One of the biggest hurdles non-profits face is funding. You’re always on the lookout for new sources for funds, fundraising opportunities, and fulfilling the requirements for your current grants. Since every dollar counts when it comes to your mission, you’re always on the lookout to cut costs when you can.
You can’t do without technology in the modern non-profit world, but supporting it can get expensive fast. A managed IT services company can be a better choice than a traditional IT support service in this situation.
A traditional IT support service operates on a “pay per project” or “pay when it breaks” model. Projects often run over budget and beyond the original schedule, making it difficult to predict its true cost. The reactive approach to IT support is also unpredictable, so budgeting for other areas of your non-profit becomes challenging.
A managed services provider has flat rate pricing that covers everything within the scope of the contract. When you work on non-profit accounting, you won’t have to worry about whether a major system outage will remove money from mission-critical programs that need the funding. You also may be more willing to call in the service providers over smaller issues before they balloon into big problems. When you’re comfortable bringing in the IT team as needed, you can fix avoidable situations and ensure that mission-critical systems run smoothly at all times.
Full Team of IT Professionals
You’re not working with a single IT professional – you have an entire team of them available through a managed services provider. Since you pay a flat-rate price, you’re getting access to more specialists at a much lower cost than a traditional arrangement. You get more than what you pay for, especially when it comes to in-demand skills such as cyber security and database administration.
One of the biggest benefits of having a variety of IT professionals is the perspectives that they bring to your non-profit. If you’re not operating in the tech sector, you may not be aware of best practices and innovative solutions that could have a positive impact on your operations. These professionals can collaborate to help your non-profit find the best technology and put together policies that improve your processes.
A managed services provider has a vested interest in the long-term success of your non-profit. They approach the relationship as though it’s a partnership. They understand your goals and mission and look for opportunities to improve the function and productivity by aligning technology to your needs. They take a big picture, future view of where your non-profit is going so that they address your current and future requirements.
If you work with a traditional IT support service that doesn’t proactively set up technology in a way that maximizes your organization’s potential, you’re incurring a major opportunity cost. Inefficient systems can lead to you spending more of your staff and volunteer time on duties that shouldn’t take nearly as long as they do.
You handle a lot of sensitive information, such as donor names and addresses, employee and volunteer social security numbers, and data from your projects. Many people bring in their own devices for work due to limited equipment at the non-profit. Cyber criminals look for easy opportunities to break into networks, and they know that non-profits often can’t spend a lot of money on IT security.
However, you can run into big problems when your security measures don’t hold up. If donors aren’t comfortable with you handling their information, then you may end up with decreased contributions and other issues with engagement.
IT managed services providers can proactively fix vulnerabilities that could lead to an intruder getting into your non-profit systems. They have a range of resources and specialists available that can improve your existing security measures and policies. The days of an antivirus and firewall handling most of your protection are long gone. You need the versatile solutions that a tech-minded company has available.
Better Use of Resources
How much time could you save if you could eliminate repetitive tasks? Are you spending most of your day doing data entry on paperwork that goes through your non-profit? Technology solves a lot of inefficient business processes, but there are so many options on the market that it’s difficult to figure out which ones are best for your organization.
A managed services provider will evaluate the budget that you have available, your biggest challenges and your overall goals to find the best solution. A few ways that they can reduce the work that you have to do manually includes centralizing key systems so the data all goes into one location, autofilling data that’s already available in the organization, and automating processes that don’t require human intervention.
Your non-profit has an important mission and you shouldn’t have to allocate too much money towards IT support. An IT managed services provider ends up being the cost-effective option when you compare it with a traditional IT support company, whether you’re looking for a vendor who can give you predictable costs or you value a partnership approach to the business relationship.