Why Technology is Better for Non-Profits Than Bootstrapping?


There is an underlying similarity between all the non-profit organizations and that is there is always more work to be done and a smaller number of resources at hand to complete the above. The next thought which strikes your mind if you are a non-profit firm is that you should go lean i.e. bootstrap your solutions to accomplish the tasks at hand. Most non-profits are clear about their purpose and are mainly inclined towards getting more donors. Their vision is primarily oriented towards serving the larger purpose for the benefit of society at large and the idea of administration of the concern usually takes a backseat. As a non-profit, if you are looking at bootstrapping you can also consider getting things done with the help of technology. Investing for technology is a future-looking investment whereas hiring more people for work drain your current resources endlessly. There is a very thin line between the need to bootstrap and the time when you have to act smart and make investments for securing your future. It is always better to switch to technology to handle various tasks of your administration than bootstrapping them.

Reasons for investing in technology and not bootstrapping:

1).  Business Intelligence:

Non-profits spend a lot of time and resources for reporting of their work where people are specially working towards looking at numbers, reading and interpreting spreadsheets, formatting the above data for the ease of use of the board, other staff, sponsors etc. It is here the tools of business intelligence prove highly helpful as they let you compile your entire data into one dashboard where you can any information at the click of a mouse. It also lets you get all the reports and visualizations very quickly. Thus, your entire reporting can be automated, and you are able to see the bigger picture which is essential for making more informed decisions.

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2).  Data Handling:

Data is the basic proof of the work which has been accomplished by you. It is also very important for effective story-telling. A good story is way more than mere numbers and visualizations. It involves excellent use of words. When someone can visualize your data, they are more likely to get converted and hence end up in making a donation. Thus, all the non-profit firms which handle their data more effectively are definitely better at telling stories. Tools like Tableau, are very useful in organizing your data which helps your marketing department to get the required statistics and use the above to create attractive visuals which can be further used to add impact in your stories which appear in newsletters, social media, donor letters etc. Prose, when backed by data, becomes more powerful.

3).  Engaging Donors:

The more the donations, the more money you will have as a non-profit firm to accomplish your goals. Donors often want to be appreciated and this is more effectively done if there is a sound client relationship management system in place. As a non-profit firm, you will also wish to keep in touch with your regular and past donors. A good CRM software is specially designed to help you keep pace with the supporters’ habits and also lets you know where they stand in the donor lifecycle. Such software helps you track the events and dates which are important to them and lets you keep follow-ups and notes. Such notes can also be linked to the software which handles your email marketing to automate your emails.

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4). Website:

The website you have is your identity and face to the world. Thus, it is vital that its design, functionality, and text do not carry any flaws. It should be a clear reflection of your purpose and the work you are involved in. There should be options on the website that people can log in and make donations. Also, in addition to excellent user experience, you should ensure that updating your website is easy and should not take a long time. Thus, any kind of investment to keep your website updated and running is worth the deal.


Thus, you need to look for ways to make your work more efficient and smarter so you can have more time and resources spare to focus on your ultimate mission. Thus, non-profits should not always look at bootstrapping but instead think about investing in technology and become leaner.

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