How successful nonprofits invest in technology - Part 1

Fundraising is the lifeblood of your non-profit organization. It is a major factor when making decisions on how to allocate program resources, improve operational capabilities and expand critical services to communities and people you serve.

During my time as a Non-Profit CEO running a business accelerator, as much as 80% of my attention and efforts were focused on fundraising. To be honest, at times it felt like all I could do was to keep the plates spinning long-enough till the next funding round came through. Sound familiar?! However, one of the most often overlooked, and undervalued areas is developing a funding strategy to invest in new technology systems to grow your organization.

More than half (55%) of nonprofits say their organization needs to invest in technology to increase fundraising and operational efficiencies; and 60% say their donors expect a better experience than their current technology provides.

(Source: 2023 Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report a survey of over 1600 nonprofit managers and executives)

This article outlines my tech funding strategy,  essential to fundraising for new technology systems for your Non-Profit.

First, let’s quickly highlight some of the benefits of incorporating technology into your nonprofit.

  1. Improved organizational and operational efficiency: Nonprofits with a focus on “digital maturity” are more likely to exceed their goals and have stronger relationships with their stakeholders.
  2. Marketing & Social Engagement: Utilize technologies to help with your marketing strategy to reach prospects and donors more effectively.
  3. Better customer experience and engagement: Cloud-based solutions allow for staff easy access to customer data while in the field. In addition, solutions like, enable staff and customers to communicate via SMS texting.
  4. Data Analytics and Reporting: AI and Data Analytics is all the rage right now, and nonprofits can leverage these technologies to measure, report and analyze their data to make accurate decisions to grow their organization.

I know, this all sounds nice but how do we make it happen? Good question. Let’s explore key areas necessary for successful fundraising for new technology.

Vision! Vision!! Vision!!!

For the Non-Profit CEO or primary fundraising agent for the organization; this is the most crucial element of any successful fundraising campaign – regardless if it’s for program funding or writing grants for new technology investment. When you have a compelling vision for your organization’s future, you can articulate to your funders how new technologies can be used to better serve your community.

Challenge yourself, staff, and the board to clarify what’s important to your organization and its mission. Create or revisit your multi year strategic plan. What’s missing? How can technology be used to accelerate your goals?

Understand the market!

For the sake of this blog, most nonprofits will be evaluating cloud-based systems such as a customer relationship management (CRM), an accounting system or upgrading desktop applications, file storing and sharing, and web conferencing capabilities. These systems offer a solid foundation to build a technology platform that has proven features and functionality for non-profits.

  • Flexibility to connect systems your organization wants to keep.
  • Provide a robust ecosystem of third-party apps that will support needs unique to your organization.
  • Advanced data security features.
  • Mobile capability for staff and volunteers to access data remotely and in the community.

Here is a quick list of proven cloud-based systems nonprofits have successfully implemented to grow their organizations.

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud

Microsoft 365

Google Workspace for Non-Profits

Quickbooks Online

NetSuite for Nonprofits

In addition, many of these platforms offer significant licensing discounts for nonprofits and some even offer free user licenses up to a certain limit. Salesforce, for example, offers up to 10 free user licenses through its Power of Us Program.

Find your champions!

Major initiatives have the best chance of success when you identify and empower champions to help you evaluate the right technology investments. Think about who on your staff that is dedicated to improving a certain area within the company.  Champions have a deep knowledge of current operational processes with your organization, and have insight to staff needs, program/process deficiencies and bottlenecks.   They're generally high-performing, engaged employees that can pass this enthusiasm onto others.

Technology is advancing so quickly that it can get overwhelming to decide which solutions are best for your organizations. It’s also exciting since we’ve only scratched the surface on how new technologies like AI can benefit a nonprofits ability to service their community!

I hope this article was helpful to you, if you have any questions or want to connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can find me at linkedin or shoot me a note at