As a nonprofit, you have a lot on your mind: creating a sustainable business model, spreading the word about your organization, retaining and engaging donations, and juggling resources that aren’t always available, to name a few.
However, one of the things that isn’t usually top priority is ensuring that your technology is up to date. Maybe it’s because you believe that there are more important things to focus on. Or maybe you don’t feel you have the time, or the budget to make changes. The reality is, however, that nonprofit organizations that do focus on technology see a major advantage in productivity, efficiency, and flexibility in their industry.
Here, we have a quick summary of five technology trends that you should be considering in 2018 as a nonprofit organization.
Tech Trend #1: Continuing to Switch to Cloud-based Systems
The Cloud is a cost-effective, fast, reliable, and flexible array of services that many organizations, both large and small, have already adopted. There are a great number of benefits to it, such as boosted productivity, increased collaboration, and reduced overall IT costs. Many nonprofit organizations have already made the switch to a Cloud-based system, but as more and more benefits are discovered, this trend will continue well into 2018 and beyond.
By switching to comprehensive Cloud-based systems like Office 365, you can easily store data, conveniently access shared information, collaborate with others on projects, and stay in touch you’re your staff and team member. Microsoft has Office 365 plans for nonprofits so that you can adopt the new technology in the most cost-efficient manner and put the money where it most counts – into your cause.
Tech Trend #2: A Continual Interest in Cybersecurity
The need to make sure that your data is secure, while still making that data available to those who need it, is a trend that will also be continuing into 2018. With vulnerabilities and attacks happening much more frequently, nobody is exempt from having to ensure they’ve protected their data. Cybercriminals do not discriminate, so nonprofits are just as vulnerable to cyberattacks as for-profit corporations.
One way to help protect your data is to use trusted tools, like Office 365’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), which helps to protect your email against unknown and sophisticated attacks. ATP provides a variety of methods for protection, such as Safe Attachment (protecting against unknown malware and viruses), Safe Links (protection against malicious URLs at time-of-click), and others.
Tech Trend #3: Website Encryption and Responsive Design
This trend is a two-parter. First, in keeping with the continued interest in cybersecurity, a lot of people are now watching which websites they interact with. If a site isn’t listed as HTTPS, people know that it’s an unencrypted site, thus, they’ll be wary of providing any personal or banking information on it. As a nonprofit relying on data and donations that are being generated by its website, it may be a good time to consider moving your website from HTTP to HTTPS, which encrypts all interactions that happen on it. With growing concerns around cybersecurity breaches, it’s clear why this website encryption will be a trend in 2018.
The second part of this trend comes from the fact that the number of smartphone and tablet users is on the rise. In 2017, it was reported that 71% of Americans and 62% of Canadians used mobile devices to browse the Internet. If your website isn’t optimized through responsive design (that is, designing your website to be viewed in response to the type of device it’s being viewed on), those viewing your site on their mobile devices or tablets may grow frustrated and choose to disengage. Ensuring responsive design, therefore, is another trend that non-profits will be taking note of in 2018.
Tech Trend #4: More Online Visibility via Various Social Media Platforms
Using various social platforms, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, to spread your message, interact with likeminded people, and educate people on your cause will continuously be the trend in 2018.
Research has shown that, by the end of this year, it is estimated that 2.44 billion people will be using social networks, thus, nonprofits that are embracing social media platforms are more likely to be noticed. Because of this staggering statistic, online visibility through social media is a trend that is expected to be prevalent in 2018.
Tech Trend #5: Online Collaboration Tools to Keep Your Staff, Volunteers, and Boards on the Same Page
Maybe your nonprofit is just one office, or maybe you’ve got multiple locations across cities, provinces, or even countries. Either way, by implementing online collaboration tools like Skype for Business (instant-messaging and conferencing system) or SharePoint (Cloud-based document collaboration/content management system), you allow your team members to share their ideas, synchronize their content, and access documents they need to do their jobs effectively. This shift to online collaboration also opens up the possibility for you to partner with other like-minded organizations around the globe.
Want to learn about how these tools can be best utilized for nonprofits? Scheduling a complimentary demo with our nonprofit sector specialist is the best way to learn more about them. Drop us a line or talk to us now via the live chat!
Nonprofit Technology Trends – Consider Them for a Successful 2018!
By focusing your attention on technology using these five trends for 2018 as your jumping-off point, you’ll see a major advantage over other organizations that aren’t as focused on their own technological needs.
Interested in some of the solutions described above? Give us a shout – We can schedule a complimentary demo and introduce you to cost-effective options that are available specific to nonprofit organizations.
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