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Modernizing your non-profit or charity

Need to modernize your non-profit or charity? This post offers six tips on how you can modernize your operations with cloud-based technologies.

Anyone who competes for donor dollars can tell you that the non-profit sector in Canada is not for the faint at heart. The bigger agencies with deep pockets dominate while the smaller charities struggle to raise dollars and to reach Millennials. Because they take longer to adapt to new tech, these small non-profits run the risk of losing market share to new, digitally-savvy charities. Let's look at how modern technology can help.

Tips for modernizing non-profits

1. Get with the modern program

2. Connect your people

3. Share the experience

4. Choose a mobile solution

5. Walk before you run

6. Safeguard your data

1. Get with the modern program

First of all, modernizing a charity/non-profit focuses effort and drives effectiveness from within the organization. Cut down time-wasting activities and focus resources on bringing awareness to more people. You can use new technology to remove obstacles preventing you from prospering.

Start by taking stock of your organization’s primary objectives. Identify opportunities for technological enhancement and areas for modernization.

  • How does your organization raise funds (corporate sponsors, government, small business, Canadian residents)?

  • How can technology increase the amount of funds raised?

  • What needs does your organization have to fill?

2. Connect your people

As technology changes quickly, so does the Canadian business culture. Adapting to new ways of attracting donors, today’s charity needs every edge it can find. Data-rich organizations like charities and non-profit organizations should stop clinging to outdated patchwork of expensive on-prem systems and manual processes. New and better ways of working can reduce costs, cut red tape, and integrate siloed teams.

Modern, integrated, cloud-based solutions can help you with:

· Fundraising & marketing

· Volunteer management & recruitment

· IT management

· Data security & storage

· Data collection & validation

· Operations

· Device security & management

3. Share & like a lot

Social media is a must, especially to reach young Canadians. By the way, it’s a misconception that GenY don’t give—they give plenty. Though they earn less, two thirds of Canadian millennials donate to charities.

The Globe and Mail: “While millennials may have less money to give today, they’re considered an important demographic for charities to reach in the future. It’s not just the size of the demographic, but its steadily rising income and the likelihood of receiving some of their parents’ wealth when it’s passed down.”

Keep in mind, the so-called “Me” generation has high standards. They give to charities they feel truly impacts those who need it the most. And transparency is a must. So, share stories about the great work you do, locally and beyond. Document everything. Create videos, case studies, photos, articles, and plenty of blog posts. Serve it up regularly using social marketing to attract young donors.

4. Mobilize your org

Fundraising requires the mobilization and organization of volunteers, dedicated employees, and corporate sponsors. From events to door-to-door canvassing, these teams work in the field and on the go. They need easy access to applications, communication tools, and files to reach more people within Canadian communities.

Video conferencing, persistent chat, easy file-sharing, automatic backups—these modern tools and workflows save time and money and can integrate the departments within your organization. Moving to a cloud solution like Office 365, your employees benefit from access to one of many business apps called Microsoft Teams. Teams helps spark collaboration, enhance information sharing, and keep teams on the same page.

5. Safeguard your data

As we mentioned at the top of this post, charities and non-profit organizations manage a lot of data. The potential for cyberattacks should concern every organization, especially charities and non-profits. Why?

Criminals target organizations with outdated technology. While it may still work, that old system is more vulnerable to breaches. And breaches can ruin an organization’s reputation. Donors can lose faith and look for someone else.

The solution is to use Canadian Microsoft Cloud datacentres instead. Encrypt and secure mobile devices, initiate automated backups and disaster recovery protocols, and ensure your charity or non-profit weathers any challenge.

6. Get going already!

Modernize your non-profit. You can now subscribe to enterprise-strength solutions on shoestring budget. No more servers to buy, manage, and secure. No more phone calls at 3AM. Leave it to the experts and save your dollars.

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