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December 14, 2018

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5 Signs Your Non Profit Needs Technical Help

by A. J. Maddox

When your plumbing is in need of repair, chances are you don't call your family doctor- you call a plumber, right?! It wouldn't make sense to call the doctor to fix your plumbing, but many nonprofits are doing just that when dealing with their technology requirements. If the staff are consulting with the CEO regarding a printer that isn't working or a slower than usual internet connection, that's almost as crazy as calling the doctor in to repair the pipes. Here are 5 obvious signs your non-profit needs serious technical help:

  1. The solution to every situation becomes: "Just turn it off and turn it back on. That should fix it." If the staff at your non-profit organization are spending their time trying to find solutions to equipment that isn't working the way it should, that's wasted man power. Having a dedicated IT service to handle these situations, and even prevent the majority of them from happening is a much better use of resources and far more efficient time-wise than hoping the staff can figure out and solve the problem.

  2. The staff have labeled another staff member as the "computer person". There are probably one or two people in the organization who have reasonably good computer skills- but chances are, the Vice President of Finance has more important things to do with his or her time than help Sally find a document in her computer's files. Having support services designated to these issues means the Vice President of Finance can actually get the finance work done.

  3. The new girl asked how often things get backed-up, and everyone else thought she was talking about the line to the water cooler. If you're not regularly backing up your files, you could end up losing everything important to your non-profit organization. Data should be monitored and backed up on a daily basis, as well as organized to enable restoration if data loss does occur.

  4. You'd like to work on the ABC file, but it's stored on Michael's computer (and Michael is on vacation for the next five days- trying to find the file is a lot like looking for a needle in the haystack- and after five days of searching, it still wasn't found). If more than one person ever has a need to access the same information, it should be stored in shared network folders, so it doesn't matter whether people are in the office or not- the information can be retrieved by anyone with access to the folder. This might improve productivity if staff aren't waiting five days to access a file!

  5. You think remote access has something to do with being able to find the TV remote when you want it. Non-profit organizations can often benefit from the ability to access their network of computers and data from a remote location- that is, someplace other than their desk. Having technology help from a managed IT company can help you set this up and show you how to use it to your benefit.

Actually, the most obvious sign that you may be in need of technology assistance is if you have ever found yourself at the office thinking there must be a better way- chances are it would be worth a few minutes of your time to evaluate whether or not your non-profit organization has the technology support it needs for improved efficiency and productivity. Just be sure you do that evaluation with someone IT qualified- and not necessarily the Vice President of Finance.

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About the Author:

Learn more about technology issues facing non-profit organizations by visiting AJMaddox Technologies, a Dallas Computer Service Company.

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