The goals of a non-profit organisation are to raise awareness and funds, increase visibility, and deliver the mission. In order to succeed and achieve these goals, many non-profit organisations have realised the need for technology.
According to a recent survey, 85% of non-profits say that technology is key to the success of their organisation.
However, keeping up with technological change and accessing modern IT are often cited as the biggest challenges for the not-for-profit sector. But it remains essential that the industry faces these challenges and evolves with the digital-first world. We know that the not-for-profit sector has to operate on tight budgets. The challenge often lies with finding the right balance between adopting technology to improve reach, engagement and membership, and keeping IT costs low.
But modern IT and effective use of technology can transform processes, productivity, and increase efficiency. Which more than justifies the cost and challenges of organisational change.
Despite the importance of technology for this sector, many non-profits are hesitant or face difficulty when it comes to addressing digital change. Of the 85% of non-profits who put technology as a high priority, only 16% were ranked as ‘digitally mature’. This seems to be due to a few IT challenges for non-profits that make the move into the digital world seem difficult.
IT challenges for non-profit organisations
Every successful non-profit organisation has a robust database of donors, supporters, volunteers, members, and corporate sponsors. Ensuring that this stored information is well-protected must remain a high priority for non-profits. As a cyberattack or data breach could have devastating results and cause its supporters to lose faith in the organisation.
In the last 12 months, 30% of UK charities were affected by a cyber-attack, with an average estimated cost of between £4,200.
95% of security breaches are caused by human error. By simply educating organisations about security awareness and data protection best practices can be an easy first step to keeping data secure. Beyond that, Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) password protection and keeping software up to date can go a long way in protecting critical accounts and data.
Limited funding and tight budgets
A key IT challenge for non-profits is the lack of funding and strict budgets. Not-for-profit organisations typically aim to spend less on efficiency so that there are more resources available to support the direct mission. This means it can be easy to overlook IT and technology updates as a part of the annual budgeting process. However, without innovation and well-maintained technology, non-profit organisations run the risk of encountering system failures and data breaches that will only hinder their ability to achieve their goals and objectives.
A lack of knowledge and resources
41% of small charities said one of the barriers to better engagement with digital technology was a lack of skills or knowledge. Like in any organisation, staff and resources sit at the heart of the business. This is no different for non-profit organisations, it’s essential to invest in your people, providing them with the digital tools, technology and workplace environment to increase their job satisfaction as well as their productivity.
Digital skills are essential in the modern working world, there is a risk of being left behind if non-profits do not continue to innovate and leverage technology. Best practices, processes and stakeholder demands are changing all the time, non-profits need to focus on investing in people, technology, and trends to keep their staff, members, supporters, volunteers, and the public engaged with the mission.
How technology can transform the not-for-profit sector
Technology has changed the way charities and non-profit organisations run. From utilising new ways to engage donors and members, to streamlined admin processes, and better fundraising and volunteer management.
Different technology platforms have made it easier to reach a wider pool of potential donors and enhance the strategies aimed at improving visibility. AI technology has paved the way for better decision making, as organisations can harness AI data-driven insights to track processes and outcomes and run more informed reports. From the decision makers to the volunteer staff, technology is being used to streamline processes, drive productivity, and enhance user experiences.
Digital transformation solutions such as Microsoft Cloud for Non-Profit enable charities to overcome the IT challenges for non-profits, and improve the way they connect and communicate with members, volunteers, supporters, and the public.
Microsoft Cloud for Non-Profit
Microsoft Cloud for Non-Profit is a range of smart, secure, and integrated cloud solutions. It is purpose-built to help drive transformative mission impact in the non-profit sector. These solutions provide non-profit organisations with the power to improve their engagement with supporters and volunteers, deliver effective campaigns, and accelerate mission outcomes.
Microsoft Cloud for non-profit brings together the power of Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and even LinkedIn, to address everyday non-profit scenarios with a foundation of best-in-class security and compliance.
But digital tools and technology like this require specialist knowledge, skills, guidance, and support. And in order to implement a total digital transformation, an IT strategy is required.
Outsourcing a reliable IT partner
Not-for-profit IT challenges are holding many organisations back from accelerating their mission outcomes and making an impact. But facing these IT challenges and working out where to start when it comes to technology can be daunting for most organisations. When budgets and technical resources are limited, how do you decide which solutions will help best to deliver the organisation’s mission?
That’s where many non-profits have turned to IT partners and Managed Service Providers (MSP). A reliable IT partner can help non-profits find the balance between adopting the right technology to improve reach, engagement, and membership, and keep IT costs to a minimum. It’s essential to have a technology strategy that supports the organisations purpose and mission. An IT partner can help non-profits envision an IT strategy and roadmap that will enable positive change.
Overcome IT challenges for non-profits with an IT partner you can rely on
At the 848 Group, we work with not-for-profit organisations to design cost-effective technology strategies that support their purpose and enable positive change.
Our team can design an affordable digital transformation that aligns with your organisation’s goals. We can deploy your new technologies without disrupting your operations, and simplify the adoption process by providing all of your users with full training delivered by Microsoft experts.
Kate is a marketing assistant researching and writing about emerging technologies and the cloud on a daily basis. She creates informative and educational content assets such as blog posts, articles and resources using strategic messaging to illustrate how a modern IT landscape can deliver real business value.