Hands on a keyboard
January 20, 2021

What Is A Nonprofit Technology Assessment?

Matthew
Matthew Luzitano

As we grow more and more dependent on technology, the tools we use can either catapult our efforts further or hinder them completely.

How is your current tech solution serving your organization and mission? For nonprofits like yours, the online donation solution, content management system (CMS), and other essential tools you use all contribute to the overall success of your fundraising and supporter engagements.

If you’ve noticed your efforts aren’t quite yielding the expected results, or you’re just not sure if your tech investments are bringing genuine value, this is where a nonprofit technology assessment can help.

A nonprofit tech assessment takes a top-down view of your entire organization and the tools you depend on. It reveals what resources you currently utilize, which solutions are actively helping complete your mission, and which tech you might not need.

With the assessment results, you can better revitalize your digital nonprofit strategy and ensure you take advantage of every fundraising and engagement opportunity.

If this is something that interests you, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn more about the basic components of a nonprofit tech assessment and how you can conduct one.

Table of Contents

Are you considering a nonprofit tech assessment? Contact Kanopi, a top nonprofit partner, for help.

Nonprofit Technology Assessment: An Overview

A nonprofit technology assessment is the key to getting a comprehensive outlook on your current digital solution. The assessment showcases your nonprofit staff, their skills, your budget, donor relationships, and all internal procedures in terms of the tech solution you have.

In particular, a nonprofit tech assessment can bring the following benefits:

  • Ensures you avoid duplicated efforts or investing in something that your organization already has
  • Lets you know if your organization is missing out on any critical procedures, policies, or tools
  • Gives you insight into where you should be spending your tech revenue

If your own organization is undergoing a digital transformation, a tech assessment is a critical step to help guide that journey. On top of that, it’s recommended that you consistently conduct these assessments as your organization and tech solutions continue to expand.

With modern solutions popping up every day and the volatility of the internet, assessing your nonprofit solutions on a regular basis is an extremely beneficial practice. Doing so can ensure that you’re aware of current solutions and any gaps in your existing infrastructure. Plus, you’ll be more prepared for future opportunities and sustainable growth.

Additional Resources:

Basic Components of a Nonprofit Technology Assessment

So, how can you conduct a nonprofit technology assessment? The process may differ depending on your situation and the resources you have, but these are some of the common steps you’ll likely follow:

  1. Create an asset/technology inventory. This is a working inventory of the tech that your nonprofit currently has and uses on a daily basis. Make sure to also note the age, name, manufacturer, and other key details within the inventory. You might even get an official tech audit from an experienced nonprofit tech service.
  2. Determine future needs. With your organization’s other leaders and stakeholders, brainstorm some short-term and long-term goals. These goals should actively drive your mission forward. Then, rank each goal based on priority and end date to get a sense of your future needs and to develop a timeline for what needs to be accomplished.
  3. Consider your financial budget. How much does your organization invest in tech annually? How much additional revenue can you and are you willing to put in? As you’re figuring this out, make sure that your budget accounts for upgrades and fixes, like if you undergo nonprofit website maintenance.

Along with the above, it’s a good idea to ask yourself several self-assessment questions. These will further help you determine where your organization stands and if your current solution is working for your needs.

Questions to Ask During Your Nonprofit Tech Assessment

  • What technology skills do your staff possess?  This will vary depending on the size of your organization, but if you have an expert coder on staff, this is worth noting. How much your staff knows about the tools and software you use is also important.
  • What are your policies for data backup, computer security, tech support, and so on? If there’s an area that you feel is lacking or could use a refresh, this is crucial to take note of. Upgrading your tech processes to be more secure is always your best bet.
  • What’s the current state of your website? If you haven’t updated your website in the past 6 months, it’s likely due for some maintenance.
  • What are the roles and responsibilities in your organization that relate to technology? Documenting this can be helpful for when you’ve completed the assessment and are working on incorporating its insights.
  • Who are your technology vendors? If you pay any monthly fees to a vendor, both the name and the price should be jotted down.
  • What are the major technology services you provide to your staff, volunteers, donors, and other constituents? Consider every online or technological process you offer. This can include online donation tools, event registration, payment processing, email or texting, and more. Have there been any instances where a tool has malfunctioned?
  • Do you provide training opportunities for your staff, volunteers, and others who use your technology resources? While this may be something you have to account for in your budget, ensuring that your entire team has the proper training and knowledge to use the tools you’ve invested in is more than just advice. It will prevent any confusion down the line and make sure that each process is as efficient as possible.
  • Who do you turn to for advice on technology? Often, nonprofit organizations will have tech consultants or other services that can help them with tech support and audits.

With your tech inventory, a list of needs, and your current budget, you can gain a better sense of where your organization currently stands. The above questions can further ensure that you’re not missing out on any critical gaps.

Additional Resources:

How Kanopi Can Help With Your Nonprofit Technology Assessment

We at Kanopi Studios know just how important your tech stack is to your organization’s fundraising efforts and overall success. As a top partner for nonprofits like yours, we’ve helped our clients develop over 150 active sites and optimize their digital strategy.

Here are some of the services we offer that can help when it comes to conducting a nonprofit technology assessment:

  • Perform tech audits for new clients across the board. Our expert team can evaluate public-facing websites and any connected services, like donation platforms and CRMs.
  • Provide support and advice on how your nonprofit website fits into your tech assessment. Is your current CMS helping or hindering your online efforts? We can also make recommendations and suggestions on how to improve your website and ensure it’s doing all it can for your mission.
  • Conduct research on your nonprofit’s online audience and develop user personas. This can clue you into the best ways to engage and reach out to your supporters with the tools at your disposal.
  • Keep updated on industry standards and current nonprofit website and UX best practices. Whether you need information regarding the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and how it affects your organization or are unsure if your website meets current accessibility guidelines, we are here to help.

On top of these services, the Kanopi team will put together a Website Growth Plan (WGP) using the insights from your nonprofit tech assessment. This WGP will outline an actionable roadmap of content, features, and tactics that nonprofit leaders can implement.

The plan covers the overarching web strategy, as well as includes all brands across all channels. We’ll review your nonprofit’s current state, update audience personas as their journey relates to the website, and come up with a list of recommendations to set you up for continuous improvement and growth.

The Kanopi team knows that each nonprofit is unique, so this process is completely customized. We have different types and levels of WGPs depending on the customer’s needs.

Contact us for your own personalized Website Growth Plan.

Additional Resources: