Like most services, some managed IT solutions are better than others. The best IT support for nonprofits will have no hidden fees, go above and beyond when it comes to cybersecurity, scale with your business, and much more. If your IT provider isn’t able to give you the service you need to accomplish your mission, then it isn’t the right solution for your nonprofit.
It can be difficult to pick out the IT provider that best fits your needs. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to analyze the different characteristics of IT providers to choose one that’s reliable and meets all of your needs.
A great IT provider will be able to support its nonprofit clients both in the office and when working remotely, no matter what device they’re using. As technology continues to evolve, more devices are entering into the workplace. Now, employees are using their cell phones, desk phone, laptop, and even tablets at the office. This means more devices need to be secured against cyberattacks and have access to shared files.
With the rise of video conferencing and cloud technology, more staff members are working from home. This is particularly common in the nonprofit industry where organizations may not have an office setup. The best IT support for nonprofits will be able to configure and support clients as they work from any location, and any device.
Ability to Collaborate with Current IT Staff
Many nonprofits rely on a small internal IT department. If the nonprofit is growing, the IT team may need outside help that can work with them to meet the needs of the organization. This can be a great idea, but it can also go awry if the managed service provider fails to communicate well and competes with your internal team instead of working with them.
The best IT support for nonprofits collaborates with current staff through clear communication, established roles, and unified strategy. A supplemental IT team should be able to find the balance between working with existing technology and recommending improvements based on the mission of the organization. At the end of the day, your IT team shouldn’t feel threatened by added support but helped by it.
No Hidden Costs
Too often nonprofits find themselves surprised by costs hidden in their managed service provider’s contract. If they fail to ask the right questions during the sales and discovery process, they could find their organization loaded down with fees that weren’t displayed upfront.
For example, if your IT provider promises to be available 24/7, then the provider should have the foresight to explain that after-hours support is billed at a higher rate. You don’t want to be strapped with an unexpected and large bill after the fact. The right IT support for nonprofits is a solution where your budget is understood and respected.
Robust Cybersecurity Services
Every day a new cybersecurity breach is heard on the news. For example, on the day this blog was written, T-Mobile announced a security breach that impacted prepaid customers. The day before, millions of sites were exposed by a flaw in a WordPress plugin. Who knows what the next day will hold? Clearly, your cybersecurity solution needs to go above and beyond.
The base level of cyber protection just won’t cut it anymore, not when every company in every industry is at risk. The nonprofit sector doesn’t have room for expensive mistakes. After all, 30 percent of charitable organizations are operating with negative 3-year net income margins. Because of this, the high cost of a cyberattack could bring down your organization. A good IT provider with a great cybersecurity offering can prevent this from happening.
Tailored IT Support for Nonprofits
Nonprofits have unique IT issues that are different from any other industry. These organizations operate under state laws and will have different compliance issues based on what state they’re in. If your nonprofit collects personally-identifiable information or has e-commerce shopping on its website, then it may need to abide by GDPR and other data privacy laws. Nonprofits must also meet the regulatory requirements associated with fundraising and collecting donations. This could impact the software used to collect digital donations.
The best IT providers for nonprofits are experts within the industry. Always check your provider’s background. If they’re just a generic company that doesn’t specialize in nonprofits, you should think carefully before making a final decision. A provider that’s familiar with the nonprofit niche can provide you with discounted software and ensure that your business meets the right regulatory conditions.
Is your business growing? Can your current IT department keep up? While transferring IT companies is doable, it can be an ambitious undertaking that may be very disruptive to day to day processes. Having to switch IT providers every time you grow can greatly hinder your success. Before choosing an IT company, make sure they can provide a wide variety of IT services.
For example, when you reach a large size, your nonprofit will require a higher level of IT strategy and cybersecurity. If your current provider cannot provide that level of service, then you’ll have to switch providers as you grow, which can complicate things.
A great IT provider can grow with your business and accommodate your changing needs. In fact, your IT solution should be able to recommend the best solution to help your company meet your goals, budget, and staffing. For example, they should be able to support Office365 and Google Apps for Business, Windows devices, and Apple products, as well as the server infrastructure you currently use.
History of Success
How much do you know about your IT provider? Have they serviced other nonprofits before you? If you work with an IT service that does not have a proven track record of success, you’re setting up your business for low-quality unreliable support.
When choosing an IT company, look for one that readily provides case studies and testimonials from various other nonprofits. If possible, ask for references from current or past clients so you can receive a first-hand account of what their previous relationships are like. If you notice that all of their testimonials focus on sectors other than nonprofits, then it might be time to look elsewhere.
It’s easy for a company to say that they work with nonprofits, but the best IT providers have a proven history of success in the nonprofit industry. As an example, check out our case studies page.
Community IT Innovators prides itself on providing reliable IT support for nonprofits. We help nonprofits plan for, implement, and maintain dependable technology, taking care of IT systems so that nonprofits can accomplish their missions. We offer solutions for both remote and in-office employees and can give you the help you deserve. Whether that’s full-service managed IT or support for an existing internal team, Community IT is here to help you reach your goals.
Are you ready to have technology that is aligned with your needs, proactive planning, and a strategy that moves your mission forward? We’re here for you. Request a quote today.