Climbing up: Routine is out, strategy is in for nonprofits and technology

Philanthropic institutions exist to improve the communities they serve. In philanthropic institutions such as community foundations and other donor-focused nonprofits, serving donors is critical to serving the community. In fact, it comes first.

That’s why donor-focused philanthropic institutions zero in on three big goals in their strategic plans:

  • Recruit new donors to start giving or start getting involved in other ways.
  • Engage existing donors even further by encouraging them to give more, inspire the next generation, or get involved in a community initiative.
  • Exercise responsible stewardship of assets, including running a lean operation, meeting budget goals, and maintaining the highest standards of financial and data integrity.

So how does the online experience play into these three goals? That depends. Are you following a routine, or are you being strategic?

Forward-thinking philanthropic institutions view the online experience as an integral part of overall donor engagement. This means they take technology and website decisions very seriously. These nonprofits look for vendors who are strategic partners, not just product and service providers. In other words, the decisions about online experience are anything but routine.

If you're a board member or on the staff of a nonprofit with growth aspirations, don't be tempted to address the evaluation of donor portal and web capabilities as routine technology decisions or boxes to be checked in the hectic pace of managing priorities to a budget. By elevating technology decisions to the level of a top strategic priority, you can help ensure that not only donor satisfaction, but also donor acquisition, donor retention, and staff efficiency are optimized through your technology. Ultimately, technology is what drives your organization's growth and return on investment.

Rise above routine. Technology is strategy.