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Developing the right IT strategy for your non-profit

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Improving IT performance and scalability is one of the biggest challenges for non-profit organisations. They operate with limited resources, and are constantly working to balance the need for efficiency and cost effectiveness.

When it comes to choosing the best IT strategy for your non-profit organisation, there are a variety of factors to consider. You have to consider the unique needs of your non-profit organisation, the impact technology can have on its mission, and the costs and benefits of implementing your IT strategy. 

Why do non-profits need IT strategies?

An IT strategy is a plan for how your non-profit will manage IT in the future. It’s a way to think about the future of IT within your organisation, by considering current and future needs and challenges. 

As a non-profit organisation, your organisation’s main focus is on its mission and creating social change. This makes it especially important to make sure that your IT strategy incorporates the unique needs of non-profit organisations. 

A not-for-profit’s budget is usually very limited. They don’t have the same buying power as a for-profit organisation with the same size. That means there is a limit to the number of devices each department can use, and the number of applications they can run on them. As a non-profit, you’re limited by your organisation’s size and the available resources. Communications, security, and availability are all issues that must be considered.

Your IT strategy will include goals and objectives for the IT department and its specific areas, and plans for how to achieve them. It’s the framework that helps your organisation plan and make sound decisions by looking ahead.

What defines the “right” IT strategy?

Your IT strategy will depend on the specific needs of your organisation, the impact technology can have on your mission, and the costs and benefits of installing or upgrading IT infrastructure. 

A good IT strategy will be flexible enough to change as your organisation’s mission changes, or as new technologies emerge and change the way your organisation works. 

For example, your IT strategy might include several strategies for how to use emerging technologies, such as AI and robotics, or for how to use new digital services, such as automated customer support.

The benefits of developing an IT strategy

Although it can be challenging to choose the best IT strategy for your non-profit organisation, it can also be very rewarding. By developing an IT strategy, you can better manage your company’s technology and improve how employees work together. This can lead to better results for your organisation, such as improved efficiency and more effective operations. 

Effective technology helps non-profits with their marketing, fundraising, reporting, and communications programs – but not all charity organisations implement strong IT initiatives, to their detriment. A recent study reported that while 70% of non-profits stated that sending email appeals is an effective fundraising tool, 34% are still not on board.

Non-profits need to stay up-to-date with the most effective marketing initiatives if they are to stay relevant and receive fundraising and community participation.

Business benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Reduced long-term costs
  • Stronger organisational growth
  • Organisational direction
  • Increased organisation awareness and message reach

Assess your current IT landscape

Before you can develop an IT strategy for your non-profit organisation, you need to understand your current IT landscape. This will help you to choose the right IT strategy for your organisation, and to assess the impact different strategies have on your organisation’s current IT infrastructure. 

You can use tools like technology surveys, interviews, and make a review of your internal and external IT policies to help you to assess your current IT landscape. 

This will help you to decide which IT strategies would best suit your organisation, and to better understand the current state of your IT.

Creating an IT strategy in line with your business goals

After you’ve assessed your current landscape, it’s time to develop your IT strategy. 

The IT strategy is the plan that outlines how your organisation’s IT assets will be used and managed, while your business strategy addresses how IT supports the organisation’s key business objectives and its overall mission. It is important to have both the business and IT strategies in line with each other to ensure that your non-profit is able to achieve its goals.

Steps for creating an IT strategy:

  • Identify the goals of your business
  • Determine what you want to accomplish with your IT
  • Determine what you need to accomplish your goal
  • Assess your current capabilities
  • Identify potential risks
  • Address the strategic direction and how it will impact your organisation
  • Outline the initiatives with specific timelines and budgets

Develop your IT strategy with the experts

A well-planned IT strategy can help a non-profit to manage growth and keep up with new demands as well as reduce costs, improve performance, and achieve growth.

Talk to the IT strategists at Lindentech to get started developing and implementing an effective IT strategy that aligns with your business goals, marketing initiatives, and grows your organisation.

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