Cost-Effective IT Solution For Markham Charities
Charity organizations often start out with IT services provided by volunteers. When an organization is small, this can be fine, but if your organization has expanded, it might be time to think about switching to professional IT services. Secure and reliable technology is as important for nonprofit organizations as it is for for-profit businesses, but it might not be where you want to focus your attention. Hiring employees can add to your expenses significantly, so outsourcing your IT management can be a good way to save money while getting the professional service you need.
Benefits Of Professional Over Volunteer IT Services
Volunteers are an essential part of any nonprofit. As a smaller or newer organization, you may be relying on volunteers to provide your IT services. This can be a good way to get started, but as your organization grows, your IT requirements become more complex. Unless you have a volunteer with both professional IT experience and lots of time to dedicate to your charity, volunteers won’t be able to provide the level of service you require. Even if you have a volunteer with the expertise you’re looking for, your organization will eventually grow beyond what one volunteer can do. Volunteers can’t provide the same level of time and dedication that a full-time employee can.
While volunteers might choose to stay with your organization for a long time, they don’t have the same obligation to provide notice and help with an effective transition that employees do. If you rely on volunteers, especially if it’s only one volunteer, for an essential service, you depend completely on that person’s knowledge. This can be risky in the long run.
Some volunteers might be happy to share their IT expertise, but relying on volunteers easily creates a situation where a volunteer feels obligated to spend their time on certain tasks. If your organization is at the point where your IT services need to be handled by a professional, having a volunteer try to do it might make them feel resentful or overwhelmed. To retain good volunteers, you need to make sure that they have responsibilities that they enjoy and that they find fulfilling.
Importance Of Technology For Nonprofits
Secure and reliable technology is just as important for nonprofits as it is in for-profit businesses. You want the experience of donating through your website to be as smooth and easy as making a purchase on an e-commerce site. A reliable, professional website helps your donors trust your organization with their money. If your website goes down frequently, or you use bad data security practices, you’ll lose credibility with the public and potential donors. Your website is also an essential place to post updates and keep in touch with donors and volunteers. Supporters of your charity are more likely to donate again if they can see how their previous donation has made a difference.
An IT professional will help you choose and implement the best system to keep your data secure. As a charity organization, you’re responsible for holding onto your donors’ private financial details, so you need to make sure this data is stored properly. More people will be willing to support your charity if they can feel confident that their data is handled well. Keeping your financial data secure and organized makes it easier to comply with reporting requirements. Good IT sets you up for good tracking and bookkeeping practices, which makes it much simpler to report your charity’s assets when it’s time to do so. It will also make issuing correct donation receipts easier, which your supporters will appreciate.
Saving Money By Outsourcing
Once you’ve decided to move from volunteer to professional IT services, you’ll need to think about whether you should hire a new employee or outsource to a third-party service. As a charity, you have an obligation to both your donors and the people you serve to use your funding as effectively as possible. Outsourcing services like IT can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house employee. When you outsource, you don’t need to pay for the non-salary costs of hiring an employee, like unemployment insurance and desk space. You also have more flexibility with how much support you need and want to pay for. An IT management service will let you choose whether you want full service, a focus on security, or a supplement to your in-house expertise. This means you don’t need to pay for more than you need.
Outsourcing responsibilities that aren’t essential to your mission or part of your area of expertise is usually a good decision. Letting an outside professional take on your IT responsibilities frees up time and attention for tasks related directly to your nonprofit’s mission. Your mission and how you serve your community are what differentiate your organization from others, not how you manage your computer systems. Letting IT professionals take care of their area of expertise lets you focus on yours.
If your nonprofit grows and you require more IT support, your outsourced IT can grow with you. You won’t need to hire more employees, buy more equipment or find more space. If your technology needs become more complex, a good IT company will easily adapt to that. Also, once you find the right managed IT company, you’ll have the consistency of working with them for years. You won’t need to worry about losing institutional knowledge when in-house employees move on.
Delegate Your IT Management to OnServe
OnServe can provide IT services to charities in Markham and throughout Ontario. The company has a flexible range of support packages and will work with your organization to find the most cost-effective solutions for your needs. OnServe can provide complete management of all of your equipment, servers and storage if you’d like to delegate IT entirely. If you’d prefer to handle some responsibilities yourself while outsourcing security, or hire professional support for a volunteer’s knowledge gaps, OnServe can provide that as well. To find out if OnServe is a good fit for your nonprofit, schedule a no-obligation consultation today.