Your nonprofit deploys several tools to collect feedback—tools like annual satisfaction surveys and audits of annual projects and internal processes. Such tools help you stay ahead of trends and create a culture of continuous improvement.
But do you know what to listen for when it’s time to review your software? It's one of the most important tools your organization depends on each day. We consult with hundreds of nonprofits and conduct organizational interviews that provide insights to know that when you hear your team say the following, it’s time for software review.
“It takes too long to make this report.”
Communicating the impact of your nonprofit is one of the most important things you can do. But if you find that your staff complains about how much time they are spending on reporting instead of activities that improve the results within the report, then consider selecting software that creates dashboards and automates the aggregation of data.
“I’ll send you the spreadsheet.”
Be on the lookout when you hear this from more than just your resident Excel nerd. Housing information outside of data systems is a signal that staff is using a workaround to avoid difficulties.
“We need to call support again.”
As your organization's needs expand, the expense and difficulty of supporting systems can as well. If you find that you’re spending more time customizing your current software in order to meet your needs, it may be time to consider new options. Application selection involves detailed documentation of current functionality as well as anticipated needs to allow for growth.
“I wish I had an app for that."
Your organization has increased its needs; this sentiment indicates that your current software is not keeping up with demands. There are many solutions available in each area, from managing volunteers or donors to management, donor management, case management, and program management to name a few. Going out into the marketplace and researching potential solutions can take significant time. Making certain that you have prioritized your needs and focused your search on key functionality should result in narrowing the selection process to three or four solutions.
If you are like most nonprofits, you are operating with a lean organizational structure. This can cause you to delay application selection because even though you know it will benefit your organization, it is difficult to stretch your staff’s time and talents to encompass all the product demonstrations required in the selection process.
How can you save time and still find the needed solutions?
Tech Impact offers a team of consultants who are experts in every domain a nonprofit may be seeking solutions within. Our application selection process delivers three components:
- Technical documentation including data flow, entity relationships diagrams, and a data dictionary
- A vendor comparison matrix
- Formal presentation of three to four vendor recommendations
Our consultants complete your software selection projects within approximately eight weeks and can remain available through the implementation as project managers.
We’ve also created free resource materials to help you understand the types of data management systems available to store data, how to get the greatest return on your tech investment, virtual finance, and consumer guides on low-cost fundraising systems. Well-researched software selection improves data management, eliminates pain points, and removes the need for workarounds that frustrate your nonprofit teammates. We are here to support your needs in whatever stage of the software selection process you may be.