If you're a nonprofit administrator, chances are that you're busy enough running your organization without having to worry about how to organize all its data. However, that's where technology comes in! There are many applications that nonprofits use to help them organize and manage everything from their operations to their fundraising efforts.
Over the years, we've compiled a list of what we think are some of the most important technology tools for nonprofits. This is by no means an exhaustive list—there are many more technology tools available that do similar things—but this list should give you a pretty good idea of what other options exist and how they can be used.
It's important to note that while these tools may seem like they're primarily designed for the benefit of management or fundraising teams, they actually serve all stakeholders equally well: donors, volunteers, staff members and board members alike. Let’s dive in!
A Content Management System (CMS) is a software tool used to create and manage web pages. A CMS allows you to update your website content quickly and efficiently, without having to know how to code. There are many great open-source options out there, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, and others.
2. CRM with Fundraising Capabilities
CRM software for nonprofits is a type of business management software that can help you track and analyze interactions with past, current, and potential constituents. Using a CRM system will help your nonprofit drive fundraising or program growth by improving communications between staff members responsible for reaching out directly with potential supporters. This means increased revenue streams through more successful fundraising efforts as well as stronger relationships between donors who feel like their voices are being heard by those running the organization.
CRM software can be integrated with other systems such as accounting systems to better manage donor data, HR systems for managing volunteer information, marketing automation platforms for email marketing campaigns, and fundraising platforms for direct mail or even point-of-sale tools like Square's POS system.
3. LMS (Learning Management System)
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software tool that helps nonprofits manage their training, courses, and certifications. These tools can help you:
- Keep track of all your educational resources
- Create new courses and track how participants are doing
- Send out email notifications to students about when new content is available for them to use
An LMS allows organizations to provide access to the following:
- Online courses
- Certifications and badges for completion of modules and assignments
- Other assessments such as quizzes, tests, surveys, and evaluations
Learning management systems are a good tool for nonprofits because they can help increase capacity by providing online training opportunities for volunteers through webinars, video tutorials or instructor-led classes.
4. Volunteer Scheduling Software
Volunteer scheduling software is a must-have for any nonprofit that relies on volunteers to get things done. The software allows nonprofits to organize the availability of their volunteers and deploy them in the most effective way possible.
For example, if a nonprofit's fundraising team needs a high-traffic location for one of its events and there is already an existing volunteer who lives nearby, then that volunteer's schedule can be optimized to make sure that person is free during the event. This means that more volunteers can be used in real time rather than waiting until after the event to find out if someone was available or not. Volunteer scheduling software can be used for voting, surveys, and even job descriptions as well.
5. Survey and Assessment Platforms
One of the most important tools for a nonprofit manager is a survey or assessment. These can be used to collect data about your community and identify needs in your community. They can also be used to measure how effective your programs are, which is especially helpful if you're looking for funding from an outside source that requires proof of impact.
Some of the most common ways nonprofits use surveys are to:
- Help identify needs in the community
- Conduct market research to better understand how their audience thinks and feels about their product, service, or brand
- Vote on issues at meetings of the Board of Directors or other committees
Surveys also have many other uses, including:
- Providing feedback on employee performance
- Assessing organizational culture
We hope these tools help you manage your nonprofit and its operations more effectively so that you can focus on the most important thing: making an impact in the world around us. Need some help getting your technology tools up to date? Reach out to our team today to get started.
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