How to Improve the People Part of Your Nonprofit’s Technology Strategy

Part of your nonprofit’s technology strategy involves the specific software choices you make. It’s about the mix of software products you need to have in place to support your fundraising, marketing, programs, advocacy, accounting, and more.

But while the software itself is important, there’s another aspect of your nonprofit’s technology strategy that’s critical to optimizing your software: people.

Discover how to find the right software for your organization. Read The Ultimate Checklist for Selecting Software for Your Nonprofit

Getting the most out of your nonprofit’s software requires you to make sure your staff and volunteers understand your nonprofit’s software and related processes. Doing so leads to:

  • Less frustration, higher job satisfaction, and lower staff turnover
  • Higher productivity
  • Improved results in fundraising, marketing, volunteer management, programs management, and more

So, let’s look at three ways to improve the people aspect of your nonprofit’s technology strategy:

  1. Focus on training.
    You might set up software training for your staff when you implement a new software product. And that’s important. But it’s also important to plan for ongoing training.

    New employees are more likely to be more productive, faster, if they can get up to speed quickly on your organization’s technology and related processes. Staff members are also more likely to perform better, be satisfied with their jobs, and stay with your organization longer if they feel confident using your organization’s software and if they have resources to turn to when they want to learn how to use it better.

    You can improve technology training for your staff by:
    • Checking with your software vendors to find out what resources are available to help your staff learn more about how to use their products.
    • Getting custom training and support if you need more than your software vendors provide. For example, nonprofit technology consultants like Cathexis Partners can provide custom training and support for a variety of nonprofit software products.
    • Making sure your staff knows what training resources are available and how to access them.
    • Allowing staff members to set aside time in their schedules for ongoing training.
  2. Document your processes.
    It’s also important that your organization’s staff understands processes related to your software, such as building a new web page or form, adding a product to your online store, and generating reports. Be sure to document these processes with step-by-step instructions.

    Once you have the document in place:
    • Share it with your staff.
    • Update it as your organization’s processes evolve.
    • Let staff members know any time it has been updated; point out the updates and why they’ve been made.
    • Go through the document as part of your new staff onboarding process.
  3. Update your database policies and guidelines.
    If you don’t already have one, be sure to have a database policies and procedures document in place that includes:
    • Consistent naming standards for things like files, campaigns, events, queries, and exports to make searching and reporting easier and more accurate
    • Processes for entering, archiving, and deleting data
    • Information about who has access to what data and why

Make reviewing your database policies and procedures document a part of your employee onboarding checklist to ensure your entire staff understands the standards. Also, plan to evaluate the policies and procedures at least annually to make sure the information is still accurate. If you change a policy or procedure, be sure to notify the entire organization.

Discover how to tidy your nonprofit’s data and keep it clean. Read the guide, 5 Tips for Keeping Your Nonprofit’s Data Clean and Ready to Use

These are just some basics when it comes to focusing on the people aspect of your nonprofit’s technology strategy. If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your organization’s use of technology, Cathexis Partners is ready to help. Contact us today to get started.

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