Nonprofit Strategic Planning: Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services for Nonprofit Organizations

4-minute read time

Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) dedicate themselves to important missions to improve the world. Their success, however, doesn’t depend only on their seemingly bottomless determination and selflessness—it also depends on their strategic planning to ensure they are getting the most from their available digital technology.

Alarmingly, only 11 percent of NPOs view their approaches to digital as highly effective, according to a long-running survey of technology use by NetCharge. The remaining 89 percent of NPOs don’t achieve their full potential because they rely on outdated processes, waste their limited financial resources by supporting legacy infrastructure, and spend valuable time trying to solve technical problems they’re not competent to solve.

The solution? A partnership with a managed services provider (MSP) that has a keen understanding of the technological needs NPOs have and plenty of experience to overcome the typical constraints all organizations in the nonprofit sector face. The right MSP can then help in the following ways.

1. Hassle-Free Access to New Technologies

The information technology industry is evolving faster than most NPOs can keep up with. We’ve witnessed a massive cloud computing explosion for the last several years.

Many organizations have moved their entire infrastructures to a cloud-based model to benefit from its scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness. In the near future, artificial intelligence and machine learning are expected to be the next huge drivers of competitive advantage and productivity enhancers.

MSPs are dedicated to making new technologies accessible to their customers, and they leverage economies of scale to offer affordable prices so that even cash-strapped nonprofits can benefit from best-in-class digital solutions.

The IT experts employed by MSPs provide organizations assistance from initial planning through the implementation of the selected solution to its ongoing maintenance, eliminating the need to staff an in-house IT department.

2. Predictable IT Budgeting

When finances are limited, every IT expense must be justified and planned even better. The last thing any NPO wants to deal with is a sudden resignation letter from a critical IT employee, especially now that the entire IT sector is experiencing a significant shortage of skilled talent.

NPOs that outsource their IT needs and worries to an MSP can rest assured, knowing their budget will never take a surprise hit. MSPs use several predictable pricing models that reflect the size of each customer and effectively reduce all IT expenses into a single fixed fee. When NPOs know precisely how much money to allocate toward IT each month, they can better support other essential business functions.

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3. Robust Data Security and Compliance

NPOs spend a considerable amount of effort building relationships with their donors, but a single data breach incident can be enough to harm them irreparably. The moment donors discover that their personal information has been exposed in a breach often marks the end of their support and the start of legal consequences.

Because of the complexity of the cybersecurity landscape, even small NPOs with a limited online presence need to see cybersecurity as a necessary investment. A cybersecurity-savvy MSP can perform an initial vulnerability gap analysis to discover all weaknesses before suggesting implementing controls and policies to eliminate them.

4. Ongoing Business Continuity Management

Smaller organizations sometimes believe the mere existence of backups provides sufficient protection against all kinds of data loss incidents. In reality, backups are helpful only if they are up to date, regularly tested to ensure their recoverability, and stored in multiple safe locations.

Most organizations that don’t have a comprehensive business continuity management program don’t meet at least one of the three above-listed requirements. And the worst thing is that they typically realize how inadequate their backups are only when it’s too late.

Instead of spreading themselves thin by implementing a business continuity management program from the ground up to maintain business functions and quickly resume after a data loss disaster has occurred, NPOs should leave this critically important task up to professionals.

An MSP that has a wealth of experience with backup and disaster recovery will be able to avoid common implementation mistakes to guarantee that all data is recoverable even under the worst conditions imaginable.

5. Workplace Flexibility and Scalability

We live in challenging times, and the needs and means of NPOs can change rapidly. One day, volunteers are collecting donations from the members of their communities. The next day, they are required to shelter in place and work only from their homes.

To cope with unpredictability, NPOs must be flexible and scalable – something impossible with fixed IT resources and support staff.

MSPs expect their customers’ needs to fluctuate, and their services reflect this in every way. From flexible pricing to cloud migration support, a capable MSP makes achieving the desired level of workplace flexibility and scalability easy so that all challenges can be adequately responded to.

Unlocking the Power of Digital to Create a Better World

For nonprofit organizations to thrive and maximize their impact, they must recognize the importance of strategic digital planning. With a mere 11 percent of NPOs considering their digital approaches highly effective, it is evident that change is needed.

By partnering with a knowledgeable managed services provider, NPOs can overcome the obstacles posed by outdated processes, legacy infrastructure, and technical difficulties.

An MSP familiar with nonprofits’ unique struggles can offer seasoned solutions to address the unique technological needs of NPOs – enabling them to make the most of their limited resources and precious time.

With the right MSP by their side, NPOs can harness the power of digital technology and fulfill their missions to create a better world.

Choose the Right MSP for Your Nonprofit

Unsure what you should be looking for in a Managed IT Service Provider? This checklist prevents losing valuable time and money with the wrong provider. Download this free checklist with 50+ things you should consider through the evaluation process of each MSP to ensure you get the seasoned expertise you need.  

What’s Included:

  • Initial Reviews 
  • Digital Interactions 
  • Services 
  • Support & Monitoring 
  • Security & Disaster Recovery 
  • Frameworks, Certifications & Compliance 
  • Terms 
  • Transitioning 
MSP Vetting Checklist eBook for Small- to Medium-sized Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations

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