Nonprofits have to make tough decisions about new technologies

July 29, 2013

Nonprofits have to make tough decisions about new technologies

Adapting to innovations in technology is a way of life for nonprofits as the cloud, big data, "bring your own device" policies and unified communication are all solutions that can make it easier for managers to stay in contact with their staff and improve efficiency throughout the organization. However, it's important that nonprofits have a virtual infrastructure that can support all of these state-of-the-art tools. 

New technologies continue to add up
Nonprofit managers want a team of staff members who never have issues communicating and have the tools they need to get work done both in and out of the office. According to the recently released "Sixth Annual State of the Network Global Study" from network and application performance management solutions provider Network Instruments, innovations are coming fast and furious.

Sixty-two percent of responding organizations have already begun using videoconferencing, roughly half of survey participants' applications will be managed in the cloud in the upcoming year and about one-quarter of entities forecasted their project bandwidth will grow between 25 and 50 percent in the next two years. Adjusting to these new technologies will help nonprofits keep track of donors better, improve their marketing initiatives and increase the potential of their workforce.

"Many technologies we spoke about as emerging a short time ago, such as BYOD, videoconferencing and 40GB, are quickly approaching mainstream status as companies look to quickly boost productivity and cost savings," said Jim Frey, vice president of research for Enterprise Management Associates.

Some nonprofits are behind the curve
While there nonprofits have been able to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, others simply don't have the resources needed to invest in these new innovations. A blog post for The Nonprofit Roundtable stated a combined shortage of expertise, time and money is keeping organizations from getting new solutions that can greatly improve operations.

This phenomenon makes it difficult for nonprofits to be able to use technology effectively. For example, smaller budgets can leads to purchasing fewer technologies, as well as being unable to hire employees who know how to properly manage this innovations. A lack of staff members with tech skills cuts the amount of time the organization spends to research new innovations, according to the blog post.


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We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


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Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

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New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

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Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

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Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY