Nonprofit financial management includes budgeting for special projects. One such project you may be considering is a technology upgrade or special project. Purchasing new systems, updating hardware, or even finding a better smartphone plan for your nonprofit’s employees are all part of technology upgrades.
As a nonprofit organization, you may have even bigger aspirations than new hardware. Perhaps your organization uses technology to help achieve its mission. A big technology project can be costly, but with the right nonprofit financial management and a few tricks up your sleeve, you may be able to find ways to pay for it that won’t break the bank.
Read today’s article to learn how to plan for your next fund accounting investment using Intacct, Beck & Company’s nonprofit accounting solution. If you’d like to know more right now, contact Beck & Company online or call direct: (703) 834-0776 x 8001.
Donated computers offer many pros and cons. The condition of the equipment affects its value. Newer equipment is, of course, more valuable, and given the two to four-year utility of computers, an important consideration.
Monitors, printers, copiers, and other devices can also be donated to your nonprofit. A donation drive for technology can be a productive endeavor, especially if you are seeking several computers to fill a classroom or as part of a giveaway program.
Corporations may contact your organization to donate computers when they upgrade their own hardware. It’s important to find out all you can about the potential donation before it arrives on your doorstep. Ask how old the computers are, if they are Mac or PC, and when they were last used. Confirm if the company will deliver the equipment of if you should pick it up yourself.
If you cannot use the donation, be honest with the company. What you cannot use, another charity may be able to use.
Donated computers may need their hard drive reformatted and updates installed. It’s a good idea to have a technician run a virus scan on them, as well, to make sure there’s nothing malicious accidentally lingering on them.
The unfortunate drawback of donated computers is that given a short lifespan for the average PC, the donated machines may not last very long. Corporations get heavy use out of their computer equipment and only trade up when they can no longer justify the cost of keeping up old equipment. You may not be getting a great bargain.
Finding Technical Help
If you need technical help with updates, upgrades, or programming needs, there are several options to find volunteers. You can check with your local college or high school’s computer science department to see if they have a job placement board. Ask if they place interns, too. You may be able to offer someone a hands-on internship and a letter of recommendation.
Finding Funds: Focused Donation Drive
Another route you can explore is a focused donation drive, with the proceeds benefiting a specific technology project. A special alert sent to donors, a landing page constructed just to announce the project, and the promise that 100% of the donations received from this drive will go towards the purchase of technology may inspire people to give for your project.
The more specific you can be about the project requirements, the better. Spend time in your marketing and donation materials explaining how the computers will be used and how they will benefit the end users.
An education nonprofit dedicated to helping at risk kids in a poorly funded school may share pictures (with the school’s permission) of the classrooms where the computers will be used, the school budget deficit that led to the drive, and other facts that help paint a clear picture of the need. All these ideas go a long way towards helping donors see how their money will be used to support the organization’s mission and goals.
Approach Your Trusted Donors
There’s a cadre of trusted donors, friends of the organization, and people who you can rely upon to come through for your nonprofit in a crunch. Consider making a personal appeal or pitch to these people, explaining the technology need and requesting donations.
Nonprofit Financial Management Help from Beck & Company
Beck & Company is a Washington D.C. area nonprofit accounting firm with a team of expert auditors, accountants, and advisors available to help nonprofits of all sizes. We provide a variety of consulting, auditing, and accounting services to help you improve operations and efficiency. For more information, please contact us at 703-834-0776 x 8001.