Nonprofits frequently suffer the hardship of not having enough money or resources to properly fulfill their missions. With over 20 years of experience and service to nonprofits in the Boston area, we have identified some ways that nonprofits can get the most bang for their buck.
Have a fundraising event? Use Boston Charity Events! Tech Networks sponsors a free event listing service which promotes charity events and raises awareness for great causes. A monthly newsletter featuring listings from the site is distributed to over 10,000 Boston area event-goers. Nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes use Boston Charity Events to expand their reach, collaborate with others and reach their fundraising goals.
Focus on your mission. Before you allocate money for a new resource, make sure that you understand how it will directly or indirectly support your success in achieving what your nonprofit organization has promised to deliver. If it doesn’t help your organization meet its mission, you can probably do without it.
Plan for the future instead of spending money on short-term fix-its. Utilize strategic planning services or have your current IT state assessed in order to pinpoint recurring problems. By aligning your IT initiatives with your strategic priorities, you can find solutions to your problem areas and plan where you can save money in the long run. Continually tracking progress keeps your organization updated and everyone on the pathway to success.
Have someone do a utility audit. You can find ways to save money in your office by changing out the lightbulbs, installing insulation, updating your windows and updating your appliances to lower electricity costs. Tech Networks partners with the Climate Action Business Association (CABA), who provide the tools and resources necessary to help businesses take individual actions and steps towards becoming more sustainable.
Learn from your peers! Your challenges are not unique, and you can benefit from the experiences of your counterparts in other organizations. Many nonprofit organizations freely share what they have learned from their experiences in using information and communication technologies. Before you invest your time, effort, and money in technology purchases, go to Idealware, NTEN, TechSoup, and other online forums for nonprofits to learn about best practices and potential pitfalls.
Be aware of the discounts! Don’t be afraid to ask. There might be some discounts offered for prepaying a bill or paying within a certain amount of time. For example, TNB gives discounts to clients who choose to sign up for our automatic payment option. Certain tech websites offer free or reduced software and licensing for nonprofits.
- There are discounted programs for education, government and non-profits from many software publishers such as Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and others. Right now, Microsoft is donating 250+ products and you can check them out here.
- Some manufacturers such as IBM offer discounted or donated equipment to qualifying organizations.
- Several cloud-based applications for CRM and donor management are available to non-profits at a discount.
Sites such as TechSoup provide donated and low-cost technology resources such as software and refurbished hardware and Salesforce.com for Non-Profits includes a pre-configured version of the software for organizations that track and manage individual donors, volunteers and clients. Microsoft Office 365 plans are also free for nonprofits!
Use volunteers instead of staff. There are many people who volunteer to support great causes, or simply because they enjoy a break from their jobs. When seeking volunteers, offer free membership to your organization or some other perk. TNB offers PTO time in exchange for volunteer hours to encourage our employees to spend time helping our mission-driven clients. Having a strong volunteer coalition at your organization boosts morale and connects you with other members of the community, as well as your clients.
Nothing feels better than saving a little dough! Use these tips to help your nonprofit be more cost conscious in the long run.
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