Association Today

Association News You Can Use

Top 3 Tips to Stretch Your Non-Profit Technology Budget

A white computer mouse and cord on a stack of US dollar billsKeeping your non-profit organization’s technology infrastructure up and running shouldn’t have to cause hardship for your core programs.  There are a number of strategies to stretch your technology budget—here are three important suggestions:

1. Invest in Technology that’s Open Source or with a Large Partner Network

“Open source” technology refers to software in which the source code is available to the public, allowing programmers at large to build and improve upon the code and share these changes within the community.  The detailed benefits of open source technology are beyond our scope here, but it allows for many competitors in the market and therefore, better products at a better price.  In addition, technology incorporating a large partner network allows for more choice and competitive pricing among service providers.  In a nutshell, with open source and a large partner network, you have more products and vendors to choose from, at a lower cost.

2. Avoid Software that Requires Frequent Upgrades or Expensive Support Contracts

Traditional “old-school” technology and software required periodic and complicated upgrades, and corresponding extensive (and expensive!) support.  Our advice is to keep your non-profit’s major business systems in the cloud, where costs for upgrades and support are distributed across many customers for economies of scale.  In addition, cloud upgrades are often seamless and less cumbersome.

3. Invest in IT Training for Your Staff

Make sure your staff is well trained in the technology you choose, so they can be as self-sufficient as possible, and keep simple customization and fixes in-house.   By taking control both literally and figuratively, your technology budget doesn’t have to usurp or eclipse the resources that should be going to the work dedicated to your cause. At Fonteva, we highly recommend Salesforce training for at least one member of staff.  A solid understanding of Salesforce ensures a smoother implementation and allows staff to perform many technical tasks in-house.  Time and money invested in training at the outset generates ongoing returns in all aspects of your organization—for technology, operations and more.
Secrets to Boosting your Association Membership
3 Secrets to Running Your First Association Webina...