Are You Spending Too Much on Technology?
Today I interviewed Roland Davis, secretary of the Chesapeake Rotary and co-chairman of the Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival, for an upcoming story I’m working on.
Traditionally, the Chesapeake Rotary put together an annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser to benefit its charity partners. But over time, the dinner had gotten stale, and Davis and his nephew helped launch the idea of a wine festival for 2010 as a replacement. That’s what the rotary did, and it was wildly successful, bringing in $150,000 to support several nonprofit organizations — the Sidney M. Oman Cancer Center was the main beneficiary. (Check out the video to the right.)
The key to the event’s tremendous success, according to Davis, was the use of new technologies — and just as importantly doing so in a cost-efficient way.
“When I was out there trying to find event marketing ticketing software, [companies] were trying to get five, 10, $15,000, and I said this is lunacy,” Davis said. “… I wanted the money to go to charity. I didn’t want the money to go to a company that was duplicating something that I didn’t think was necessary.”
Davis instead found a solution from Constant Contact that allowed him to do 95 percent of what he wanted to do for just $15 a month.
In Davis’ eyes, many nonprofits circle technology as major issue to invest in, but they don’t utilize the technologies to their capabilities and often throw too much money at it unnecessarily. He is in a fortunate position in that he used to own a software company, so he knows how to go about finding the best solutions at the most affordable prices. But often, according to Davis, fundraisers don’t do that. Oftentimes, they’re spending thousands of dollars on technology they can get at a much lower cost.
So the question is, are you throwing too much money at technology — money that could be put to better use helping accomplish your mission? It’s certainly something to look into.