The Potential of IT for Associations & Non-Profits30 Jul
When most of us think of IT we tend to associate it with a business or a for-profit entity. The truth of the matter is IT is everywhere – from large businesses to small, major associations to local NPO’s, and everything in between. Associations need reliable and scalable IT as much as the next organization or company, and as the association landscape continues to change, the importance of IT resources and expertise continues to grow. However, so do the challenges. We’ll explore how the association industry has evolved and how IT can prepare associations for the future.
According to a recent study in the Public Administration Review, non-profit organizations are “working in an era of heightened scrutiny, greater demands, fewer resources, and increased competition”. To expand a bit further, in the last three decades the number of NPO’s has nearly doubled and these organizations are now in direct competition with other NPO’s as well as for-profit companies. The non-profit sector has somewhat struggled to meet the challenges of increased competition while striving to provide better services. One area that has slowed this growth is IT.
The simple fact is most NPO’s are facing ever-decreasing budgets with a need to get more out of the resources they already have. Another problem is that NPO’s simply don’t have the IT expertise and resources needed to be the best they can be. Given this, it’s important that associations not only provision the talent needed to take advantage of newer technologies, but do it wisely.
Before we can talk about possible solutions, it’s imperative to outline what the goals for different organizations are and how IT plays a part. Of course, for-profit goals are to strategically gain profits and market share leading to shareholder wealth. For NPO’s, it’s to fulfill a social mission or increase membership – and money is simply a means to fulfill these goals more successfully. Now, how do NPO’s and associations achieve these goals using IT as a springboard?
Seeing as how IT resources are at a premium, it’s increasingly important to use use these resources the best way possible. The problem is many NPO’s simply don’t have the talent (or can’t attract the talent) necessary to ensure their mission is completed at the highest level. These days most associations have a website, or a method of electronically taking donations/dues, or use email to stay in touch with members and constituents. What they don’t have is a secure, scalable IT infrastructure. A solution to this problem is outsourcing their IT environment.
We’ve all heard the term “Leave it to the experts”. What are most NPO personnel good at? They’re good at finding donors or new members, allocating funds to their mission, and putting together events to foster the growth of the organization. Companies like Neovera are experts in IT. Leaving IT infrastructure and security up to an expert can alleviate IT headaches and help organizations reduce cost, time and risk, allowing them to focus on achieving business goals and ensuring end-user satisfaction.
An IT expert can assess and accommodate the needs of any organization, whether it’s completely outsourcing the IT environment, provisioning of cloud services, application deployment, disaster recovery, or database management. They can determine an organization’s IT needs and provide a scalable solution that enables future growth, allowing organizations to not only keep up with the competition, but keep up with the newest technologies and use it to their advantage.
The IT needs of an NPO or association are critical to its success, and a trusted IT partner like Neovera can provide the support and expertise necessary to achieve that success.