What are the advantages of technology for nonprofit organisations?

Humanitarian aid - Donation

Nonprofits are at the forefront of social change. They are making a difference in lives by doing work that is critical to society, yet their resources are constrained and they often have tight budgets, making it challenging to perform meaningful work in their area.

Nonprofit organisations rely on donors and volunteers for funding and manpower. Organisations need to find creative ways to attract new supporters, track donations, connect with supporters, and build relationships. The resources offered by technology have allowed non-profits to stay innovative, creative, and competitive. This benefits the nonprofit, the employees and volunteers, the stakeholders, and the recipients of the nonprofit organisations’ mission.

The nonprofit sector in Australia is large and diverse, with more than 600,000 organisations working across a broad range of areas, such as health, education, human rights advocacy, environment, and culture.

Nonprofits don’t earn profits for owners and shareholders; instead raising money to support their mission and pay employees. However, running a nonprofit costs a lot of time and resources, and organisations often face an inconsistent amount of donations from one year to the next. This makes it difficult for nonprofits to be sustainable and meet the demands on their services.

In 2020 alone, around 80% of the nonprofit sector faced an increased demand from Australians seeking support, yet due to increased financial pressures on an at-home workforce, 85% of nonprofit organisations had a reduction in revenue. Creating new ways to cut costs and increase donations is possible through the use of technology.

Advantages of technology for nonprofits

Cloud technology

Cloud-based technology is probably already a familiar part of a nonprofit organisation. Cloud computing is the term used for on-demand IT resources being delivered via the internet, whether it is communication, data storage, or running applications. Examples of cloud computing that many of us are familiar with are Google Drive and email. Microsoft 365 is another cloud-based solution, which has a familiar interface, making it easy for all users to engage and access business tools anywhere at anytime, with an affordable monthly subscription.

Cloud computing solutions increase efficiency and save costs, particularly as this technology can be used anywhere on any device that can connect to the internet. This allows nonprofit leaders to connect with partners, board members, or stakeholders in real-time, and improves flexibility in operations:

  • Simplifies operations such as accounting
  • Limits the need for investing in IT infrastructure that requires costly maintenance and upgrades
  • Reduces expenses overall, no need to procure rental premises as cloud technology allows work to happen anywhere.

Data management

The way to generate long-term success is to create customer relationships that are personalised to a business, which leads to durable revenue. Modern customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are giving commercial businesses the ability to include features that are specifically tailored to individual customers.

This type of software can do the same thing for nonprofits and their donors. It is much more cost-effective to generate constant business through repeat donors rather than continuously trying to attract new donors. Nonprofits don’t thrive if a donor makes a one-off donation then never interacts with the organisation again. Grantors are also more inclined to engage with a nonprofit if data for projects is easily accessible.

CRMs or donor databases can be vital for storing then analysing donor data, saving time and resources by eliminating manual data entry and allowing data to be accessed from a centralised portal. The data can be analysed as a complete picture, to better understand donor giving patterns, which can then inform the overall revenue raising strategy.

Cloud-based CRM Microsoft Dynamics features tools for marketing, managing finances,  managing and maintaining donor relationships, track leads, and generate reports. This can also be leveraged by board members of nonprofit organisations concerned with governance, agendas, and future strategies.

Communications technology

More people today are aware of nonprofit organisations than in the past. Communication technology has enhanced the scope and reach of nonprofits, allowing them to reach donors far more efficiently and rapidly through various channels, such as:

  • Social media
  • Webpages
  • Electronic direct mail
  • SMS software
  • Mobile apps.

With so many ways to reach out to potential donors, it is important to leverage their effectiveness by getting as much information as possible about donors’ preferred communication methods. This allows nonprofits to send targeted communications with a higher return on investment as people are more likely to donate compared to a generalised mass appeal.

Social media allows organisations to stay connected with supporters and friends. Nonprofits now have the ability to provide donors with a chance to track their donations online.

Technology is also allowing for a more personalised experience by making sure that the content shared on a website is relevant for each individual visitor or user, as well as providing those visitors or users with an easy way to make a donation, while their attention is captured.

In addition, technology is helping organisations communicate better with staff members across the country as well as volunteers located in different locations, with web communication tools such as Microsoft Teams.

The use of technology can mean the difference between success and failure for today’s nonprofit organisations. Take your nonprofit to the next level and leverage the expertise of Lindentech’s team of IT consultants.