Sometimes, finding a solution to a problem is as easy as slowing down, taking a step back, and approaching that problem from a new perspective. Other times, problems aren't as apparent, causing you to get into the nitty-gritty and conduct a comprehensive audit.
Assessing your nonprofit’s technology needs can be a daunting task. It requires dedication, attention to detail, a top down view of your entire organization, and often times cooperation almost everyone within your nonprofit. But a tech assessment will help your nonprofit define what resources your nonprofit’s currently utilizing, what tech your nonprofit needs to complete its mission, and sometimes, even what tech you don’t need at all.
Here are the 3 steps to conducting a full nonprofit tech assessment.
Create an asset inventory
Although this can be a time consuming process, the amount of information that you will have aggregated will save you a load of headaches later on.
Create a working inventory of what technology your nonprofit currently has access to, and it utilizing on a daily basis. Do not limit your list to computers, printers, projectors, routers and modems, either. Everything that has an off/on switch should be considered and added to the inventory list.
Once you have a rough list of assets, go in and document the specifics on each. Be sure to include: age, device name, manufacturer, serial numbers, and maybe a comment section for ancillary details.
Determine future needs
Work backwards and think about what your nonprofit absolutely needs in order to be successful. Make a last of short term goals and a list of long term goals. A short term goal might be to ensure that all employees have access to email remotely, while a long term goal might be to implement and utilize a CRM.
Next, order the lists based on what’s most important to helping accomplish your nonprofit’s mission.
Consider your financials
Finally, look at your budget. How much money can your nonprofit afford to spend annually on technology? How about upgrades? Maintenance? Can that budget be increased anywhere?
Ensure you have enough leftover in the budget for consistent upgrades and maintenance. Without this, your nonprofit’s technology runs the risk of becoming antiquated and unstable, and ultimately leaves itself open to failures, outages, and more problems down the road.