How to Disaster-Proof Your Nonprofit Technology Plan

Andrew VaethNonprofit Tech

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes and if your nonprofit isn’t properly prepared, operations can come to a screeching halt with no warning.

While technology is typically the solution to a number of disasters, nonprofits are often reluctant to adopt new business strategies, fearing implementation failure and poor user acceptance.

However, incorporating technology doesn’t have to be hard–and when you see how it can help your organization in the face of a disaster, you’ll be convinced that the rewards far outweigh the hesitation to implement it. Below, we identify simple solutions to disaster-proof your technology plan no matter the situation.

A Power Outage Occurred. Now What?

Many nonprofits are underprepared for disruptions caused by power outages, and are often unaware of the true costs and impact they can have on operations.

If your technology is outdated, a power outage will likely cost you more than you think. For instance, a nonprofit that doesn’t have access to a remote server is losing dollars in terms of donors. Without remote access software, little can be accomplished outside of the four walls of your nonprofit.

Depending on the time it takes to reboot your server, it could be days or weeks until you’re able to access pertinent information regarding contacts and initiatives.

The Solution: Modernize Existing Technologies.  

A simple solution to the scenario described above is cloud-based technology. It protects you in times of disaster by allowing business continuity anytime, anywhere. This means you never have to miss out on a potential donor’s dollars in the event of a power outage or maintenance matter. Additionally, all of your information resides in one central location, making it easy to pick up the pieces post-disaster.

A Community-Wide Emergency Occurred. Next Steps?

In the case of a community-wide emergency—such as a tornado or other major natural disaster—local organizations and nonprofits will often band together to support those in need.

If your technology has paywalls in place, collaboration becomes complicated. This is because a paywall, or a limited user license, denies access to individuals who need to access the tool. As a result, fewer partners can join your community-wide efforts.

The Solution: Explore Your Software Options.

At times like this, a nonprofit needs a collaboration tool to set up cross-agency communications on the fly. With nimble and flexible technologies, you can link together with partnering agencies to coordinate disaster response efforts. When exploring software options, make sure the software is intended for both internal and eternal users. That way, you can scale up users without incurring upgrade fees every few months.

A Board Member Suddenly Resigns. What to do?

Board turnover is a reality for every nonprofit. However, when a key board member or employee suddenly leaves, it’s essential to find a replacement quickly and get them up to speed on your organization and ongoing initiatives.

Without the appropriate onboarding processes in place, this can be a lengthy transition. In the time it takes to fill his or her spot, emails and assignments are missed, causing work to come to a grinding halt. Thus, with minimal transparency into daily operations, rotating board leadership or employee turnover can be detrimental to your nonprofit.

The Solution: Review Onboarding Processes.

If turnover is a recurring issue for your nonprofit, take a second to review onboarding processes. Identify problem areas and plan ahead. Create an environment where continuity of information is available with searchable email and messaging.

Look to technology tools that can organize teams’ communications and keep all documents and tasks for a particular project in one place. That way, new members can easily get up to speed with roles and responsibilities. As a result, this will create a seamless transition for new and old members alike.

A Funding Opportunity Went Wrong. What’s Next?

If you nearly missed your last grant deadline, it’s time to rethink your approach to the application and submission process. After all, lost grants or mismanaged fundraisers could greatly impact program sustainability.

The Solution: Create a Culture of Accountability.

To bring about personal accountability for you and your team, consider nonprofit technology. With shared calendars, all of your information resides in one central location for easy planning, sharing and organizing. Additionally, you can assign tasks and set reminders for members of your team. That way, you never have to worry about missing a deadline again.

Disasters are bound to occur from time to time. With proper planning and preparation, you can prevent these events from disrupting operations altogether. To learn how Cureo’s technology can benefit your nonprofit, view a demo now or subscribe to our blog for more information.