Upon the creation of Board Management—a web-based software system to help board of directors manage documents, list important contacts, send messages and reminders of “to do” tasks, and schedule meetings all in a centralized location, our developers and current owners contemplated if the audience was ready for this super technological tool. They, at times worried that Board Management might be too sophisticated for people who are not as technologically savvy as some of us.
In order to meet the digital demand of our society a member of a non-profit must be to a point—technologically savvy right? Being tech savvy is no longer limited to being able to text on a cellphone and uploading pictures onto a hard-drive. Just because you have the latest iPhone 5, a touch screen refrigerator, or a vehicle that will brake when you don’t, doesn’t mean you’re tech savvy.
–Can you believe there is such a thing as “Cars That Brake when you don’t”? “Turn that corner too quickly and the ASV-3 uses satellite technology to calculate the optimum speed, and applies the brakes accordingly. The ASV-3 is crammed with as many gizmos as a fighter jet, including navigation systems, radar, and infrared cameras. If a collision can’t be avoided, a system designed to aid the rescue efforts transmits radio and video data, including the driver’s heart rate and respiratory condition, to emergency personnel.”
—Now that’s technology at its best!
What it means is that you use technology to be more productive and efficient in your everyday lives. “The signs of the tech takeover become more prevalent each day. A growing number of people are using the Internet to read newspapers, chat with friends, shop, and pay bills.” (Social Work Today) Therefore having a sophisticated technologically savvy software is actually beneficial if it’s going to allow you to be more productive and efficient in your work.
Non-profits already use technology daily, this is not a new phenomenon. Non-profits currently use technology in donor management software, data management, and fundraising software. These existing technologies do a great job supporting the current organizations’ goals and strategic plan.
Writing everything down on pen and paper just doesn’t fly anymore. Accountability with tasks, a secure file storage system, and the management of information cannot be recorded via pen and paper without the risk of loosing it.
Technology helps organize the work environment, managing it more efficiently. When documents are viewed, edited, or stored, it’s much simpler via computer. Tremendous opportunities exist for non-profit organizations that use technology—to deliver on their missions, when engaging their audience, and when managing operations. Software technology is shifting to having more importance on the users’ experience; users’ demand features that maintain a sense of simplicity, those that are clean, accessible, and understandable. An understanding of how non-profits’ run is vital to the success of any non-profit software.
I recently read an article from Business Wire, which stated the importance of technology on non-profits. In the article they listed technology trends to watch in 2014:
The majority of Internet usage is coming through mobile-devices, some of the best non-profits are designing their sites to respond to all mobile devices. It’s important with today’s web users, for non-profits to adjust their existing websites to adapt to reach consumers effectively. “Mobile devices have become the platform of choice for computing and collaboration versus sitting behind a desk, and will change how organizations leverage data and drive mission delivery.”
Data is the most valuable asset of any non-profit organization, they will use all data to track and collect analytics. Non-profits will use this data to better understand who their audience is, how they respond, and if your site is engaging your audience.
“Technology combined with talent will push business’ forward not back”