Monday, July 18, 2005

Ten Things That Every Nonprofit Executive Needs to Know About Information Technology

Deborah Elizabeth Finn blogs on technology and infrastructure in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can see her post here, but this is her top ten list:

    1) Very little technical knowledge is required in order for nonprofit CEOs to participate actively in strategic IT planning.

    2) Your board of directors should be calling for and participating in your strategic information technology planning.

    3) A tremendous number of high-quality resources for strategic IT planning are available to nonprofits at no charge.

    4) You can keep an eye on innovations in IT, and think about possible uses for them in the nonprofit sector, even if you don't have a technical background.

    5) Information technology, no matter how strategically you apply it, will probably never save your nonprofit organization any money.

    6) You need an in-house IT committee.

    7) Secretaries and administrative assistants should be the lynchpins of your IT infrastructure.

    8) In the long run, IT training and support will make up about 70% of your IT budget. The more obvious line items - such as hardware, software, and network services - will comprise about 30%.

    9) Donated hardware, software, and services can cost a nonprofit more than purchased products or services in the long run.

    10) In a nonprofit organization, most strategic IT problems are actually organizational development problems.

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