How Nonprofits Should SPEND MONEY ON Technology

The goal of any investment is to produce a higher return at some point in the future. That might imply higher donor retention rates, far better staff members, or increased engagement with constituents. Investing in technology is not the same as spending on technology. Some technology needs are the cost of doing business just, but investing is approximately improving results. Concentrating on what to spend money on and what to avoid can help nonprofits better serve their missions. The most valuable fundraising asset a nonprofit business has is their constituent data.

Investing in this asset is one of the wisest decisions a nonprofit can make. The return on investment is usually simpler to measure too. For example, investing in getting your constituent data fortified and enriched with more information like address changes, wealth screening, email, and phone data, and even social media data can produce better results. These investments can pay off now and in the foreseeable future.

  • Irregular gifts, inheritances, life insurance coverage proceeds,
  • OAS and CPP
  • XYZ Trust was established through Registered Trust Deed dated _________
  • Hong Kong Land
  • Rude People

There is a reliable stream of new tools, technologies, and buzz words in the technology world. But because you can certainly do something doesn’t mean you must do something. Avoid buying technology just for the sake of technology. Instead, concentrate on your strategy and what sort of a particular new technology may help. The problem with sparkly object syndrome is that it distracts organizations from what’s important often. Nothing is more important than knowing what your strategy is and the key goals had a need to achieve it. Technology is the substitute for either the strategy or the goals never. The ultimate way to get things relocating the right direction is to begin moving.

Not every initiative needs to be a large investment with an activity power or committee included. Some of the best investments begin as a little wager to try something new. Every nonprofit’s budget should include funding for internal development and research. We’re not discussing building another Large Hadron Collider. This may be a small bet to improve online donation forms for mobile devices.

This is actually a paid search marketing campaign to specifically drive memberships. Everything you study from these smaller investments could turn into big returns in the foreseeable future. Investing in your people is absolutely critical to success. This includes professional development for staff, training for volunteers, and usage of the right resources to help them increase their effectiveness. Unfortunately this type of investment is often the first to be cut from the budget. Online training has changed how people can sharpen their travel and skills costs have disappeared into the clouds.

Tablets are changing where we work and enabling field personnel to be more effective. And there is more usage of guidelines and information about improving nonprofit performance than ever before. Make it a genuine point and a priority to invest in people. The one constant in technology is change. This underscores the importance of trading sensibly and for the right reasons. Don’t invest in the cloud because it’s the cloud.

Don’t invest in social press widgets because it’s a widget. Focus on investing in your most effective assets. Concentrate on your strategy and the tools that will give you leverage then. Be willing to make small investments to try new things. And never forget that people often provide the biggest return on investment. Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling writer of Data Driven Nonprofits.

Steve previously offered on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and happens to be an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University. He is a frequent blogger, published writer of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: SOCIAL MEDIA and Blogging platforms 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the publication Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets.

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