14 Aug Smart Technology Strategies for Cost-Conscious Nonprofits
If you’re a nonprofit, you want as much of your budget as possible to go to your core mission. Investing in a solid IT foundation can help you deliver on that mission by enabling you to draw attention to your cause, connect with your community, recruit volunteers, and facilitate fundraising. But technology—from your communications infrastructure to the applications and services you use—can be complex and expensive. Here are five smart strategies to ensure your technology is helping your nonprofit run more efficiently—and more cost-effectively.
Perform an IT Audit
Many nonprofits evolve their IT infrastructure a little at a time. You add a new machine here and a new application there as needed and as your organization evolves. This approach makes sense—you don’t want to overinvest in things you don’t need in the moment. But over time, you can end up with an IT hodgepodge that can create hidden (or even not-so-hidden) costs and inefficiencies. Performing an IT audit can help you understand what you have, what’s working well, and what could be improved, from either a functionality or a cost perspective, based on your nonprofit’s current requirements.
Consolidate for Simplicity and Control
Once you’ve completed your audit, identify overlapping or redundant systems. These may be driving up your licensing, storage, and maintenance costs. By cutting down on the number of applications supported and managed, you can reduce those costs without cutting functionality. And by standardizing on the best tools for your nonprofit’s requirements, you can even improve overall efficiency, keeping your staff and volunteers focused on activities that are core to your mission.
Move to the Cloud
Cloud-based solutions give you new functionality fast, without having to invest in hardware, storage, and ongoing maintenance. And you can run at the level you need, with the ability to scale up or down as needed. All this means you’re only paying for what you actually use, which is about as cost-efficient as you can get.
Automate for Efficiency and Accuracy
Any process that includes a lot of data entry or repetitive, manual tasks is a great candidate for automation. Think processing application forms, issuing tax receipts, or managing volunteer schedules. Not only will automation free up your people to do things that only people can do, it also reduces errors and increases speed. And when you automatically trigger communications—sending timely thank you notes, program updates, and notifications to gift officers to personally call top donors, to name just a few examples—you deepen your engagement to increase your donor retention rates.
Outsource for Focus
You may not be able to hire a full IT team, but you also don’t want to operate in a way that could compromise your organization’s effectiveness, efficiency, or security. Fortunately, there is another option. By outsourcing elements of your IT environment to a managed services provider, you can get a much more sophisticated level of service for a much lower cost than if you tried to do it all in-house.
BCM One is Your Trusted Partner
When you work with BCM One, you have a one-stop-shop partner who will collaborate with you to ensure your IT infrastructure is working to help you deliver on your mission while staying within you nonprofit-sized budget. Contact us to learn how we can help your nonprofit.