Although many organizations aspire to have their development, marketing, or program software “talk” to each other, far fewer organizations actually integrate these systems. Constituents expect a consistent experience across all touchpoints with your organization, but disconnected systems can lead to disjointed messaging and a confusing experience. Today’s giving landscape requires strong, unified systems to ensure that you meet constituents where they are and provide consistent engagement.
There are several key considerations for every organization to consider along their path to technology integration. While organizations will generally evaluate the direct costs of budgeting and fundraising for a software, they should also consider indirect costs like the amount of time staff spent on software training, its ease of use, and the degree to which it automates tasks. Your team’s digital tools should empower staff to explore new initiatives and evaluate program frameworks. While priorities will differ for every organization, an integrated tech stack may help deliver a single source of truth for your team’s data.
Even if your organization boasts the latest and greatest technology, encouraging staff to use and embrace these tools can be a challenge. Leaders can play an integral role in the change management needed to implement their team’s tools. Start with these fundamentals:
- Seek out your team’s support: Make space for the professionals that will use software, digital tools, or tech in their day-to-day work, and seek their input on how you can best support any changes in your tech stack.
- Make time for learning: Even the most tech-savvy individual needs practice. By supporting a culture of learning, you not only grow your team’s professional development to get them trained up on new platforms but also encourage them to get friendly with the data that underlies your work.
- Develop formalized processes: To take advantage of any platform, you’ll want to be sure that staff are inputting, recording, and evaluating data with a methodical approach.1 As you implement new systems, consider adding in some standard operating procedures that conform to your organization’s data collection processes and communicate standards for how staff should use these tools.
Managing Tech Stacks
Organizations of all cause areas often own small arsenals of digital tools, including laptops, computers, smartphones, payment platforms, constituent record management systems, and more. The number of devices owned per person is greater than ever before and is only expected to increase, reinforcing the need to manage the tools that bring your work to life. For your organization, you might consider factors like:
- If not the IT department, who on your team and board oversees technology issues
- Whether you can identify strengths and weaknesses of your current tech stack
- Whether your existing technologies fit your short- and long-term needs
- Whether you have procedures or time frames for regularly upgrading your tech stack
- Whether staff need any specialized skills or training opportunities to maintain your device suite, software platforms, or data
Your technology underpins your day-to-day processes. Despite their significance, they are often the platforms most likely to be “out of sight, out of mind.” By integrating these frameworks into your organizational strategy, you can continually advance your efficiency and mission effectiveness.