Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 46 seconds

Digital Divide is Real

digitaldivide 150x150For a few years now, I have been writing these Tech Tips, offering suggestions on what nonprofits can do to use technology to reach out to constituents, manage day-to-day functions, and simply make life a little easier. In all of these things, the nonprofit organization is often struggling to do the same things as the for-profit world, only with a much smaller budget, outdated equipment, and uncertain funding. This is what is known as the Digital Divide.



Nonprofits typically do not have the same access to information technology as other organizations. These creates a gap between where companies are and where nonprofits are in relation to the technology they are able to possess and employ. Obviously, it can impede the progress of your organization when you are using older machines that are more likely to break down or software that maybe isn’t a “perfect fit” but that you can make due with rather than purchasing something that would better suit your needs but would cost much more.

Being aware of the digital divide between nonprofits and for-profits is one thing, but recognizing how it affects individuals is also important. Many nonprofit organizations work to benefit individuals who are struggling financially. It makes sense, then, that the people being served by a nonprofit also find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.

It is easy to forget in our day-to-day lives that there are many people out there who just don’t have access to the technological tools we have—outdated or otherwise. This translates into less opportunity for those who can’t afford a computer, internet access, smartphones, etc. Consider the implications of job searching in today’s society without the benefit of an internet connection. Think of the parents who are unable to access emails sent by their children’s teachers.

So, today’s “Tech Tip” is not about how to improve your SEO or where to find tools to make movies for your web site. Rather, it is about increasing awareness of the divide the exists, not just between nonprofits and for-profits, but also among the varying income levels.

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