In the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, much has changed in the nonprofit world. Many nonprofit organizations have changed how they do business. They have taken a hard look at their organization’s efficiency and have re-assessed their budgets. According to Philanthropy News Digest, “Perhaps the most significant change to nonprofit operations was the willingness among foundations to provide general operating support and unrestricted funding during the crisis.” During the height of the pandemic stress, that meant nonprofit organizations were able to address needs that were the most urgent for their organization, but it also required the ability to pivot and rethink how they operated. Allowing part-time and full-time employees to work from home in many cases became essential, the benefit of which was remaining fully staffed while striking a more efficient work/life balance. Videoconferencing became the routine method for meeting with coworkers, clients, and partners. Virtual fundraisers became more of the norm than the exception, and in some cases, were more successful in raising money than their traditional counterparts.
The common thread in these changes is technology. In many cases, technology budgets expanded to answer the growing need for virtual operations, even while other areas suffered budget cuts. The leadership of successful organizations learned that technology was crucial to their survival and ultimate success. But for small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations, keeping up with necessary technology can be a daunting task without the help of an outside technology services expert, like a managed service provider (MSP). There are many reasons to consider these partners in meeting your nonprofit organization’s technology needs in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment. Here are just a few:
Invest in Future Savings
In the long run, there are savings advantages to choosing to invest in a technology partner. When you work with a technology provider, you aren’t just investing in today’s needs, you’re also setting the course for a better future. One example of this is cybersecurity. The world of cybersecurity demands the sophisticated expertise of trained IT professionals who can protect your organization against complex cyber-attacks. Despite their best efforts, your in-house IT employee or department may not be able to keep up with the rapidly changing knowledge and strategies needed to prevent these attacks.
An MSP with cybersecurity expertise is vital because it can create a technology environment that is efficient and effective now and save you money in the future by preventing cyber-attacks that can drain your business of its assets. Just like investing in insurance for your staff and organization, investing in the right security partner will provide a solution to help prevent critical problems in the future.
Flexibility and Proactive Solutions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations of every shape and size recognized that technology was a critical asset that allowed them to stay nimble and adaptable. Allowing employees to work from home became critically important, and those entities that were able to allow that move quickly, because of their technology solutions, were better prepared to make the change. Those who needed a longer time to make that change suffered the consequences – they took longer to ramp up remote operations and both donations and donor retention suffered for it. The right technology consultant gives your organization the ability to quickly create proactive solutions that foster progress.
MSPs understand what might work best for your organization today, and what the future holds for new technology. These IT experts can create solutions based on their knowledge and their ability to customize plans to meet clients’ needs. It is a relationship that will make you feel confident and make your team feel empowered to do their jobs effectively and securely.
No one wants to be following someone else’s lead in their area of expertise. You want to be the leader, the one all others are following. Technology is the key to being the leader in today’s evolving nonprofit landscape. Your technology partner will guide and support you in your efforts to create new opportunities for your organization.
More Bang for Your Buck
Managed service providers can provide the same – and in many cases, better or more specialized – technology expertise and solutions than an in-house employee, sometimes for a fraction of the price. This is why they have become so popular, particularly for smaller organizations that cannot afford a dedicated IT person or department. It makes sense. Hiring a full-time IT person gives you the knowledge and experience of one employee, but there are hiring costs, benefits, and a full-time salary that must be budgeted for that position as well as ongoing training to ensure that they stay current in their field.
Compare that to engaging with a technology partner, for whom you can pay much less, and just pay for the support you need. It also offers the flexibility to change the amount of support needed, depending on your organization’s needs. That scalability is much more difficult to achieve with internal employees.
With an outside partner, you can increase the level of support you are getting as needed, and you can be assured of the quality of that support, while you are lowering your technology costs. MSPs also have multiple IT experts available to support your organization. The experience and knowledge of your MSP give you the best value for your technology dollars.
You made it through the post-pandemic return. You learned a lot. You pivoted when you had to, and you used technology as an asset to keep your organization running. Well done! Now, as you look to the future, taking on a technology partner can ease the stress of staying ahead of cyber criminals, and provide the flexibility needed to have a remote workforce that works safely and securely. The right MSP will help your organization continue to run smoothly, despite the inevitable changes that are inherent with technology. Working with that technology partner gives you the best opportunity to be successful in the long run. For information on how we can help meet your nonprofit organization’s technology needs, visit Cross the Divide.