Software selection failures can haunt any organization. It is clear that all nonprofits need to be more careful than most due to the nature of their financial situation. Choosing the wrong software ends up wasting time, money, and resources that could be better spent working towards the mission statement of the organization.
In this article, we’ll explore several key mistakes that organizations make, and the commandments you should practice to best avoid making the same errors too.
3 Commandments to help avoid Software Selection Failure
Thou Shalt Not Put All of Your Trust in IT’s Hands
Certainly, the office techies will have better knowledge of software and such than most office workers, but letting them make the final call in your Software selection (CRM,AMS,Donor Database etc.) is foolish.
The tech department will not be the ones who have to use and interact with the fundraising software on a daily basis like the staff who will be using it everyday to spread email campaigns, raise funds, and launch marketing campaigns. Certainly, get the input on all of the people involved in the use of the software. From the techies to the end-users, if your employees struggle with the database software for your nonprofit, the entire organization (donors, members, customers, staff, board) will be struggling as well.
Thou Shalt Not Always Take the Most Economical Option
Price is something that nonprofits always have to keep in mind, but if they are going to be spending money on software, they need to make sure that is appropriate for their needs not just cost efficient. Gauge your needs, budget, and what you want to get out of the software. Then make a decision in which price is a factor but not the sole factor. Spending a little bit more on membership software that will work well and won’t have to be replaced in a few months or years will save organizations more in the long run.
Thou Shalt Not Get Blinded by Flashy Features
A common mistake organizations make when choosing software is focusing too much on the flashy features and not the overall functionality. Flashy features are cool, and in a perfect world there would be an option that is functional and has cool features. Nonprofits need to make sure the nonprofit software they are choosing will be a fit to the needs of their organizations. All the “cool features” may actually be a distraction in addressing your primary goals.
These are some of the most common mistakes that nonprofits make when choosing software for non profit organizations. Do not follow suit and make an error in software purchase. Contact us to learn more about making the right software choices.
Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.