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Co-innovation Force for Good

Make the Right Tech Investments: A Digital Assessment Tool for Nonprofits

Having the right digital strategy can make a significant difference for an organization. It can help increase efficiencies, scale programs, keep data safe, and create new possibilities for greater impact. 

But how can the leaders of an organization understand where they are on their digital journey and where they should be spending their time and money?

We’re thrilled to share that TechSoup has recently launched a Digital Assessment Tool for nonprofits to help them accurately identify their needs and ensure that they are making the right choices on their digital journeys.  VMware has led a coalition of corporate partners— including Okta and Dell Technologies —  to meet this need for the social sector by investing in the research and development of the tool. TechSoup’s mission is “to build a dynamic bridge that leverages technology to enable connections and innovative solutions for a more equitable planet” and they serve over one million nonprofits globally with their technology needs.

While nonprofits and for-profit organizations share some common traits, there are also key differences in how and why they use technology. TechSoup’s Digital Assessment Tool was intentionally created by and for a diverse range of nonprofit leaders to ensure that the questions, flow, and experience are optimized for nonprofit organizations. There is also a focus on people and processes, in addition to technology — recognizing that tech adoption alone can’t solve every problem.

There are three components of TechSoup’s Digital Assessment Tool:

  1. Assessment categories: after completing the Introductory Assessment, users may conduct assessments based on six key functional areas of nonprofit operations: Programs, Operations, Security, Infrastructure, Fundraising, and Communications.
  2. Rating stages of capability: once an assessment is complete, organizations are given scores based on the five identified stages of nonprofit development (see graphic below).  
  1. Resource recommendations: based on the assessment and rating, organizations receive customized and actionable recommendations that include connecting to software, hardware, services, training, informational content, and webinars that meet their needs.  
Digital Assessment Tool

I wish I’d had this Digital Assessment Tool when I worked at a nonprofit to help guide our technology strategy. Instead, many of our tech decisions were reactive and isolated — resulting in wasted time, resources, and missed opportunities. This tool is a great entry point for any nonprofit leader looking to assess their organization’s digital capabilities. Some of my favorite features include:

  • Descriptive choices for each assessment question, making it easier to identify the best answer for your organization.
  • Being able to include colleagues, so they could complete different parts of the assessment and the tool could provide the most accurate reflection of our needs/current state.
  • The flexibility to print the assessment and recommendations, which can come in handy when working in areas with lower connectivity.

Pretty exciting right? If you’re curious to see the tool in action, we shared a four-minute demo at VMworld 2021. See below:

Now, let’s get started! Share the tool within your organization or with nonprofits that you know. Together we can help these critical community organizations advance on their digital journeys.

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