There are different types of non-profits. Examples of the most common ones include public charities, foundations, social advocacy groups, trade associations, and worker unions. And like any other type of entity, one of their main goals is to have an adequate cost-management system.
Even though non-profit organizations don’t run their operations like regular businesses, they still need to pay employee salaries, have a place to work in, and spend financial resources on utility bills, office equipment, and transportation.
Luckily, like most for-profit enterprises, non-profits also have a wide range of technological tools at their disposal, mechanisms that can not only help them save money but also run their operations in the most efficient way possible.
With that in mind, let us look at a few of the different ways technology plays an important role in the non-profit sector.
Spreading the Word
In this day and age, few industries have seen a change as dramatic as marketing and advertising. Technological development has created a level playing field for companies big and small to promote their products and services to the public.
While in the past, businesses had no choice but to work with a prominent, expensive advertising agency to create a television or print-based promotional campaign, this is no longer the case. Today, firms can hire the services of a reputable digital marketing agency to advertise the goods they sell in a much more efficient and affordable way.
Even if non-profit organizations are not selling anything, they still need to spread the word and let people know about the charities, causes, and associations they are working with. In these instances, technology provides a viable solution for them to achieve these goals. It helps them minimize promotional costs while allowing them to reach a bigger audience regardless of industry or location.
Like any organization, non-profits also have large numbers of data and information. Examples include donor and employee profiles, transactional records, and even confidential governmental intelligence. As such, they are oftentimes the target of cyber-attacks and data breaches that could have disastrous consequences.
For instance, let us imagine that you work with a non-profit in the public health sector. For this example, let us picture an organization similar to the Red Cross.
As some of us might be aware, many of the funds provided to an entity like this one come from private donors and government institutions. In most cases, these individuals, companies, and associations prefer to remain behind the scenes, namely for security purposes.
In this case, if the non-profit were to be the victim of a digital strike, not only would this be a hit to its reputation, but it would also jeopardize its chances of working with important donors in the future.
Fortunately, there are currently various data protection systems available to prevent this from happening.
Automation and Operational Efficiency
It would appear as though every time you are on video platforms like YouTube, Metacafe, TikTok, and Dailymotion, there is an ad for a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. While some are better than others, there is no denying that to function well, the modern enterprise would be much better off using at least one of them.
Once again, a non-profit is not the same as a conventional business. Still, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t run in a very similar way. As a result, the need for an all-encompassing solution that makes processes easier and people work faster and more efficiently is just as important.
A non-profit has employees, offices, and networks to maintain with donors, government and private charitable organizations, and other non-profits. Using conventional, old-fashioned software propositions is a surefire way to make the entire system collapse and not run as it should.
Another aspect of operational efficiency in a non-profit is the growing need for telecommuting alternatives in all business and non-business areas. It is especially true now as we are still in the middle of the covid-19 global pandemic. For non-profits to survive, they also need to put work-from-home procedures that guarantee employee safety and allow the organization to keep running.
As we have seen, technology plays a vital role in the proper functioning of non-profit organizations. Three ways we can see its influence and long-term reach are in marketing, data protection, and automation and operational efficiency.
Like any traditional business, a non-profit also must adapt to the changing circumstances if it wishes to remain relevant. After all, it doesn’t mean much to want to save the world and make it a better place if you do not have adequate tools.