The word “non-profit” is a seemingly simple yet complex word. It spans a multitude of industries, and there are many types of non-profits or not-for-profit organizations, from humanitarian and disaster relief agencies to religious affiliates. There are nonprofits small and large, corporate entities and educational institutions. In 2017, Americans gave $140 billion to non-profit organizations alone.
No matter the type of non-profit, if you help lead one, chances are you face many challenges. One of those key challenges is technology. Over the years we’ve worked with many non-profit clients. Calling on these experiences, we've highlighted three major areas in which a managed Service Provider can be extremely beneficial to the growth of a nonprofit.
Every company must incorporate a strategic plan, which is a tool that provides guidance in fulfilling a mission with maximum efficiency and impact. Of course, every company is going to face both challenges and opportunities when designing a plan for the company. Quite possibly the biggest challenge is that technology is constantly evolving, therefore a non-profit organization's main goal is to stay on top of the latest tools, applications, and to continue to be innovative. Non-profit organizations typically do not have their own fully-staffed IT departments; therefore, it is extremely beneficial to use the knowledge of an IT expert (MSP) to help create a promising strategic plan. IT is a critical component of your operations, and building an IT road map will bring stability and growth for the long haul.
There are many specific fundraising platforms that non-profits leverage for donation management. Multiple platforms that are used have a cloud-based system that is designed specifically for non-profit organization. No matter which fundraising or donor management platform you’re using, a trusted managed service provider will ensure your donations and donor data is secure and backed up.
A non-profit organization should be able to work stress-free when it comes to knowing that each donation will be safe and sound. Non-profits usually have specific compliance requirements to meet when operating and managing data. An MSP with experience serving non-profits can offer valuable advice on how to meet these regulations. Accuracy is key when it comes to these requirements and managing certain types of data, therefore it is important to engage an MSP to ensure your non-profit will be able to deliver.
Another key focus area for non-profits is IT budgeting. An IT budget should be a cost-based reflection of the IT roadmap that is developed for your organization. Arming your non-profit with a strategic IT budget will be not only set the stage for the future of your organization, but it will also allow your organization to evolve and continue to grow. An experienced MSP will work with your nonprofit through many planning sessions to help create budgets that meet organizational goals, while also providing the necessary data solutions and security. Then, if your company is forced to make budgeting adjustments, you'll have a solid understanding of your priorities. Those priorities will help identify the correct cuts or reallocations that will have the least amount of impact on the effectiveness from the strategic plan and mission of the non-profit.
These are just three of the many areas in which nonprofits can benefit from utilizing a managed service provider. Additional services that are available to help non-profit organization include: hosted cloud services, proactive IT management, multi-layer security including data backup and disaster recovery, 24/7 monitoring and alerting, Help Desk and end-user support, network planning and design, and more.
If IT strategy is a daunting topic for you, reach out to us. For over 28 years we’ve helped nonprofits in various industries incorporate technology into their strategic plan. Apogee has a proven process we use for every client to learn about the unique needs of your organization, devise a solution, and implement it to achieve maximum results. We’re here to help.