The non-profit sector may feel distinctly different to the various for-profit industries and sectors; however, non-profit organisations are businesses just like any other. In many ways, in fact, non-profit organisations are more complex than for-profit organisations. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a company that has been providing small business IT support London based charities and non-profits have been using for years now. They described how, over the years, non-profits have been modernizing their operations – digitizing their data, leveraging technologies to support their workflows, etc.
We asked them about the types of technology that they have seen help charities with the work that they do. Below is a list of some of the examples they gave us…
The first tech example they gave was a simple one: Office apps. Every business nowadays needs to be able to create documents and other content, communicate with their colleagues, etc. This is what Office apps do. TechQuarters cited Microsoft 365 as a prime example of a business suite that equips organisations with all the fundamental office work capabilities.
In the 12 years that TechQuarters has been providing IT support services in London, they have seen how cloud storage has gone from an useful new solution, to becoming a veritable necessity for businesses. Non-profit organisations work with a lot of data, which they need to able to store securely, and access quickly. Cloud storage fulfils both of these needs; it also makes file sharing and co-authoring much easier.
By nature of the non-profit business model, charities need donors in order to be able to do their work. This is just the same as how for-profit businesses need customers, which is why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is just as important in the non-profit sector as it is for any other sector.
CRM systems allow businesses to analyse data they have collected from their donors and supporters, and provides them with the analytical capabilities to zero in on new opportunities, and find ways to nurture their relationship with existing donors.
Social Media Management
Business is becoming increasingly digital which has a lot to do with how much more time the average person spends on the internet – namely, social media. Due to this, it is important for every business – non-profit or otherwise – to engage with social media. It is one of the best ways in which an organisation can connect with their ideal customer/supporter. A social media management platform makes it easy to automate social media usage, and ensure that one is making the biggest impact on the platforms they use.
Cyber Security Suite
Cyber security is increasingly becoming a number 1 priority in many fields, particularly in the charitable sector. In fact, according to TechQuarters, one of the top demands with IT support for charities is a better security solutions. More than half of charities in the UK alone cited an increase in cyber-attacks – whether successful or merely attempted – since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic alone. Luckily, there are a great many robust cyber security solutions on the market, and the industry is constantly innovating.
Digital Fundraising Tool
Charities have come a long way from relying on street fundraisers, and cold-calling individuals. Nowadays, a non-profit organisation needs to be leveraging a digital fundraising tool. For example, websites like JustGiving and Enthuse make it easy for charities to begin fundraising online.
Impact Reporting Tool
Analytics is an extremely important part of business. Within the non-profit sector, using an impact reporting tool is a great way for charities to get a better understanding of how they work is influencing society. Using this type of analytics can also help an organisation refine their strategy, so that they are maximising their impact. These tools are also a great way for charities to offer more transparency for their supporters on how the money they donate is making an impact.