How Nonprofits Can Compete Using Technology. Nonprofit MBA Podcast 3.9
Summary: In today’s podcast episode, Stephen Halasnik and his guest Chris Moschovitis discuss how nonprofits can compete using technology. Technology has evolved immensely over the past decade and has opened up many more opportunities for businesses while saving money and time. The idea to leverage technology in a small nonprofit can receive mixed reactions. Some may not be open to exploring the options with information technology due to cybersecurity concerns. Executive Directors may believe that using a computer can not solve all of their problems, but IT is one of the most powerful tools ever created.
Nonprofits and the use of Technology
For those running nonprofit or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), you may not be technically literate, and would not think of technology as an advantage in your organization.
If this is you, then your nonprofit could be running inefficiently. To be successful, a nonprofit needs to be able to see past its weaknesses and know when to seek an expert for extra assistance in the areas of weakness such as IT.
Small Nonprofits and Technology
When ignoring issues like nonprofit technology and cybersecurity then a nonprofit can be at risk of possibly exposing private information in a breach. This is a bad situation and could be very harmful to the company, especially if the information exposes someone’s medical, financial, or criminal record.
If a nonprofit is unaware of a threat, they are unlikely to do anything about it. As a nonprofit, you must take the steps necessary to protect your organization. This can be taking advantage of powerful new technology that is available on the cloud. On the cloud, there are no servers, no infrastructure, and small access fees.
Nonprofit organizations can sometimes hope that the problem will go away and ignore it; however, this is when they will struggle the most. The pandemic affected many nonprofits because they were not ready to work remotely and did not explore any other options prior. They had no way to protect their employees or any way of mobile communication, so this hurt their nonprofit.
Something that nonprofits need to focus on post-pandemic is upgrading their technology services. Small nonprofits would benefit from just moving on to the cloud. The cloud is a shared server somewhere, not physically having a service in the office. Some examples of cloud servers would be Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, those being the biggest cloud providers. They all have their infrastructure on the cloud and at a much cheaper cost.
This use of technology is beneficial because it limits the constant emailing or messaging of employees. For example, using Google, for Google Drive, allows documents to be shared with others to eliminate having to separately email them out. Everyone who has access to the document will be able to see it and potentially edit it if necessary. This is useful because it is efficient, saves storage space, and is easily accessible.
Due to the Pandemic, employees have moved their offices to their homes. This has changed the landscape of cybersecurity because it shifted the physical office and boundaries to the employees’ home, where at the workplace everything was protected by IT and cybersecurity. Now, the boundary is located at home which can lead to problems as there may be a flow of people coming in and out of your home, and others using the computer. This increases the chance of viruses when proper precautions are not taken, especially if other people are using your work computer for personal reasons.
There is also a cause for concern because now the employee is responsible for having their own technological devices for work, that are not necessarily given to them by the company. Let’s say you then leave the company and you were never given a work computer, then all of that company’s information is still on your device and you are just expected to delete that information, but that may not always be done. If the company tries to delete the information remotely and were to delete personal information/data that was stored on the computer then that may lead to a lawsuit.
Nonprofit leaders should figure out their daily operations and seek out an expert to figure out how to make their operations and decision-making more accurate and efficient. Whether the nonprofit knows how to use technology or not, there are always ways to improve it, ultimately leading to technology solutions. A nonprofit needs to be in contact with its stakeholders and funders, and it is key to be able to use technology as a resource to make this happen. The pandemic has changed the ways of communicating, and if you have not moved to the online video conference platform Zoom, it may be time to.
For-profit small businesses can be held back in growth because of technology, and if you want to grow, IT may be the solution. It may not be just doing something faster, there could be a solution out there waiting for your nonprofit to utilize and you just don’t know that yet.
Social media and mobile technology as a whole allow nonprofit organizations to get their name out there and share their story. Outreach allows the organization to reach supporters and get respondents that can potentially grow their company. Social media also allows for fundraising and crowdfunding potential. Both Instagram and Facebook have fundraising tools where people can donate to a nonprofit organization. On Facebook, the user can set it up so for their birthday they are raising money for an organization. These real-time donations help spread information about the nonprofit and allow them to grow through this social impact.
Conclusion: Technology can change the nonprofit sector for the better to help deliver a nonprofit’s mission. Technology adoption will help a nonprofit expand its digital transformation.
Guest Speaker: Chris Moschovitis, Technology Management Group
Chris is an active speaker and writer and delivers workshops on a variety of topics, including Cyber Security, Privacy, Information Technology Strategy, Governance and Execution, and Digital and Business Transformation. Chris is particularly sought after by private industry, academic institutions, and nonprofits for his ability to explain complex IT and cybersecurity topics in a plain, easily understood, and actionable language Chris’ book “Cybersecurity Program Development for Business: The Essential Planning Guide” was published to critical acclaim by Wiley in 2018. His second book “Privacy, Regulations, and Cybersecurity: The Essential Planning Guide” just came out. Chris is a founding board member of One In Tech, a foundation promoting gender parity, equal access, and education in technology and cybersecurity. Chris company, Technology Management Group which started in 1989, prepares your IT strategic plan and helps you with your IT budget. TMG can also manage all your technology so that it aligns with your business as well as address any tech and software projects that you undertake.
About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. The Entrepreneur MBA podcast’s purpose is to help small businesses get over the $10 million per year in revenue mark. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to small businesses and nonprofits
Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program. Mr. Halasnik has started and built 6 companies over 25+ years with 2 of those businesses making the Inc 500/5000 fastest-growing list. Mr. Halasnik is a best-selling Amazon author on business and regularly tweets about his ideas about growing a business. You can also find Mr. Halasnik on youtube talking about Entrepreneurship.
Mr. Halasnik loves small business. He lives in New Jersey with his best friend, his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.
About Financing Solutions Nonprofit Line of Credit
Financing Solutions, an A+ and 5 stars rated BBB company since 2002, is a direct lender that provides lines of credit to nonprofits and small businesses.
Financing Solutions nonprofit financing product is a great alternative to a traditional bank line of credit because it costs nothing to set up, nothing until used, and when used, is inexpensive. The credit line requires no collateral and no personal guarantees.
Nonprofit Organizations use their line of credit to help with emergencies or opportunities when cash flow is temporarily down (i.e. Payroll funding)
Please feel free to fill out the no-obligation, 2-minute nonprofit line of credit application here. The time to set up a credit line is when you don’t need it so that it is ready to be used, just in case.
Note: Financing Solutions donates 10% of its profits to various nonprofit charities