When they consider aspects of their organization that are critical to conducting business, most nonprofits don’t necessarily think of technology. The first things that come to mind are often more people-centric resources like donors, clients, and staff. There comes a time in every successful and growing nonprofit’s existence when leaders realize they require technology to empower the people who make the organization run. Some nonprofits realize this immediately, while others grow into this phase as the organization evolves. Most, however, reach this point before they have the necessary resources to devote to hiring one (or more!) full-time IT employees. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a full-time IT technician in-house, there might be more requests for support than that individual can handle – or requests that go above and beyond his or her level of expertise. One possible solution to this challenge can save your organization both time and money – outsourcing your IT helpdesk. 

Technology Challenges for Nonprofits 

Technology is a key part of how nonprofits interact with the public. As the way in which donors want to communicate with – and fund – your organization continues to evolve, it’s only natural that you will face technical challenges. These challenges generally don’t all manifest at once. It might begin with staff not being able to connect to new platforms they need, patches that are applied haphazardly at best by the youngest and most tech-savvy person on staff, or shared software licenses “for now.” However, each of these seemingly small issues can impact your employees’ abilities to function at their best. They also can be hitting your bottom line and you might not even realize it – if donors are having technical issues that prevent them from giving money online, on social media platforms, or through other vehicles. Both of these cases are where IT helpdesk support can shine.

How can an IT helpdesk help you? Let’s face it, just managing your software licensing can be a challenge when you don’t have an IT team or when that IT team is a single employee who also has other responsibilities. If you’ve evolved to the point where your nonprofit does have an IT person, wouldn’t you like to be able to use them to the fullest of their abilities by allowing them to create a comprehensive, tailored, and cost-effective technology strategy for your organization?  If your internal tech team is too focused on keeping the (digital) lights on by conducting basic troubleshooting, it can be difficult for them to free the bandwidth to frame an overall strategy. 

By outsourcing IT helpdesk support, you’re effectively taking the weight off your employees. This will allow them to focus their energy on more critical tasks. But just like with any other employee, making the most effective use of your IT team’s knowledge begins with eliminating some of their more mundane and repetitive tasks and assigning them to individuals who can handle them quickly and efficiently. This allows your nonprofit to take full advantage of the expertise that your internal IT team can provide to propel your organization forward.

Why Should You Outsource Your IT Helpdesk?

Nonprofit leaders and staff wear a variety of hats. Your director of donor relations also might be managing your CRM and online giving. Your director of operations may be juggling accounting, making recommendations about IT infrastructure, and coordinating external firms to handle the wiring. Many nonprofits are founded by key professionals who routinely step outside their comfort zones to make things function. At some point, growing your organization to the next level requires those professionals to refine their strategic focus. Having a team of IT helpdesk technicians on call when you need them can help those key leaders focus more of their efforts on what they do best, knowing that your technology environment is safe and functioning.

Your Team Will Be More Productive

Technology is great when it works, and frustrating when it doesn’t. From the printer not working to volunteers not being able to connect to WI-FI or that new online giving platform not functioning for donors using an outdated browser, there are an endless number of technical difficulties that your team is faced with every single day. These issues tend to be compounded in the nonprofit realm, where IT systems are more likely to be pieced together over time, and thus less likely to work together seamlessly.

If you don’t have IT helpdesk support, your staff and volunteers must invest the time to fix these issues themselves. This not only drains productive working hours from their day but can also drain their morale, as non-tech-savvy employees either deal with donors on the phone or struggle to function themselves.

IT helpdesk technicians are trained to fix those small technology annoyances quickly. If they are working with you for any length of time, they will gain a level of familiarity with the idiosyncrasies of your systems. That means minor issues won’t take days to fix, allowing your team to focus on their real mission. On-call IT helpdesk technicians also can engender confidence in your organization’s professionalism when donors call in with issues. Having someone on call who can walk donors through online giving difficulties makes your organization appear larger than it is and teaches donors that they can trust you with their funds.

The Budgeting Benefits of Consistent Billing

Nonprofits often struggle to make room in their budgets for complex technology needs that crop up without warning. Outsourcing your IT helpdesk needs can prove beneficial for budgeting. By working with an outsourced IT provider, you have a single, consistent bill for services that can vary based on your needs – as opposed to the variances that come from an unexpected IT crisis because a system, piece of software, or device suddenly went down.

A technology services provider that is accustomed to working with nonprofits will structure their fees on a retainer basis.  By eliminating surprises – particularly costly ones – you can spread your IT costs more equally throughout the year. This allows for a higher level of predictability when you’re working through annual budget requests.

We’re Here to Help!

Whether your nonprofit has one IT staffer, an in-house IT team, or a few key personnel who know a little about technology, outsourcing your IT helpdesk needs can free them to pursue more valuable tasks. Through outsourced IT services, your nonprofit will gain around-the-clock protection for your donor and client data and your network, robust backup and recovery systems, access to savvy IT professionals who can troubleshoot or upgrade hardware and software, and the latest security processes and procedures that today’s nonprofits require.

Need help to find an IT solutions provider that offers a robust technology infrastructure that leverages economies of scale, allowing non-profits of all sizes affordable access to a feature-rich suite of technology tools? Reach out to us today and we’ll talk through your specific needs.