Maintaining your nonprofit’s strategic mission focus is critical and often requires next-generation technology to an executive on objectives. IT managed services providers offer exceptional support and value, with a cost structure that is sustainable for mid-size nonprofits.
Guiding your nonprofit organization to true sustainability while maintaining exceptional mission impact can be a challenging task and one that is littered with damaging assumptions. Navigating through the landmines requires a full understanding of business realities and concepts and how they relate to a nonprofit environment, which can be very different than for-profit strategies and financial leadership principles. For-profit organizations may look for ways to reduce long-term costs by paying additional funds upfront, while not-for-profit organizations may find it more fiscally responsible to spread payments over time. This is one of the many reasons that IT managed services are especially applicable for nonprofits — the ability to reduce upfront costs and still receive exceptional support for new technology initiatives.
Nonprofits are often running incredibly lean, with only a minimal staff to do the massive number of required tasks, often while meeting aggressive fundraising or mission-oriented goals. In this go-go-go mentality, technology can fall by the wayside — with the unfortunate side-effect of causing more frustration for donors and staff alike. Even simple items such as optimizing donation pages for mobile delivery can be out of reach for beleaguered nonprofit teams, even though this straightforward fix would likely net significant new dollars that could be put towards the mission of the organization. Data security is another overlooked area for nonprofits, which can be especially dangerous considering the high likelihood that fundraising organizations are storing personal information, causing increased liability concerns as well as negative publicity should a breach occur. Updating key systems and maintaining adequate security levels are vital improvements that nonprofits need on the technology side of the business.
Tech Adoption and Effectiveness
When technology isn’t effective, it’s unlikely that adoption levels will lag behind as well. Employees are quick to research workarounds when they perceive that a certain task is taking longer or being less efficient than expected, which can result in data and security lapses that can be difficult to overcome. It’s important for financial leaders of nonprofits to set aside adequate funds to maintain and improve business systems that will support the overall mission of the organization. Unfortunately, there are unique challenges associated with nonprofit organizations, such as sudden swings in funding levels and the inability to quickly budget additional funds should there be an emergency such as a serious software or hardware breakdown.
Technology teams are always planning for the next generation of hardware, software and business needs — which requires a thorough understanding of the technology landscape as well as the financial chops to advocate leadership for upgrades and essential new expenditures. This lifecycle planning is what keeps constituents able to complete transactions with the nonprofits, and provides employees with the tools needed to perform daily activities. When the unexpected happens, such as several computers that break down before their lifecycle is scheduled to end, a nonprofit can be forced to pull funds away from mission projects to keep technology running. This has a ripple effect on the organization that can cause an extended recovery period. With IT managed services, lifecycle planning becomes much more fluid as business leaders are able to lease expensive hardware instead of purchasing upfront to reduce the requirement for capital outlay.
Systematic Cash Flow
IT departments in for-profit, as well as not-for-profit organizations, have an ongoing struggle around budgeting, due to the variable nature of technology in general. It can be difficult to project twelve months to three years in advance what the costs are for technology projects to keep the organization moving forward, but that is exactly what IT directors are called upon to do on a regular basis in the nonprofit world. Costs are normalized as much as possible over a long period of time to reduce the risk of large, unexpected expenses that could derail other projects. The dependable, flat-rate IT support associated with managed services provides a proactive system of monitoring and maintenance to ensure that your organization’s data stays safe and that operations continue uninterrupted even in the event of a natural disaster or other calamities.
Enterprise-Level Performance and Reliability
Just because nonprofits may be smaller or have a reduced budget, doesn’t mean that the complexity level is lessened! Fortunately, IT managed services such as cloud hosting, business networking, telecom services and more provide enterprise-level functionality at a greatly reduced price. Healthcare organizations often struggle with security and compliance, and managed services providers (MSPs) are able to help support even these complicated needs at a rate that most nonprofits can afford due to the shared nature of these services. In addition, an MSP can function as an extended staff member and provide valuable knowledge about the industry or specific market segments that your internal IT team may not have time to research.
Learn more about how your nonprofit can benefit from IT managed services when you contact Unity IT today at (559) 297-1007 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our security and services professionals will work with you to understand your key requirements and craft a solution that will work for your Fresno organization.