Essential IT solutions for non-profit fundraising efforts

Essential IT solutions for non-profit fundraising efforts

Not-for-profit businesses have always struggled with limited resources, but those in Connecticut stumbled on especially hard times when the state suddenly revoked or challenged dozens of tax exemptions. Whether your non-profit is facing unexpected taxes or disappearing donors, improving IT is the most economical way to raise more money.

If you’re like most non-profit directors, you view technology as an expense rather than an investment. But because convincing donors to give requires months of phone calls, emails, and online outreach, IT is often more important for non-profits than it is for SMBs.

If you’re a manufacturer that sells machined parts, either someone needs your product or they don’t; better customer relationship management (CRM) software isn’t going to convince a florist to buy your products. Everyone is a potential non-profit “customer” though, which means IT solutions and support that never rest are critical.

Here is our list of the most essential technology tools for non-profits in Hartford.

VoIP Phones

Between flat-fee calling that’s cheaper than traditional business lines and hi-tech features, voice over IP (VoIP) phones are an essential IT investment for non-profits -- even if you’re not putting volunteers on phone duty.

For example, 3CX phone systems from Charles IT are charged at a per-user rate, regardless of how many calls your organization makes or whether they’re to long distance numbers. These solutions also include valuable mobility and productivity features.

Project Managers can use “Find Me/Follow Me” features to route calls from their office desk to their smartphone, laptop, or whatever device they’re using during off hours. And “Voice-to-Email Messaging” is great for transcribing important fundraising voicemails that busy Development Directors don’t have time to monitor. Check out our free eBook for more examples of hi-tech VoIP features for non-profits.

Cloud-based software

Software-as-a-Service allows cash-strapped organizations to pay for monthly subscriptions to apps and programs that used to cost several hundred dollars up front. If you’re interested in CRM software designed specifically for fundraising campaigns or want to test drive a volunteer management app, cloud-based versions give you all the same benefits of their offline counterparts without the costs of lifetime licenses.

Because they’re hosted in the cloud, these apps can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and are constantly updated and secured by managed IT services providers.

Virtual desktops

Do you ever wonder if your employees’ computers are more powerful than they need to be? Most Grant Writers don’t need a $500 desktop, and Volunteer Coordinators rarely use theirs 40 hours a week, which is why Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is an economical alternative for non-profits with 35 or more employees.

Sometimes referred to as Hosted Desktops, this solution involves an outsourced IT support provider setting up a server to host desktops that your employees can access from anything with an internet connection and a screen. This allows you to purchase inexpensive yet functional computers without sacrificing productivity. Your IT provider’s server will do all the work and you pay a monthly fee for desktops that are never over- or under-powered.

Donor-friendly websites

The amount of money donated online has grown every year for the past six years, and branded donation pages raise six times more money, according to NonprofitSource.com. To reach your goals, you need a website that shows up on Google’s first page of results and convinces donors to give as quickly as possible.

Beyond persuasive copywriting and design, your website must have reliable and secure payment gateways. You could ask someone on your team to handle all that, but we recommend working with a managed website provider. That way, your donation portals have guaranteed uptime and are optimized for mobile devices.

IT Support fo Hartford Non-profits

Some managed services providers claim to offer specialized services, but Charles IT is one of the few that offers evidence of its expertise.

The finance director at Marc Community Resources said, “The services and technical support provided by Charles IT are outstanding. We have found their knowledge and understanding of the products in the market to be extremely helpful…”

And the executive director at St. Luke's Community Services insisted “The team at Charles IT has met our needs, often going above and beyond for us.”

Jump start your fundraising efforts with outsourced IT support that yields results you can measure in dollars. Give us a call today.

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