We are not here saying that building a successful nonprofit is easy by any means.
What we are here to tell you is it can get a whole lot easier! And how’s that? Through the use of technology.
Call us a little biased, but we think nonprofits stand to gain so much from recognizing where they can add technology into their systems.
It’s a surefire way to streamline your organization. And in doing so, you can meet the major goals you have for your cause. Goals like increasing monthly donations, boosting recurring donors, elevating brand awareness, signing on new volunteers…
AND still living your life outside of your nonprofit by not working yourself to the bone.
Probably sounds good, right? (It totally does to us!)
Well then stick around as we give you the ultimate checklist of the must-have technology for nonprofits!
Why Do Nonprofits Need Technology?
But first, why do nonprofits need technology?
Well, it’s no secret we’re living in the “technological era.” From Apple pumping out a new iPhone every year to Tesla changing the electric vehicle industry, our whole society is basking in technology.
And what do those products do? It depends on the tech, obviously. But for the most part, it makes our lives easier. It makes it more convenient. And it allows us to do things we’ve never done before.
So there’s plenty of technology for nonprofits out there. And unlike ever before, nonprofits can make their organizations more streamlined and accurate to help them grow.
How is Technology Changing the Nonprofit Sector?
According to Forbes, “the nonprofit sector is one of the largest in the U.S. economy.” And many nonprofits find their funding through grants. But here’s the thing. Those who offer grants want to make sure their money is going to an organization that’s truly able to make a difference.
So they want to choose a nonprofit organization that’s actually working. And how does an organization do that? By raising more funds for the cause. By making more of the public aware of the mission. And by recruiting people who can donate their time to help.
And this isn’t just a grantor issue. It’s now common to see this among average donors, too. They want to see how their money is truly helping the cause. They want to know the nonprofit they’ve given to is actually able to make a difference.
That’s where technology for nonprofits comes in.
Because now, technology in nonprofits can do this better than ever! From tracking donor data to streamlining smaller systems so nonprofit professionals can spend more time on bigger ones, technology makes it all possible.
The Benefits of Using Technology in Your Nonprofit Organization
We’ve mentioned it a bit earlier, but there are plenty of benefits to using technology in your nonprofit.
Some of the benefits of using technology for nonprofits include:
- Streamlining your systems and processes to save time and money from having to do each daily task manually
- Track your donor’s behaviors on your website and in your ads to understand more about them. You can also use this to make sure your efforts are working.
- Reach new audiences to boost brand awareness. Broaden your number of donors so it feels less like a pool and more like an ocean!
- Create incredible graphic designs (with or without a graphic design degree). Draw attention to your organization with visual elements!
- Keep your nonprofit information and your donors’ information secure with cybersecurity technology.
That’s all just the tip of the iceberg! There’s so much you can do to grow your nonprofit with technology.
The Quick Checklist of Technology for Nonprofits Must-Haves
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the technology you can have for your organization.
But if you’re just starting with moving your nonprofit information and donor information online, then these are the ones you probably don’t want to skip out on!
Technology for Nonprofits Must-Have #1: Cybersecurity Tech
First and foremost, if you have a website, an email list, or you’re somehow collecting donor information, then this is the number one must-have.
Cybersecurity for nonprofits is not something to skimp on. Not only do you want your donors to trust you with their information, but if you’re not properly prepared your organization may be liable if something were to happen.
There are all kinds of cybersecurity measures you can take for your nonprofit. From securing your website and passwords to securing your databases from hackers, there’s plenty of technology to use.
Not sure where to start? Read up on our guide on cybersecurity for nonprofits! And we have another article to walk you through some of the top nonprofit cybersecurity software on the market as of right now.
Technology for Nonprofits Must-Have #2: Online Donation Platforms
You don’t have to walk door to door anymore asking for donations to your cause. And you don’t have to send out mailers every month (if you don’t want to!).
Instead, you can drive more monthly donations with an online donation platform.
With these online donation sites, you can customize embeddable buttons to place strategically on your website.
And with many of them, you can participate in other forms of fundraising. Opportunities like crowdfunding, text-to-give fundraising, and event registration are all built into many online donation platforms.
If you’re ready to upgrade your online fundraising experience, then we suggest heading over to our post where we’ve rounded up some of the best nonprofit online donation platforms on the market!
Technology for Nonprofits Must-Have #3: CRM
Gone are the days of keeping your donors’ information in paper files locked away in a filing cabinet.
With a nonprofit CRM tool, you can log all of your donor information into one system. Not only that, but you can pull reports of your donors based on specific information.
Want a list of all of your donors between the ages of 25-42? A donor database software for nonprofits can do it!
There are so many options available right now. So we came up with a list of some of the best nonprofit CRM software you can snag at the moment.
Technology for Nonprofits Must-Have #4: Content Creation
If you’re ready to build your nonprofit’s online presence and boost brand awareness, then you definitely need content creation technology for nonprofits.
Want to build customized donation pages? Or do you need to create graphics and images for your social media platforms? Either way, having content creation tools helps you get the job done.
Here’s some good news, too. Some of the best technology for nonprofits software for content creation is absolutely free! In fact, we’ve talked about some of them in our round-up of the best low-cost (and free!) online tools for nonprofits.
And our sister site, Nonprofit Library, has an entire free webinar on one of the best content creation platforms out there – Canva Pro.
Technology for Nonprofits Must-Have #5: Marketing
Your nonprofit marketing strategy is going to help you put your cause out there for more people to see. So if you need to boost brand awareness and get your organization in front of a new audience, these kinds of technology will help you!
Studies have shown to have one of the highest ROIs out of all the marketing endeavors. So, if you’re ready to nurture better relationships with your donors, prospective supporters, and volunteers, then it’s time to get started with email marketing!
And one of our favorite email marketing tools is listed on our round-up of the best low-cost (and free) online tools for nonprofits.
Social Media Marketing
Nowadays, there’s a social media platform for everybody! So chances are, your ideal donor has at least one social media app.
There’s plenty of technology for nonprofits to help you manage your social media marketing, We’ve collected some of the top social media tools for nonprofits for you, too!
It’s official. Technology is here to stay! And rather than fight it by continuing to work long hours doing all of your tasks manually, it’s time to streamline your approach.
Technology for nonprofits will help you meet all of your goals for your organization. And this list of the 5 must-haves will help you get started!