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Insights

Five Ways Managed IT Services Makes Sense for Nonprofits

For many non-profits, there is plenty of room to do a lot of good within their local communities. There are many unfulfilled needs in the populace, which are often addressed by understaffed and underfunded non-profits.

Still, there isn’t any question that non-profits struggle to make payroll every month. In fact, according to The Financial Health of the United States non-profit Sector report, over half of all non-profits have less than a month of financial reserves ready for use. This means that the fundraising must continue in order to meet the needs of their recipients.

In addition, 81 percent of non-profit leaders find that access to needed capital is one of their most pressing obstacles. With an environment like this, it’s no wonder why plenty of non-profits push IT to the sidelines. Moreover, it’s quite rare to find a non-profit that has an onsite CIO – this is usually reserved for organizations with consistent annual funding in the $1M range or more.

Yet, in the digital era, technology is a non-negotiable as your donors and recipients all prefer to work with non-profits who utilize the latest technologies from mobile payment options to easy online forms. There is a silver lining: Technology does not have to be a challenge when you partner with a vendor who specializes in IT services for non-profits. Continue reading to learn

Improve your disaster and recovery plan

Let’s be real: Many non-profits could use a lot more than just financial help. You’re doing good work, if only you didn’t have to worry about all the small stuff in the process of helping others. Yet, imagine if your operation had to shut down due to a software virus or even a ransomware attack? Do you have a plan in place, and how would you recover?

Instead, when you rely on IT support for non-profits, you can focus on your organization’s core goals as opposed to worrying about putting out fires. You get to work with professionals who will create a plan that maintains and manages your data backups so that even in a natural disaster, your organization does not have to call it quits.

More cost-effective than hiring full-time IT staff

If your non-profit is ready to scale, it can be difficult to do so when funds are tight and operations are not being run as efficiently as they can be. In contrast, partnering with a vendor who offers IT support for non-profits can help to turn things around. For example, this is a much more cost-effective option over hiring and paying full-time IT staff – especially if your organization already struggles to meet monthly payroll obligations.

Also, instead of a complex contract, you can sign up for a simple monthly plan – based on your budget and needs – that will offer maintenance, back up, support, security, and more. Again, this depends on your requirements. Not to mention, you might qualify for a non-profit discount.

If you are ready to migrate to the cloud, you can significantly lower the costs by signing a monthly managed services contract. Now you know that you can stay on top of technology, offer updated services, and stay online without having to worry about scavenging for sufficient resources to recruit and hire new IT personnel.

Immediate access to expert IT staff

Now, you get access to a virtual CIO with the expertise to guide you through every technical need. Whether it is a single point of contact to address any potential issues to 24×7 security monitoring, computing problems will soon be a thing of the past.

As you are probably already aware, technology is constantly evolving. It is quite a challenge to stay on top of the latest applications and tools. It can be extremely beneficial to have access to the knowledge of expert IT specialists. IT is a crucial component of your operations, and in a digital world, should be treated as such.

Imagine fundraising season going well since your service provider can ensure your online donations and donor data are all backed up. Your systems will be updated – automatically. Plus, you give your donors peace of mind knowing their information will be stored properly and protected from cyber criminals.

But, there are also specific compliance requirements that need to be met. Working with a service provider, who specializes in IT services for non-profits, ensures you have a partner who has the background needed for managing specific types of data.

Yet, even if you have a few IT staffers, you can use your vendor to supplement your employees for various tasks such as daily troubleshooting, patch management, planning, and extra support during the holidays and vacation time.

Better management of cyber security

Data breaches are on the rise, and affect every organization – in every industry. Cyber criminals know that non-profits store donor data – and, they want access to that type of information. They are also aware that many non-profits do not have the expertise on staff to implement a state-of-the-art cybersecurity strategy without assistance from a third-party. All this means is cyber criminals are likely to have a field day cracking into your sensitive data.

To illustrate, cybercriminals are well-versed in creating intelligent emails – embedded with malware – to steal passwords. Next, they watch your financial transactions and determine the right time to redirect funds to their bank accounts. It’s hard to believe that this low-tech, and inexpensive, tactic works more often than it should.

A Capterra study found that non-profits are highly concerned with the following:

  • Old software
  • Insecure payment processing systems
  • Former employees
  • Bad passwords

Many non-profits think they’re too small to be on a cyber criminal’s radar, but that could not be further from the truth. Since non-profits often have fewer IT staff, they can be quite vulnerable. Even a well-meaning employee, or volunteer, can be tricked into disclosing sensitive information.

If your donor data gets hacked, it could severely damage your organization’s reputation and put a serious roadblock towards any future fundraising efforts. If donors find out that their information is insecure, they will be less inclined to support your organization. You have an obligation to ensure your IT environment is managed efficiently and securely.

So, it is highly critical that you find a cyber security vendor who provides IT support for non-profits. The right vendor will have the skill set, on staff, to protect your data and ensure your non-profit meets regulatory compliance.

Quicker incident response time

If you don’t have full-time IT staff on hand, anything can happen to your systems such as unexpected issues, downtime, or outages. If you’re out helping those in need, then you probably don’t have the time to monitor all your systems. Yet, with the right partner, you can ensure your IT infrastructure is always up-and-running. Also, any issues can be diagnosed and repaired right away. As a result, your organization can continue to run operations as usual.

Final thought

You don’t have to manage your IT all alone. To help fortify your cyber defenses, and embrace a digital transformation, it’s important to work with a vendor who offers personalized IT support for non-profits. Spend less time worrying about your software and more time focusing on your core mission.

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