How to determine when and what to replace when evaluating your nonprofit’s technology
November 24, 2009
By: Chris Peters
This article was adapted from TechSoup's MaintainIT Project, an
effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and
distribute stories around maintaining and supporting public computers.
Originally published September 22, 2009, this article was updated
September 18, 2014 to remove old links and outdated sections.
Resources to help you keep disasters from becoming disastrous
Disaster preparedness isn't just about being ready for a fire or earthquake; it’s a nimble, flexible approach to your organization’s day-to-day programs and operations.
The Leacock Foundation runs educational programs that reach underserved youth in South Africa and in Toronto -- all with just a handful of staff. How are they able to accomplish this feat? With a lot of passion, hard work and good tech planning.
Furniture Bank is a registered charity and social enterprise that transfers gently used furniture and housewares to people who have recently transitioned out of homelessness (including those escaping abusive situations, refugees & newcomers to Canada, etc.). Their clients are referred through 78 social agency partners and they run their operations with 38 staff members, 50 regular volunteers, 600 corporate volunteers, and 7 trucks. Learn more.
Last year, they developed a solution that enables them to help an additional 2600 households a year. How did they do this? With good tech planning. I spoke with Noah Kravitz (Community Manager and Fundraising Coordinator), Dan Kershaw (Executive Director), Naresh De Silva (Marketing Manager), and Natasha Hynes (Client Services Manager) to get their input on how they managed this process.
This post summarizes Furniture Bank’s responses and insights, so your nonprofit can learn from their experience too!
Have you ever wondered: How does our nonprofit’s technology shape up? Are we taking advantage of the technology available, or are we missing out on key capabilities that other organizations take for granted?
As nonprofit leaders and staff, it seems that there’s always more to do and never enough time to do it. So looking after your organization’s technology - an area that might be out of your comfort zone - is one more thing that might slide down the priority list.
On the other had, technology is extremely important for any organization, no matter what your mission. Good technology helps you to be more efficient - to save time and reduce duplication. It also helps you to be more effective - to increase the impact of your work.
This month's Toronto Net Tuesday was the first in our Technology Planning Series so it was all about introducing the idea of technology planning and sharing experiences. If there was one big idea from the evening it was this: Technology is a tool, not a solution. Before thinking about technology you need to first understand the people who will be using the tool and their processes.