It's time to think about budgeting for technology - and you need to start somewhere. I checked in with our Director of Technical Services, Linda Widdop, to get her insight to identify the top things to think about when budgeting for technology. Linda's advice is backed up by over a decade of working with nonprofits and technology and she recommends you include in your technology budget:
I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the Cloud. Google’s recently announced program for Canadian Nonprofits and Charities, which TechSoup Canada is supporting, is an excellent and valuable resource for prudent organizations looking to stretch their IT budget as far as possible. Salesforce is another cloud-based organization that provides special pricing for nonprofits. With world-class tools like this at your disposal, there’s never been a better time for forward-thinking organizations to push the envelope and benefit from these easy-to-use technologies.
For any organization budgeting for technology should be for more than just hardware replacements. A technology budget can help pave the way for the adoption of new practices and innovative strategies to meet your mission.
We spoke to a few nonprofit leaders to understand how they work technology into their budgets and why they do it. From these conversations we’ve outlined a few key points to think about while budgeting for technology for your nonprofit organization.
We hope you have included Technology in your budget, if you haven’t there is still time. While budgeting for technology it is important to understand the difference between Capital (CAPEX) and Operational (OPEX) expenses. Here’s why:
When the Sequester officially hit last week, instantly causing billion-dollar cuts in federal spending, many worried that the country’s charities and social programs would be hit the hardest. In response, two high profile nonprofits are acting quickly to keep track of the Sequester’s impact.
A high-profile American celebrity continues to use his global influence to head a digital-first nonprofit that aims to promote peace in Africa by increasing education for young people living in war torn areas.
Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC), engaged the services of Tech Impact to create a searchable database, which would capture and collate existing and new housing information for all subpopulations.
“We had always accepted hand-me-down technology.” Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte faced challenges of both efficiency and effectiveness when it came to volunteer management. For years, the organization manually entered data on individual volunteers and organizations that had signed up to assist with a home build, staff the ReStore or Julia’s Café or serve in the organization’s offices. Entering this information into an Access database was time consuming, and the data soon became outdated, resulting in even more manual entry. The demands of a manual system were pulling volunteer coordinators away from opportunities for relationship building. Not only was the volunteer database a time drain, it also lacked robust detail. Volunteer coordinators wanted to get to know more about the volunteers who make it possible for so many Charlotte families to realize homeownership. Designated group leaders coordinated church, business and other organizations that signed up for volunteer duties, which meant that volunteer coordinators had direct contact with only a small percentage of volunteers. This lack of direct contact with volunteers limited Habitat’s ability to mobilize supporters and convert regular volunteers into ambassadors and ultimately donors. The volunteerconnect solution, created through the Project Ignite program sponsored by NPower Charlotte Region, offered the potential to resolve both challenges, making volunteer coordinators more efficient in obtaining information and more effective in opening up opportunities to deepen relationships with volunteers.