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