501cTECH’s Blog Dedicated to Nonprofit Technology News, Tips, Events, and Ideas
The website is becoming a real problem. It’s wildly confusing to navigate; the pictures are years old and all off-center; the event calendar is stuck in 2008; the “donate now” link is broken; and don’t get me started on the different fonts on each page (big pet peeve). To be honest, since our development associate left for grad school, I’m not sure how to even log on to the back-end for updates. I know the password is here somewhere buried under this pile of grant reports.
In the nonprofit sector, we are moving the needle on a host of issues. We’re finding homes for the chronically homeless. We’re helping kids graduate. We’re cleaning up the Anacostia. We’re bringing daily joy into the lives of seniors. And, we’re doing all these things with one hand tied behind our back. While we may be cutting edge in our provision of social services, we’re woefully antiquated in our use of technology.
Just imagine the power we could unleash if we had stellar websites; dynamic social media channels; streaming video content; real-time program information; insightful data analysis and visualization tools; and customized software for donor management, volunteer tracking, event coordination, and program measurement.
For too long, we’ve surrendered on the technology front. It’s always been a “nice to have” item but too much work to design and implement. As a result, we’re stuck on a hamster wheel of survival and isolated outcomes. A strong tech infrastructure can power an organization towards greater financial sustainability, expanded and more resilient programs, durable impact, and a platform for true innovation.
A critical way forward is the mastery of pro bono resources. There is a universe of technology and creative professionals in the region who are itching to connect with nonprofits. They may hate painting school walls or delivering meals, but they love to code, design, research, fix databases, edit films, break down and build up systems, and transform data into stories. They are ready to turn their professional talents into meaningful and lasting service.
We just need to make the connection. There are lots of ways to scope, secure, manage, and scale pro bono. The Taproot Foundation is proud of its many programs in the region that link professionals and nonprofits, and it is launching a new online marketplace this fall to advance this effort even further. There are many other intermediaries doing phenomenal work in this field, including 501cTECH, Compass, DataKind, Stone Soup Films, and CreateAthon. Find more info on the Taproot Foundation here. At the very least, we can fix your donation link.