Getting Past Tech Anxiety Can Be Well Worth It for Your Nonprofit
Moving to new technology isn’t typically something nonprofits look forward to. Even if you’ve known for a while that it’s time to upgrade your nonprofit’s technology, you might find yourself with anxiety-inducing thoughts, such as:
- Moving to new technology is too hard — especially for our lean staff.
- Migrating to a new system will take too long.
- Will the time, effort and cost involved in a technology move be worth it?
The truth is that your technology might be working just fine for your nonprofit. And that’s great. But if you’re using the same old technology you’ve been using for years, it might be time for a more modern set of best-in-class solutions that will help your organization move forward. It’s important to move past the fear and know that the results can be well worth the investment.
Your organization’s ability to work effectively and efficiently depends heavily on the software you use. It’s important to have the best technology in place for your nonprofit’s needs so that you can:
- Give donors, volunteers and other constituents the modern experience they expect.
- Help your staff work as efficiently as possible, and ultimately foster greater employee satisfaction and reduce staff turnover.
- Work strategically to serve your mission.
Updating a Technology Stack: a Real-World Nonprofit Story
I recently sat down with Glen Peck, senior vice president of technology and business intelligence at the Lustgarten Foundation and Salvatore Salpietro, chief partnership officer at Fundraise Up, for an episode of NonProfit PRO’s podcast, The NonProfit Voice, to talk about the Lustgarten Foundation’s experience with updating the organization’s tech stack.
The nonprofit was using one technology platform for peer-to-peer fundraising and general fundraising. It also had a legacy customer relationship management (CRM) system, but decided to change to a mix of modern, best-in-class platforms that included Fundraise Up for its general fundraising platform and Virtuous for its CRM platform.
Despite some initial hesitation and concern about how technology changes would impact its lean staff, the transition to new systems worked smoothly. The organization has also seen an increase in the number of donors in only the first few months. The Lustgarten Foundation team is now planning to take a closer look at its data to consider how to refine its processes to optimize the data and new systems.
Tips for Nonprofits Considering a Technology Update
For nonprofit organizations that are considering a technology update, Peck and Salpietro shared these recommendations:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Move to New Technology
For many nonprofit professionals, the anxiety of moving to new technology might stem from an experience they had years ago when moving to a legacy system. But with modern technology, the migration process is often less onerous than you think.
2. Know That the Benefits Will Be Worth It
Moving to any new technology will take some time and effort. But the benefits of having a set of modern solutions that meet your organization’s needs will deliver a better experience for your constituents and staff while helping you better serve your mission.
3. Look for Vendors That Are True Partners
While it’s easy to say, “don’t be afraid,” there is still work and some amount of anxiety that often comes with a technology change. Make sure you choose to work with strong technology vendors that will lead you through the entire process.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Mark founded Cathexis Partners in 2008 to help nonprofit organizations get the most from their existing technology tools, implement new technology to address gaps and find the best overall approach to using technology to support their missions. He previously served as director of IT consulting at a fundraising event production company focused on nonprofits.
Mark also serves on the editorial advisory board for NonProfit PRO, where he contributes monthly to his blog, “Nonprofit Tech Matters.”