Bringing New Technology to Your Nonprofit

Bringing Technology to Nonprofits

“Nonprofit organizations are notoriously hesitant to adopt new technology and business practices. Because so many nonprofits operate from hand-to-mouth, they often fear that one false move could have huge negative consequences. In some cases, this hesitance can protect an organization from impulsive mistakes, but eventually you cross the line that separates caution from self-sabotage.
Development and donor engagement are two areas in which nonprofit technology and online platforms have made huge strides.” according to Allison Gauss of

But how to convince your organization’s leadership to transition to a new fundraising platform or donor management database?

Here are some ideas.

Identify the Decision-Maker

If you’re going to transition to a new online tool, your first step is to find out who can make it happen. This is actually a common sales technique. You don’t sell to someone who has no say in the purchasing decision. Even if the change in platform or system primarily affects your department, you may still need to convince the executive director or CEO. With larger organizations, it may take some questioning to find out who the final decision-maker is.

Show How Others Have Succeeded

Include some relatable examples. It’s not enough to see what some big names have accomplished with a tool, you need to show decision-makers that nonprofits like yours have also benefited. Many tools and platforms like to highlight successful customers, so you may not have to look far for examples.

If you’re having trouble finding successful organizations like yours, though, you can ask some comparable nonprofits which tools they use. In a tight-knit nonprofit community, the endorsement of another local executive director can carry a lot of influence.

Build a Strong Case

Beyond examples and endorsements, you will also need to approach your decision-makers with strong reasoning for why this change is a good idea. At first, you may only have a hunch or vague conviction such as “this tool will save us time and money” or “this platform will increase our fundraising revenue.” While these are exciting hypotheses, they won’t get you very far.

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