The age of cause-related technology is not only upon us, but its use and importance seems to be growing exponentially. With everything from social media tools to smart phone applications and workplace integration, there is a lot of information to keep up with. But we think it is vital that nonprofits at least stay up to date (and to some degree, engaged) with the demands and benefits of a technologically connected culture. We realize that for some, the thought of hitching their wagon to the latest trends seem both daunting and demanding. Daunting because it usually calls for picking up a new bag of tricks, and demanding in that it requires a revisiting and possibly, a restructuring of how your organization relates to your community (your donors and allies in service/vision as well as prospects for the future). But the upside of it all is that nonprofits are reporting that information technology tools are proving useful. Will you ream in buckets of funds with the help of just one click? Probably not, but with the right tool choices and a few tweaks in operations, your office may see an increase efficiency and donor relations or possibly make it easier for the online learning and giving community to support your work. Nonprofits wishing to maximize their opportunities must both understand that technology is changing the landscape of all communication in society and figure out ways to leverage it for the benefit of their mission.
Don’t be frightened, however, if your organization is not currently teeming with tech savvy. Luckily for you, several very helpful programs, tools, and resources have emerged to help equip organizations with the information they may need to expand their impact. Whether you are looking to improve your nonprofit’s technology plan, or are planning your first foray into social media, there are several resources listed under the technology heading on our resource page that can provide a great starting point. Covering everything from website creation, content management systems and maintenance to donor database software and crowdfunding, there’s helpful information out there and we’re regularly adding more.
So if you haven’t done so already, use the resources linked to this website to learn which IT tools are most applicable and appropriate to your nonprofit and the efforts you are undertaking. Don’t allow your cause to be swept under the rug because you don’t know how to make the tools of the IT trade to work for you!
- Also be sure to check out the new Nonprofit Technology Collaboration’s tools. This partnership between the Waco Foundation and Baylor University’s MIS department provides a technology basics manual to guide users through a wide range of topics; as well as a technology assessment survey, helpful for gaining a better understanding of how to create an effective nonprofit technology plan within the Waco landscape. Visit the site here: http://www.baylor.edu/business/mis/nonprofits/