With the amount of new and innovative technology that is surfacing every day, assessing your nonprofit’s technology should be a daily process.
While every nonprofit wants to cause change in some way, every nonprofit is different. Each with a unique goal, different needs, and all conduct daily operations in a different way.
As a result of all these differences, each nonprofit’s technology should reflect their uniqueness. For example, some nonprofits require more raw computing power while others will require less.
When assessing your nonprofit’s current technology situation specific questions need to be asked to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your tech infrastructure.
Here are a few of those important questions you can ask yourself and staff about your nonprofit's technology.
What does your nonprofit do, and how will this technology enhance your mission?
Before jumping into the deep end with new tech that's boasting all the latest bells and whistles, take a step back and assess what it is your nonprofit does, and how that fancy new tech will assist you. It is important to look at the ‘big picture’ to avoid simply jumping at the latest tech, just because it is the latest tech.
What makes doing your work annoying or difficult?
Think about what makes your work, or your employees' work, difficult and follow these bread crumbs to a solution. Often times members of the same organization working in very different parts of the organization may be experiencing similar problems with their processes but for different reasons. It is important to look at all angles as to not hamper the production of one department to improve the process of another.
What will change about your organization when this tech is fully implemented or removed?
Will this tech switch improve productivity? Will it improve client communication or relationships? What new information will I have at my disposal? These are all questions you can ask yourself when making a tech switch to test whether or not the move is right for your nonprofit. Your decision to switch to a new tech should positively enhance one or more of these areas.
How is my staff responding, how can I improve this response?
If your staff is speaking negatively about a specific task or job, think about solutions to those problems without affecting other processes. Will a switch to cloud computing across the board be viable to solve one small problem? Probably not. But storing certain files that are often shared on a cloud might be an interesting solution to the problem.
In today’s contemporary, tech driven society, there is no reason to suffer with old, inefficient technology. However, it is important to stop and assess the big picture before diving head first into massive tech switches and improvements.