What Should Non-Profits Be Looking For In IT Services?

Non-profits, like all businesses, run best when they have people heading each department that is qualified and excels in their fields – do you have the best IT Services?

Non-profits struggle with many challenges that traditional enterprise-based corporations do not, given that they often operate on the bare minimum of resources, staff, and volunteers.

While you’re grateful for every last person who gives of their time and talent to assist in the organization’s efforts, they don’t always have all of the skill sets you need to successfully run the operation. This often means that you have to pick up the slack – but everyone has their limitations.

Ideal IT services are not easy to come by when you are dependent on volunteer labor and have a small budget. More than that, you have a lot of places you need your money — and personnel — to go. Unfortunately, technology and IT employees are sometimes the last things to be considered in the budget.

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What Are The Three Biggest Non-Profit Obstacles?

All of this means that non-profits will face the same challenges:

  1. Finance: Every dollar you spend on IT services and solutions is a dollar you can’t devote towards your purpose as non-profit. That means every dollar (no matter how few) has to count.
  2. People: It can be difficult to hire expert team members when other industries offer larger salaries, better hours, and more benefits.
  3. Mobility: Staying mobile means investing in new technology, and refreshing it every few years – that takes time (and, again, money).

What’s The Key To Non-Profit IT Services?

It comes down to one simple idea: bang for your buck.

When you don’t have any extra dollars to spend on additional features, surplus services, or other things enjoyed by for-profits, then you have to make every single penny count.

Fortunately, modern models of IT services and the technologies delivered therein offer an economy of scale. Put simply? Instead of having to pay outright to purchase and own something, you pay a fraction of the cost on a regular basis for full access to it when you need it.

It’s all about capital expenditures (CapEx) vs. operating expenditures (OpEx). Whereas with CapEx you pay everything up front and see the costs returned to you over time (which certainly comes with benefits for those that can afford it), OpEx allows you to simply pay as you go.

It’s this model that will get you the best results per dollar spent.

What Are The Three Reasons To Invest In Better Non-Profit IT Services?

  1. Protect You Donors
    You know it, we know it – there’s no point beating around the bush. Everyone is aware that a data breach is always a possibility. But when it comes to non-profits, those at risk are the ones that actually donated their money to a worthy cause!
    The last thing you want to do is put them at risk. That’s why you need to make sure you’ve invested in IT services that will keep your data (including the financial and personal information of your donors) secure.
  2. Get More Value Out of Your Greatest Investment of All
    More so than perhaps any other industry, a non-profit’s most valuable resource is its people, and the time they have to offer. It’d be a luxury to be able to pay everyone what they’re owed, let alone at all, and so many non-profits rely on selfless volunteers to ensure work gets done.

    What happens when those volunteers can’t actually get any work done because the computer they need isn’t responding fast enough, or at all?
    By investing in IT services that keep your downtime to a minimum and your software optimized, you’re ensuring that each minute the staff spends using computers for work isn’t brought to a snail’s pace unnecessarily. This, in turn, nets you an ideal return on the number of working hours you can get your staff and volunteers to commit to.

  3. Support For The Software You Actually Use
    Just as your choice of IT services should account for how your employees and volunteers use technology, it should also account for the specific software solutions you rely on.

    You probably use software like QuickBooks or Peachtree for accounting and Raiser’s Edge or something similar for tracking donations and managing your fundraising relationships. Make sure you find a partner in IT services that can provide specific support for those solutions.

Why Are Managed IT Services The Most Cost-Effective Option?

Members of the non-profit world have much more important things to spend money on, rather than internal IT staff, expensive training and education, and capital expenses like server farms and data centers. IT services provide an economy of scale that will not be beaten by any other model, simple as that.

Like this article? Check out Email Marketing Services (Insight/Information), Mobile Computing (Tips And Tricks), Finding The Right Managed Services Provider (Questions/Answers) to learn more.

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