Five Resources to Guide Your Way to Becoming a Tech-Savvy Non-Profit

Phalyn Chenard

Director, Programs & Member Engagement

In full transparency, I’m writing this post from the floor of my home office in – you guessed it – loungewear. Sure, I have a room dedicated to work, a desk with a pretty pen holder, and a chair borrowed from my kitchen table. But it’s far from the setup I’m accustomed to at ECVO headquarters.

For many of us fortunate enough to have the option, working from home was once an opportunity for an occasional retreat from the bustling office. Comfortable, private … maybe even more productive. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re automatically equipped to manage a full-time work-from-home lifestyle and the challenges that come with it.

For me, it’s ergonomics.

For others, it’s mental health.

For many that participated in our recent Sector Survey, it’s technology. The steep learning curves. The need for new or upgraded devices. The increased cybersecurity risks.

Considering where to start when technology needs or challenges arise can be anxiety-inducing, but tackling your tech-wishlist is easier than you think. You just need to take it one step at a time and find the right resources to guide your way.

So, straight from the floor of my home office, five resources you can use to help you feel a little more tech-savvy working from home:

The tech you need to get started working remotely

Charity Village’s helpful list acknowledges that “distributed teams need some essential pieces of technology to keep projects moving forward.” Trial a few applications to enhance your team’s communication, collaboration, and document management. Many on the list are free or have free versions that allow you to test the waters.

Read “The Tech You Need to Get Started Working Remotely” from Charity Village.

Short on hardware? The ERA has your back

The Electronic Recycling Organization is a Canadian non-profit that provides charitable organizations with reliable and repurposed technology. The benefits are two-fold: your organization gains useful, inexpensive hardware, while diverting waste from our landfills. ERA continues to accept electronics donations to refurbish for organizations throughout the pandemic.

Pay them a visit at www.electronicrecyclingassociation.ca.

The ERA services many Canadian cities, including Edmonton and Calgary.

Stay safe and secure with these tips from TechSoup

TechSoup is a household name when it comes to technology advice for non-profit and charitable organizations. From quick fixes on passwords to more complex options like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), this list covers some basic measures non-profits can take to protect their organizations from a data breach.

Read “7 Ways to Bolster Your Nonprofit’s Data Security” from TechSoup

Policy preparation made easy

Has COVID-19 illuminated your organization’s need for more detailed policies surrounding technology? Tech Impact’s workbook will walk you through a series of important considerations when developing tech policies for your organization, such as acceptable use policies or bring your own device policies.

Read Tech Impact’s Nonprofit Technology Policy Workbook.

Map out problems and priorities with professional help

Capacity Canada’s TechMatch Program pairs technology professionals with charitable organizations to help identify technology gaps and consider solutions. The program takes place over approximately three months and delivers a technology strategy specific to your organization’s needs.

Learn more about the TechMatch program.

TechMatch teams work together to create attainable and sustainable technology strategies for non-profit organizations.

If you’re taking technology one step at a time as we navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Organizations across Alberta are reporting challenges with staff and volunteers working remotely and adjusting to evolving technology needs.

Considering your organization’s technology needs takes time, patience, open-mindedness, and some trial and error. You may not be able to overhaul your whole organization at once nor should you ever expect to  but we hope these five resources help you reflect on your unique needs, ask the right questions, and start the conversations needed to build a more tech-savvy future for your non-profit.

Have you already made some tech transitions in your organization? Is your team thriving remotely? Please get in touch with us so we can share your success story; it might just inspire another organization to make the jump!