PMA Consulting, LLC

Importance of Technology in Professional Development

Always changing, technology is rapidly becoming central to fundraising strategy. Three areas of technology play heavily – data management, mass communication and gift processing. Below are four tips for how staff can keep up on these nonprofit and fundraising trends.

1. Create a technology awareness strategy: According to Brian J. Nichelson, Founder of TechMatters Institute and Author of “Taming Technology” it is important for individuals to create an awareness plan which revolves around four key steps: 1) determine your needs, 2) assess the resources available to you, 3) rank the resources in order of usefulness to you, and 4) make the time to use the resources. The process will help you focus on your needs and how you can address them, whether via online blogs, magazines, or e-newsletters.

2. Read nonprofit blogs: Blogs are a great tool to utilize when learning about upcoming trends in the nonprofit sector. An example of a valuable blog to follow is Nonprofit Tech 2.0: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits. It provides excellent thoughts on a variety of issues ranging from Google+ to mobile technology and online fundraising platforms. Here are other blogs to follow:

3. Follow applicable organizations/individuals on Twitter: Looking for fast, real-time results on online fundraising? Twitter is an excellent micro-blogging tool that delivers news on nonprofit trends. For example, if you’re looking for news or posts about online giving, just search for the hashtag #onlinegiving and a timeline of all applicable tweets will appear. This gives the individual good ideas about what nonprofit professional are talking about in the realm of online giving. Here are examples of great nonprofit resources to follow:

    • @Kanter: Beth Kanter, author of “The Networked Nonprofit.”
    • @socialcitizen: Provides information on social media for social good.
    • @nptechblogs: Provides tweets on nonprofit technology events and news.
    • @GuideStarUSA: Provides links to nonprofit blogs, GuideStar, and resources.

4. Attend a nonprofit technology webinar: Webinars are a great resource for nonprofit professionals who best learn from presentations and streaming videos. Individuals can attend webinars at a low (or sometimes) no cost at all. Webinars provide an excellent opportunity to interact with other attendees, as well as ask applicable questions. Here are several organizations that provide webinars as a part of their overall resources: