The need for nonprofit programmes to incorporate smart, simple, and effective technology is increasing. However, more often than not, organisations in the sector struggle to find the right solution, the right vendor to build it out, or with its successful implementation. In these instances, technology becomes more of a bottleneck than an enabler.

Having worked on building appropriate and effective technology solutions for 12 years (of which the last four were in the nonprofit sector), here are some best practices I’ve learned along the way.

Ensuring that your technology solution is effective

  1. Identify your target audience In order to implement a successful technology solution, you have to spend time thinking about who your end-user is. Knowing your target audience will ensure that your technology is customised appropriately, and therefore, that it is usable.
  2. Document existing constraints A technology solution works best when it is tailored for the context in which it is to be used. Every programme works within certain limitations. These could be related to language, geography, or accessibility, they need to be documented and considered upfront. For example:
  3. Map your process Here, it’s important to remember that technology is a process enabler, and not a process in itself. Given this, before building out a technology solution, organisations need to map out every step of their existing programme delivery process. Every detail of execution—including the choice of team members, identification of geographical area, data collection, analysis, and dissemination—needs to be documented.

Read the full article about nonprofit technology by Sumit Arora at India Development Review.