Three digital technology tips to save not for profits money

By Nick Butler

19 April 2018

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Two women working for a not for profit discuss their digital technology work.

As a not for profit you, and your supporters, want your work to deliver the greatest possible impact. To maximise outcomes and minimise overheads it’s important you get the most from your digital technology dollar.

Here are three ways to get more for less:

1. Shop around for not for profit deals

Many technology suppliers give discounts to not for profits. These include biggies like Microsoft, Google and Adobe, along with more niche providers. Some also donate products and services.

To get many of these deals, New Zealand not for profits have to register with TechSoup, making this a good first port of call. TechSoup is a not for profit network that provides digital technology support and tools to other not for profits (a.k.a. NFPs, nonprofits, non-governmental-organisations or NGOs).

TechSoup take a cut but even factoring this in, the savings can be substantial.

Register for technology discounts with TechSoup.

2. Benchmark your digital expertise to identify opportunities

You can get a sense of your digital strengths and weaknesses by taking the ImproveIT Digital Capability Quiz. Moreover, knowing where you stand today will help you map out where you need to head in the future.

The ImproveIT questionnaire was specifically designed for not for profits. With this in mind, the quiz assesses your agency’s capability across six areas:

  1. IT Management — governance and planning
  2. Technology — hardware and software
  3. Information management — client records and service delivery transparency
  4. Online presence — websites and social media
  5. Staff IT skills — digital literacy and capability
  6. Security & risk — securing data and disaster recovery

The quiz was developed by Infoxchange, a not for profit that helps the community sector build digital skills.

Take the ImproveIT Digital Capability Quiz.

3. Go Agile

Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we. Agile is our thing. But that’s only because we’ve found that it works, as not for profit clients like the Life Education Trust have found.

Agile is a way to get the best results from your digital technology work for the smallest risk. You do this by working in short, focussed bursts, or iterations, that deliver the most value by promoting communication, collaboration, learning and responding to change.

Because we’re passionate about spreading the benefits of Agile, we offer a number of ways to get you started.

Free training

We run a free two-hour introductory workshop every second Friday afternoon. Learn more about our Introduction to Agile methodology.

After a more in-depth grounding in Agile? Our two-day ICAgile-certified Agile Professional Foundation gives you a comprehensive introduction to Agile values, principles and practices. Find out about getting Agile Professional Foundation certification and learn how charities can get free seats on the course.

Agile review

Maybe you’re already working in an Agile way, and want to take your practice to the next level. In this case, our Agile Accelerator team assessment gives you an independent Agile review and a step-by-step action plan for getting the most from Agile.

Agile project kick-off resource

Perhaps you’re about to start a new digital technology project? If so, our Agile Project kick-off kit will give you the tools, templates and tips you need for a successful kick-off workshop. While most organisations need to buy the kit, not for profits can email Sean for a free copy.

Other ideas?

There are lots of smart people working in not for profits. That means there’ll be plenty of other solutions for maximising the bang for your IT buck and we’d love to hear them. So please contact Sean on +64 4 939 0062 or [email protected] if you’d like to share your ideas.

Make a bigger impact tomorrow

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