Nonprofits and Tech: Key Insights from POINT’s Educational Panel with NXUnite
Madison Mikhail Bush, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at POINT, was a panelist at NX Unite speaking on “Effective and Efficient: The Power of Tech for Nonprofits Today” with technology experts from across the nation. We’ve got the panel CliffNotes for you below 🧡
Has Technology Changed the Nonprofit Industry?
Tech plays a crucial role in many, if not all, businesses and organizations. Not only is it one of the main reasons that remote work is possible, but tech also helps organizations run more efficiently and effectively when it comes to streamlining, communication, tracking tasks, and more. It has advanced so much that small teams can be just as efficient as large corporations with the right tools.
“If you are not leveraging technology and you feel as if you are not functioning as well as companies like Google, there are tools out there built for you that can assist with that.” Madison Mikhail Bush, Founder & CEO at POINT.
Here are some ways technology has impacted the nonprofit industry:
- Increased communication through more channels
- Broader hiring opportunities increase reach to potential candidates
- Enables remote work
- Donor data is more readily available and the collection process has been streamlined
As technology continues to advance and become increasingly available, make a point (pun intended) to leverage and prioritize your technology so your nonprofit can operate more efficiently.
When Should You Invest in New Technology?
It is easy to want to jump on the newest technology, however, it’s key that nonprofits understand the depth of the technology before jumping toward the latest service or product available. Rather than fitting the technology to your organizational needs, figure out what tasks you need support with and find the tech platform that can deliver on those needs.
Ask yourself these questions before investing in new technology:
- What is the problem?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- Can this new technology solve your problem? Can it streamline tedious tasks? Does it free up staff time for more valuable needs?
- What’s the investment needed for incorporating this into your nonprofits’ processes and existing tech? (think: ⏱️ and 💲)
“Be cautious, not everything coming down the pipe in the technology world is worth jumping on. That said, always be on the lookout for new opportunities.” Peter Campbell, Business Consultant & Owner of TechCafeteria.
When thinking about integrating new technology, some organizations find it helpful to do an evaluation. Pay close attention to the areas your organization may tend to overlook.
Key considerations when evaluating how tech can support your org are:
- Adoption Lift: Determine what your organization is interested in adopting and understand what the timeframe will look like for your team to adopt and learn how to use the new tool.
- Partner Evaluation: Do a deep dive into the company offering the product upfront to understand the technology’s business philosophy and what they value. Be comfortable with who you work with, and go in knowing what your organization needs and wants.
- Thinking Best First: When you are switching tools, do not reinforce bad processes!! Don’t try to make a technology solution fit something that wasn’t working in the first place. Take a look at how you can first improve your processes, then at how tech can support them.
- Manual Tasks: What tasks are a total time-suck on your organization? Think about how to streamline administration by using tech that automates tedious manual tasks.
If your organization struggles with manual tasks, check out POINT’s features📱to automate your volunteer management program.
“Find a small experiment that you can run which can help your organization determine if there is a use for that specific piece of technology before investing more into it. Don’t be afraid to experiment frequently and fall fast,” Joshua Peskay, the Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, and Chief Product Officer at Roundtable Technology.
Technology can provide a quick turnaround on the solution your organization is looking for. There are a lot of free trials for tech resources that a couple of your team members can experiment with until you find the right fit.
How Can Tech Help Your Nonprofit?
Technology can benefit nonprofit organizations in numerous ways, but why should you prioritize it? Because it frees your staff up to pour more time into your growth and mission! The right technology can build capacity for your organization across many areas, including:
However, keep in mind that technology is only as good as how your nonprofit utilizes it. Nonprofits have unique needs, and for too long you’ve had to piece together multiple tools to solve problems. That can create more of a headache than you started with. Tools like POINT are built specifically for nonprofits so that you have everything you need in one place.
Use Your Resources
The advancement of technology is difficult to keep up with, but there are several ways, such as newsletters, webinars, podcasts, and more that can help professionals stay up to date on the newest nonprofits and tech. You can also use your network—don’t be afraid to ask what tech tools other nonprofit leaders are using!