Four Stages of Nonprofit Tech Evolution

We’ve also found that it can help to have an idea of where a nonprofit is in their technological capacity. Not every nonprofit will be able to use technology to its potential, and often, building new applications for a nonprofit can do more harm than good. This is because tech must be continuously managed, fixed, and updated – and without engineering resources, nonprofits cannot do this effectively. It’s important to understand where your nonprofit is on this general spectrum.

Type A:

Not tech focused (having an informational website isn’t technical)

Type B:

Little bit tech focused (have an app, but that is not their sole tactic in making a difference)

  • maybe they have an app and have some idea why they use it
  • maybe have some developers on staff or software built by others for hire who also do maintenance

Type C:

Tech nonprofits - nonprofit whose primary mission is to contribute building out humanitarian software (but no robust way to onboard engineers)

Type D:

Tech nonprofits with volunteer platform & community managers

  • Mifos Initiative (some dedicated volunteers)
  • Sahana Software (some dedicated volunteers, cautious about partnerships)
  • Wikimedia/Mozilla Foundation (thousands of volunteers central to their core way of working)


Next Step: