Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: 21 days ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices. This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Technology Assessment

  • 1.  Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 06, 2019 12:31
    Hello, I work at a nonprofit in Washington, DC. We are developing a funding proposal for technology improvement as our systems are behind where they need to be. The funder is asking for a basic cost and time estimate for an assessment that includes findings and recommendations for our technology.

    It would be ideal to chat with someone familiar with technology assessments or who has had one done at their nonprofit. I need to know what to expect with staff time and consultants. We are also considering doing this as a pro bono project if the timing is right.

    Please let me know if this is unclear.


    Monique Riviere
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 2.  RE: Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 07, 2019 10:04
    Monique, happy to chat with you about this from the perspective of a consultant who does tech assessments for nonprofits. Email me and let's figure out a time?

    Isaac Shalev
    Stamford CT

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 3.  RE: Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 07, 2019 10:50
    Edited by Matt Veltkamp Mar 07, 2019 10:52
    Great to hear about an organization with solid support for technology improvements, way to go!

    Not surprisingly, the costs and durations for technology assessments are driven by scope and deliverables.   Within the scope, how large is the organization, and how deep is the dive into each of these domains:

    Application portfolio
    Data Management

    For example, assessing how closely existing technology is aligned with the organization's mission (Strategy) typically requires interviews and fact-finding with senior management and executive leadership, which can have an impact on overall project duration.

    By the same token, recommendations coming out of the assessment can be broad (your finance system needs replacing) or detailed (replace it with one of the following top three recommended systems).

    From my experience doing this work for other nonprofit organizations, working with a consultant on an assessment project for a small-to-mid-sized nonprofit takes roughly three to six weeks, again, depending on level of detail.

    As another option to consider with the pro-bono approach, both NTEN and Techsoup Canada, along with other organizations, offer good self assessment kits that can provide quick, preliminary insights.

    Hope this helps, and of course, happy to discuss further.


    Matt Veltkamp
    Nimbus Nonprofit Solutions
    Washington, DC

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 4.  RE: Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 08, 2019 14:03
    Edited by Medha Nanal Mar 08, 2019 14:05
    Hi Monique,

    I work with non profit organizations to help conduct technology assessments. I can share with you what I have seen in my work, to help you prepare your proposal for funding for an assessment. Also, I am going to be at 19NTC next week in Portland, and if you or anyone involved in this effort in your organization plans to be there, then I am glad to talk in person.

    Without knowing the scope of your assessment as well as size of your organization, here are some general pointers: typically these assessments involve ~1-2 hours of time from each data/tech stakeholder within the organization. Depending on the situation, you can bring folks in similar roles into a room together, which is a more efficient use of everyone's time. In my work, I have spoken with stakeholders including key staff from fundraising, programs, executive management, preferably even board members, if they are championing such an upgrade, and also volunteers, if they play a key role.

    In terms of consultant time, often consultant engagement for such projects is hourly, and IMO,  it is an appropriate way to structure it. Consultant hourly rates vary widely. It is possible to estimate the approximate number of hours (for budgeting purpose), based on the organization's size, scope of assessment etc. Consultant's time will include time to talk to all the stakeholders, sometimes log into the systems for taking a closer look at how they are set up, as well as for writing an actual report, which can be several hours, (since the consultant is not merely documenting, but also researching and analyzing processes, systems etc.), and presenting the report to the board or management (if that's preferred).

    It is possible to contain this budget somewhat, by restricting the scope of assessment, and setting up group conversations with staff over individual, 1-on-1. However, with a restricted scope comes a restricted visibility, and reduced effectiveness.

    Hope this helps.

    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 5.  RE: Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 11, 2019 11:38
    I'm a little late to the party here, but @Autumn Patterson and I ​presented a session at last year's NTC on technology planning and budgeting. The session notes include a ton of resources that we hope someone (maybe you :) would find helpful

    Jason Samuels
    IT Operations Manager
    American Craft Council
    Minneapolis, MN

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline

  • 6.  RE: Technology Assessment

    Posted Mar 13, 2019 11:25
    Update: Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond inline and privately. I got some good guidance and was able to submit the initial grant proposal that was richer because of you.

    For those at the NTC, learn lots, share, and enjoy!

    Monique Riviere

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline