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Nonprofit Technology 101 - The Basics

Nonprofit Technology 101Whether you are just getting your nonprofit started or you have been involved for a while and are just looking at your options for technology, it`s helpful to know more about what you`re getting into. There`s plenty of information on this blog, but this post will just go over the basics for those of you new to the whole thing.

Technology, of course, involves things like computers, software, printers, digital cameras, and basically anything that enables communication and information sharing and storage. These are all very valuable tools to have for a nonprofit organization, particularly since we live in a technical world. However, these things also tend to be rather expensive, which means nonprofits need to be pretty creative about how they manage to incorporate technology into their everyday operations.

Tasks you might use technology for in your nonprofit organization include:

  • Membership management
  • Donation records
  • General accounting
  • Project tracking
  • Websites

While nearly all of this could be done with a pen and paper (excluding the website, of course), it`s simply faster and easier with the right technology, and your organization will run better and more efficiently with it.

Getting that technology is the tough part. Most nonprofits do get donations, but the equipment is rarely up to date, meaning it will be slower and less efficient than newer equipment, to varying degrees, of course. Upgrading is one way to go, or, in the case of computers, you can sometimes use them for parts if they are just too old and slow to use as is. There are plenty of ways to get donated technology. If you can get the actual company to donate, you`ll be ahead of the game; but schools, individuals, and even companies might be interested in donating when they have outgrown the usefulness of their own equipment.

Having computer and internet access these days is practically mandatory. It`s the fastest way to contact large numbers of people and keep everyone updated on the status of your nonprofit, as well as to find new sponsors and members. And, in the end, technology is all about making life easier, right?

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