Small nonprofits find uneven tech success

Grassroots organizations in California believe technology is important to success, but don’t always succeed in implementing it, even when there are free or discounted options, a new study says.

The analysis of 28 nonprofits, each with less than $1 million in revenues, was conducted by the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco.

Among the more technologically successful organizations interviewed, the study found four recurring advantages.

These groups generally budgeted significant time and money to pursuing technology purchases, maintenance and upgrades, the study says, and they sought client input in their technology acquisitions.

They also tended to have at least one technology-savvy staff member or found help through social networks.

Finally, they promoted receptiveness to technology among other staff members through adequate training sessions.

Several of the groups surveyed found that partially or poorly implemented technology projects actually do more harm than good, the study says, creating unnecessary burdens for the organization.

The groups studied were split geographically between Southern California, the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay area.

Bay area nonprofits seem better equipped than the others, a finding the report attributes to the region’s wealth of technical resources.

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