Many nonprofit leaders we know are so busy with the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the organization, that larger strategic needs often get pushed to the backburner. Technology needs fall victim to this far too often. If the hardware or software hasn’t died yet, it’s not on today’s ‘to-do list’.
It’s 2018, and the way that organizations grow their awareness, funding, community, programs, and outcomes can all be tied to technology. Technology touches every part of an organization and our day. That means it should be the priority for someone in every organization, and that someone probably shouldn’t be you.
Three big reasons why your nonprofit should hire a CTO now:
Raising Awareness and Funds
We’re not just talking about donors and potential donors, but those who need your services as well. Social media and mobile adoption rates are increasing at a rapid pace—and they are increasing across every demographic. Donors and clients are turning to the web to find organizations, ratings, and answers before reaching out to you. Your organization needs to be discoverable across multiple platforms, and provide meaningful information through user-friendly tools. A CTO will have the expertise to evaluate existing systems, understand your organizational needs, and develop a plan to accomplish goals.
Advancing Your Mission (in the office and the field)
Icing Smiles is a nonprofit with the mission of delivering birthday cakes to terminally ill children throughout the country. On the surface it doesn’t seem like a high tech organization. But think about the logistics of getting the order from one family to a baker working with the organization, and then back to the family on time—hundreds of times. Solution: technology. Icing Smiles implemented a technology which locates the most efficient baker to get the cake to the family on time.
And, don’t forget about cloud-based software. This technology enables your staff to operate from anywhere, at anytime. You can deliver your services whenever and wherever the need arises. The cloud-based industry is crowded, and a CTO has the knowledge to put the right system in place for not only your office and staff, but your program participants, advocates, volunteers, board members and donors.
Tightening Cyber Security (any system can be breached)
The nightmare of having to contact your donors and explain how their personal information was stolen from your office is a very possible reality. This is definitely not something that you would want to have on your action list for any day. A CTO has the ability to determine secure policies that will eliminate, or at the very least, significantly reduce this risk.
Amy DeVita is a publisher, entrepreneur, mother, wife, social media enthusiast and fan and avid supporter of the nonprofit/ for-impact sector. She has written for Top Nonprofits and Third Sector Today; she has been quoted on pieces about social media and social impact on The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She was named to the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ Monthly and she is a member of Social Media for Nonprofits’ Leadership Council. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, traveling, and playing Scrabble. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs. In 1984 she earned the “Most Improved Average” honor on her bowling league.