Nonprofit organizations require a number of resources to achieve their mission, but lack of proper IT support for nonprofits continues to be an issue. Perhaps your organization can't afford to hire a full-time IT Manager and your day is interrupted with intermittent tech issues, security updates, or website maintenance. How can you manage your technology most securely for the best price and fewest resources?
Nonprofit technology has been at the heart of Tech Networks for the past 23 years and we compiled a list of ways you can utilize additional resources to support your technology needs.
Utilize an IT Help desk
Help desks are key to maximizing your productivity and making the best use of your time. For a busy nonprofit, having the ability to call and receive technical assistance from someone who’s sole job is to troubleshoot can be very beneficial. It's the help desk technicians responsibility to reply to your issues in a personable and timely manner to alleviate your frustration. Help desks can also assist with resetting passwords, fixing printers, and helping people troubleshoot device issues.
Hire a consultant
IT consultants can give your nonprofit the expertise in areas in which you cannot afford to hire. You may desire an IT consultant to visit your office once a week or once a month to provide onsite help and make sure everything is working as it should. Consultants also offer an expert opinion on smart technology investments and can help plan your technology budget. A consultant can also perform the larger technology projects when a server upgrade, move to the cloud, or backup solution is needed.
Make a strategic technology plan
It's important to have a plan for keeping your technology updated, and making sure you have a budget to do so. While this can take a back-burner to other organizational pressures, planning ahead can save money and a great deal of stress. Creating a strategic technology plan can lay a framework for what you aim to accomplish within the next year or 5 years. Think about how your employees are using technology – does a BYOD device policy need to be implemented? Are more people working from home? Asking these questions evaluates where you are now and where you want to be some time in the future.
Form a tech committee
If you have a strategic technology plan in place, how will you make sure it’s executed properly? There might be a list of technology projects you’d like to implement throughout the year. Creating a team to see what technology needs to be implemented (and make sure it’s executed) is key to achieving your technology goals. This is where you can also enlist the help of an IT consultant to act as an advisor for your technology committee.
See if a MSP is the right fit for you
Have you evaluated your current technology infrastructure and realize that things could be more easily managed with the use of outside help? A managed service provider (MSP) can do a lot of the tedious work for you using state of the art tools to ensure your data and IT assets are up-to-date, secure, and monitored at all times. With the right backups, patching, antivirus, and antimalware in place, you can go about running your business without the added worry.
Attend events to grow your skill set and learn from peers
There are many free workshops available for professional development, and Tech Networks currently holds events bi-weekly. Tech Networks of Boston’s Roundtables are free peer-to-peer learning workshops on topics that are of interest to nonprofit professionals. The events also give attendees the ability to learn from an expert on the subject matter and hear the pain points and successes of other organizations in the room. The Roundtables attract professionals from C-level to entry-level and offer a safe space to discuss how your peers are using technology to help them succeed.
Tech Networks of Boston understands the technology needs of nonprofits and offers customized IT services and support which help you meet your mission. We work with a variety of nonprofits in different sectors including human services, health, children and youth, arts and culture, community development and housing, and philanthropy to name a few. Contact us if you'd like to learn more.