What has technology done for the Non-Profit Sector?




Advancements in technology have benefited numerous industries by providing them with tools and systems to streamline their operations and increase revenue. However, one industry that has taken its time to catch up is the non-profit sector. Non-profits are notorious for doing things “the old-fashioned way.”

For years, non-profits have primarily done everything manually – such as knocking door-to-door, mailing letters, using paper fliers, and making cold calls. Some have found working for non-profits difficult for this reason, but it seems that these organizations are finally starting to catch up. This is likely because newer tech has become much more user-friendly and easier to integrate into existing systems and practices.

Now, non-profits are benefiting greatly from implementing technology into their daily operations, allowing them to run more efficiently and do more with less. While they once struggled to find resources and stay afloat, they are now thriving thanks to better tools and systems to help them manage day-to-day tasks. From streamlining operations to cutting down on costs and making it easier to communicate with and reach wider audiences, there are many ways tech is helping to improve the performance of non-profit organizations.

Streamlining Operations

Manual paper processes, making cold calls, and knocking door-to-door are practices most non-profits were using that are now outdated and inefficient. Tech makes it easier for them to automate these processes, which saves them time and allows them to focus on more important things, like fundraising and hosting events or activities for constituents and the community.

Using data analytics tools and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions makes improving their performance much simpler. These tools allow them to optimize their workflows and collect data that can help them make more informed decisions. Additionally, digital tools and systems make it easier to delegate tasks and keep track of who has done what to cut down on time.

Easier Communication and Outreach

Having a website and utilizing digital marketing tools also makes it easier for non-profits to reach wider audiences to make more of an impact. Using clear and visually appealing messaging and content can help non-profits drive home their mission to make a more significant impact with constituents, members, and donors.

Digital tools also make fundraising and donating a breeze. Instead of cold-calling and meeting in person to collect checks for funding, non-profits can simply add donation buttons to their website. The ability to use electronic signature tools to collect funds over the internet means anyone can make a quick and easy donation. More people are likely to donate if they can do it easily and securely over the internet rather than contributing in person.

Internal communications between staff, volunteers, board members, and stakeholders are also more efficient with emailing, messaging apps, and other tools. It’s much easier to get a faster response using an email than playing phone tag or tracking someone down in person. Email lists also make it easier to keep track of who you should reach out to when you have events or things you need help with.

Reduce Costs

Things like paper, printing, ink, and postage costs can quickly add up. When non-profits did everything manually, not only did it take longer, but it was also not as cost-effective. Using a ton of paper is also not a very eco-friendly way of conducting business.

With technology, organizations can significantly cut down on costs and spending. They can then take the money they save and put it into other areas, such as staffing, funding, events, and activities, or even turn around and put it back into their tech and digital marketing efforts.

Accounting and Bookkeeping Made Easier

Non-profits rely heavily on the ability to get funding and grants. They often struggle with their finances and staying afloat. With tech, finding funding and gaining access to more grants is not only simpler but keeping track of it all is more manageable with different financial tools as well.

It’s still highly beneficial for non-profits to hire their own accountants, but the work that will be cut out for them when they come on board will be much easier thanks to tech and the different tools and applications available that make tracking finances more streamlined.

Growth and Expansion

When a business or organization runs more efficiently, they will naturally begin to increase their revenue – or funding in this case – and expand. Previously, non-profits primarily operated as small businesses as they couldn’t hire on a ton of staff or make that much money. Now, not only has the use of technology made it easier for non-profits to streamline their operations and make an impact on a larger scale, but tech companies themselves are turning their sights more and more towards philanthropic work. This means companies like Google and Microsoft are creating their own foundations to support the greater good or investing their money by way of grants in non-profits that already exist. Either way, tech is having a massive impact on the non-profit sector. It is likely only to continue to experience growth as advancements make tech more accessible and easier to use.

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