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How to Amp-Up Your Nonprofit

We all struggle with how to do more with less; less time, less money and fewer people. Odds are, your IT department is feeling short-staffed. If your IT staff is feeling over-worked (or worse yet, you don’t have an IT staff), try these tips.

Start by assessing your needs and create an IT wish-list. Your wish list will include not only your hardware and system needs but also your personnel needs. Remember to be specific. If you need someone to set up or maintain your email server or administer your wi-fi network, ask. A specific request is more likely to be fulfilled rather than a vague, “need an IT person” request. If you don’t have a person in your organization that can create a specific wish list, this will be your first request, “Need someone to perform an IT audit.” Post this wish-list on your website and blog.

Amp up your team’s technical knowledge by having employees and volunteers use web tutorials. There great written lessons, as well as video and audio tutorials. These tutorials include anything from how to create a mail merge to how to collect more email addresses; and can also cover much more complex topics, such as how to edit photos, how to post a video on-line, or how to use Amazon.com to accept fundraising payments.

Stop the brain drain from staff turn-over. Document, document, document. Not a glamorous job, but necessary. A well-documented IT department allows new employees and volunteers to step in and be productive on the 1st day. This will save you hours/days/weeks of trying to decipher what has been done, what needs to be done, and what should be done first. Additionally, make sure staff members are trained in multiple areas. Cross-training employees and volunteers will help overall efficiency. Tasks are accomplished more quickly if people are able to work on them simultaneously. If someone leaves, there is documentation of what they have been doing, as well as another person that knows and understands the processes and procedures.

As your IT department grows in experience and knowledge, you will find more ways to use technology and become more proficient and efficient – these skills help everyone in your group.

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