Have you ever suggested getting a new software for your nonprofit only to find a coworker has already reviewed it and didn’t find it valuable? Maybe it was difficult to use, or they didn’t feel supported with enough training or resources to get started. Like any new skill, getting used to a new software can be challenging – especially if it’s not the right solution for your organization.
Much of the skepticism surrounding software for nonprofits can be chalked up to misunderstanding or a bad experience. For example, many solutions don’t have the features to support your organization. Conversely, others may have too many features yet don’t provide enough value. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, you need something that’s just right. The right technology will help you run your organization, serve constituents, and make your teams’ jobs easier.
Today, we’re debunking three myths about software for nonprofits.
MYTH: IT DOESN’T ADD VALUE TO MY ORGANIZATION
“Software and technology are just tools with fancy features that don’t benefit my team. And, we’re productive already – I don’t think technology would help to improve our efficiency.”
Truth: Technology enables nonprofit organizations to do their jobs faster and with more efficiency than ever.
There never seem to be enough hours in the day for nonprofits, and efficiency is an invaluable benefit. People enter the nonprofit sector because they want to help people and serve their community. That is to say, spending precious time on work that could be automated creates pressure to make up for hours lost. Additionally, it contributes to staff members feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by workload, a factor that indicates employee burnout.
Software for nonprofits can help automate manual “back-office” tasks, like constituent intake, data entry, and reporting. This allows case managers to focus on more meaningful work. In this way, technology helps combat misspent time, limited resources, and burnout. It streamlines operations and allows nonprofit workers do their work faster and better, while staying happier in their jobs.
MYTH: IT MAKES MY TEAM’S JOBS MORE COMPLICATED
“My team needs to focus on helping constituents. Learning how to use software takes up too much of their valuable time. It would only add more work to their already-busy schedules.”
Truth: Software for nonprofits is a resource designed to help organizations. Not hinder them.
There’s a learning curve when adopting any new process or technology. But, once you’re familiar with a tool’s features, it’s easy to see the variety of use-cases. Software can positively impact every team within a nonprofit.
Case Managers – Software minimizes manual work, saves time, and decreases job frustration. Investing in technology shows your case managers that management cares about streamlining their work and increasing professional satisfaction.
Development Teams – Instead of asking case managers every time they need information, case management software allows development teams to access program and constituent data themselves. And better data creates valuable opportunities, like the ability to tell better data-driven stories to get more funding. Win-win.
Program Managers – Like the development department, program managers often rely on overloaded teammates for data to help with reporting. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. Robust software for nonprofits will aggregate all the data an organization collects. In other words, this gives program managers the information they need to report on the health of the nonprofit and success of its programs.
Executive Directors – Finally, technology gives executive directors a holistic, 360-view of their organization. This is a benefit that manual processes simply cannot provide. In short, technology can eliminate data silos and provide easy, consistent access to accurate data for any situation that might arise.
MYTH: IT’S NOT SECURE
“Our client and organizational information needs to be secure. The risk when using software for nonprofits is just too high. I’m much more comfortable using traditional filing methods to ensure there are no data breaches.”
Truth: The right technology can enhance your organization’s security.
Many people believe paper documents are more secure than electronic ones. However, this myth has been dispelled. The right technology provider will put your security, and the privacy of your constituents, at the top of its priority list.
Above all, look for a partner that uses technology for good and understands the sensitive nature of data privacy in the social good sector. Check for compliance with the following regulations when searching for your next software provider:
If they create software for nonprofits that helps you remain complaint with these standards, you can be sure that they have your best interests at heart.
SOFTWARE FOR NONPROFITS: THE VERDICT
Software for nonprofits is an invaluable tool that allows nonprofits to live their mission and prove their impact with data. It’s both powerful and empowering. To sum up, it’s how we will transform the nonprofit of today into the nonprofit of the future.