possible.

For instance, do you need a system that improves your outreach to donors, track-matches eligible donors, forecasts your gift revenues from year to year, and provides a readable dashboard of analytics and insights?

If so, we have a solution for you and can help teach you to use it.

Step 5: Train Your People!

Which brings us to our final step: training your constituents.

Technology is only as good as the competence of those who use it — and a good team can learn to use the tools they’re given.

Ensure that whichever vendor you choose, they are willing to provide training modules and customer support, so that you can get the most out of your new tech solution.

To really get the most out of it, your team will need to build muscle memory with repeated walkthroughs.

The best advice we can give you?

Assign an internal champion on your team — whoever is most competent with new technologies — who will be responsible for reaching out to your vendor with questions, as they arise, and assisting the team as they get used to the new tech solution.

The more your champion and vendor can provide individualized help to team members, the more likely those team members will be to adopt the new tech solution.

For more information on tech solutions for your Non-Profit, click here.