In the first half of 2013, the Bullitt, Wilburforce and Brainerd Foundations combined to assess the technology needs of their grantees, as well as the technical service providers available to address those needs. The result is a resource aiming to:
  • Raise awareness in the nonprofit community of consistent problems and potential solutions
  • Give grantmakers and IT vendors better information on how to adjust their support/service to meet the identified needs
  • Provide some common sense starting points for decision-makers to find the tech assistance that fits their circumstance

The intent of this resource is to provide information and foster connections between nonprofits and technology providers.

Nonprofit organizations require an array of technical building-blocks to accomplish their mission work. Whether physical computers, cloud services, or user training, all have a price-tag and a degree of mission efficacy. Technology can be expensive, so making smart decisions has a direct impact on the bottom-line of your group, as well as what you’re able to accomplish. This resource gives you some simple tools to help you make better IT choices.

First, we surveyed over 100 regional nonprofits about how they are using technology. The results provide a view of how groups are tackling (or not) their technical challenges. We will gather responses annually so trends, gaps and duplication in the regional IT infrastructure can be identified, if not addressed directly.

Secondly, we’re forming a list of technical service providers – their core expertise, experience, contact info, etc – so that nonprofits and grantmakers have a ready reference when choosing IT vendors. This is not a tightly curated list, but contains a few hundred options to evaluate. The goal is to improve the the underlying information so that more suitable decisions can be made.

Finally, in an effort to provide a launchpad for tackling technology problems big and small, we offer an online sounding board for all IT issues facing you and your organization. This simple system, which is accessed by clicking the “Questions” tab on the left side of this page, allows you to describe technical problems you face, and offers a basic direction on how to approach a resolution. Small difficulties – particularly ones that are consistent across the sector – might receive a complete fix via email. More common will be advice to “consider talking to these three service providers.” By collecting technical problems in one place, we not only have a mechanism for dispatching help options, but we also learn more about the immediate needs of the greater community, which is useful information to grantmakers and providers. Byproducts of the system will be frequently asked questions/answers and periodic public reporting.