Imagine... Every staff member using computers and the
Internet as easily as pen and paper, the telephone, the fax machine. What's more, they
understand technologys potential after having participated in making technology an
integral part of their Strategic Plan... and they are excited to test its limits to
advance the organization's mission. Everyone knows how to use e-mail and to do
research on the Internet; access the client databases and get reports from the
organizations contact database about donor history, advocacy actions, information
sent and received, and individuals particular interests in a program or position on
an issue. Staff coordinate strategic planning and day-to-day activities through an on-line
calendar while participating in videoconferences with colleagues around the state from
their desk. All systems phone, fax, computer, copying machines are
streamlined and work together for maximum efficiency.
When a problem arises... no problem... help is on call.
According to Moore's Law... information system technology
doubles every 18 months... this
explosion of information technology continues to increase the huge gap between those who
have and can use technology -- and those who either don't have it or don't know how to use
Nonprofits are in danger of
falling through that gap. They typically lack the tech resources and skills they need to
make the fullest use of computers and the Web... failing to invest the time, money and
effort needed to integrate technology into every aspect of operations -- from
administration, financial management and budgeting to service-delivery, fundraising and
marketing. Without that investment, you will be left with a organization that lack
the tools to do its job.
Technology, in short, offers the
sector the opportunity to make itself lean, mean, responsive and EFFECTIVE!. Fulfilling
your mission as a nonprofit means you must be effective, efficient and innovative. In
today's working world, you cannot hope to function productively without putting technology
Research by The
Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network along with research undertaken by others has shown "that most
nonprofits are hesitant to use technology and are ill-informed about the impact it could
have on their work, that funders are reluctant to invest in efforts that seem unrelated to
program delivery, and that the technology assistance providers are ill-equipped to provide
the kind of support necessary to transform the nonprofit sectors use of technology.
Also, research indicates that there are disparities in nonprofits access to and use
of technology namely, that many nonprofits in low-income communities and in communities of
color are underserved with respect to technology acquisition and use. Overall, the
fundamental problems causing this situation are lack of knowledge, fragmentation, turf
protection, inadequate investment, and lack of skills.
We will help you to:
Understand the impact that technology can have on your
Exploring the possibilities of the wide range of
technologies available to you for the asking, including the Internet, electronic
publishing, fax-on-demand, video conferencing, etc. We can help you understand how
technology can help shape entirely new services and programs... very different from seeing
technology as a way of enabling them to do "old" things in "new" ways.
Treat technology as an integral part of your organization.
In order to have a major impact on an organization,
technology needs to be pervasive used by everyone in back-office as well as
programmatic activities, budgeted for appropriately (including training as well as
hardware and software), and, most importantly, designed and implemented as part of a
comprehensive organizational plan.
Evaluate your own use of technology.
You need to evaluate their own uses of technology against a
set of standards. You need to know what "best practices" are being used by your
colleagues working in similar kinds of organizations. And you need tools and direction to
develop solid and realistic technology plans.
Access to appropriate and affordable help.
No one in any setting can be expected to
understand and implement technology-based solutions on their own, especially given how
fast technology changes. You need to know what support is available to you to incorporate
technology into your workplace. You need to understand both how to find help and how
to effectively make use of that help. You also need to know about the support that is
available directly from software and hardware vendors, and about web-based resources.
Understand and value the "human capacity"
aspect of technology.
People make technology work. Computers do
nothing on their own. Your organization must to take into account the many human resource
issues involved in successful technology implementation. Senior management and boards of
directors need to understand the skills required within their organizations, appreciate
the compensation and related aspects of hiring and retaining qualified technical staff.
They must also realize the importance of ongoing training and development of
all staff with regard to technology use, and ensure that people with technology-related
responsibilities will be included in key organizational decisions.
Value ongoing learning about the role of technology in
Technology constantly. Also, many organizations report that
as staff becomes more comfortable using these tools, they invariably find other, new ways
to use them. Therefore, every staff member should have the opportunity and the incentive
to remain informed about the potential role of technology in their work beyond
merely receiving training on new software programs.
Share their work with others.
Collaborative work is the new norm... the ability to share
ideas, carry on meetings "face to face" without the travel time is saving
tremendous resources, both time and money. Here is where the synergy begins to
develop and mushroom. We can now do more than one thing at a time and be in more
than one place
Acquire appropriate software and hardware.
Nothing can happen without appropriate hardware and
software. You need to be able to acquire these products both new and used
equipment in ways that are efficient, cost-effective, and supported over time. Most
importantly, your organization needs to assess your needs so that what you acquire is
appropriate to accomplish what you want to do.