Information technology has a growing role in how nonprofits effectively do business. But the nonprofit techies, whether you are the chief information officer or the only person that understands email , need to be included in an organization’s decisions so technology effectively grows with the mission.
If you are the resident nonprofit techie, focus on these five areas of technology leadership developed by NPower Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia-based regional affiliate of the national NPower, which helps nonprofits use technology strategically:
- Implement strategic technology planning. A strategic plan can help your organization budget and set technology goals that make decision making easier.
- Develop a vision. Make sure that the organization’s goals and the technology work together to improve the missions. Look at each goal and determine whether technology can help the overall organization.
- Build a team. You can’t do it on your own. Don’t just fix a problem – take time to teach people solutions so that they can handle it the next time. You may be the expert, but you shouldn’t be called every time a computer needs to be restarted. Try to enlist technology savvy volunteers to help whenever possible.
- Communicate. Insist that all team members attend meetings. Bridge the gap between staff and the technology team by keeping everyone updated about what efforts you are making. Document when you try a new technology or change systems to track what’s working for the organization.
- Role models. Reach out to other nonprofits and share information to benefit your organization by learning through others. Try to join a nonprofit technology network so you stay up-to-date on the newest practices.