Building a Modernized Nonprofit Technology Plan
Modernization and technology go together in today’s society. As part of a nonprofit organization, you may be searching for a way to modernize your tech plan to be even more up to date. Your technology plan should strategically assess your nonprofit organization. It should identify strengths and weaknesses, and determine how to move forward through goals and actionable steps. If you’re building a plan for the first time or are looking to update your previous one, the following steps can walk you through the necessary process. Be sure to keep your organization’s needs and resources in mind.
Your first and last steps will be to assess your organization. You will first need to decipher what the nonprofit has and what it needs. This could include things like new CRM systems, employee tech needs, specific nonprofit software and more.
From there, you can decide which needs are realistic and which you can save for future discussions and plans.
2. Set Goals
The next step is to set your goals. You will use what you learned from your assessment to set realistic plans for the nonprofit and its technological future. These goals can range from short to long term and be as simple or complex as necessary.
For instance, one of your goals could be to install the newest software on all computers by the end of the month. Another could be to raise online donations by a certain percentage by the end of the year. These goals will guide your tech plan and influence what you invest in.
3. Create a Mission Statement
Your mission statement takes the goals you have set and puts them into perspective. It acts as a roadmap of where the organization needs to go. It also outlines the goals in an actionable format, so anyone you propose it to can easily digest it. The mission statement is the basis for your technology plan and what you will refer to as you progress through your goals. Modern technology changes frequently, and your preliminary ideas may differ as you work. You will need to update it as you go.
4. Develop Details
From your mission statement, you will next need to develop the more intricate details of the plan. You will break down the goals into actionable steps and assign deadlines to corresponding staff to be in charge of each one. More details also foster an environment of proper communication within the workplace for improved productivity.
With a comprehensive outline of your technology plan, following the steps to achieve the goals will be easier. How will you plan to use the new donation software once you implement it? How can a central, digital platform for employees improve efficiency?
One of the main factors you will have to work with is the nonprofit’s budget. Modern updates require a significant portion of that budget. Keep the total costs in mind as you plan.
Installation, maintenance, support and training are some of the factors that come with new technology, so you may need to get creative with your budgeting. If you’re going to invest in something like mobile platforms, you may need to propose it to the board to discuss the budgeting beforehand.
6. Resource Management
Part of budgeting entails you to strategize with your existing resources. Your staff, deadlines, existing technology and allocated budget are all things you will have to consider. These could include an extended budget of their own.
This is where a corporate performance management (CPM) tool can help. These systems offer ways to budget and manage resources, and achieve your technology plan and goals in efficient ways. The CPM itself could help improve your nonprofit’s technology.
Once you reach your technology plans and goals, you can reassess the strategy and process. What worked well? What needs improvement? When you understand how things went, you can better prepare for the next plan.
How to Find Modern Funding
A modern technology plan requires funding, and there are various ways you can go about raising money. First, you can recruit volunteers. Many people are often willing to volunteer their time at nonprofits. This can remove some of the work from staff, who can then focus their skills on more pressing technological matters. It can also reduce staffing expenses.
Next, you can host events or fundraisers that incorporate a modern aspect. People will be more likely to donate when it’s easy and accessible for them to do. This could look like a mobile donation or text-to-donate contribution right from their phones.
With these funding tips and your plan ready for action, you will have a modernized path for technology within your nonprofit organization.
Kayla Matthews writes about AI, the cloud and retail technology. You can also find her work on The Week, WIRED, Digital Trends, MarketingDive and Contently, or check out her personal tech blog.