7 reasons a strategy.

For to have a strategy is essential. So here are 7 reasons a strategy. In 2017 the online fundraising news site UKfundraising stated the the charity digital skills report showed that 50% of did not have a strategy. Last year  in a report from  Group and Eduserv, Times reported 80% of leaders ed to revisit their IT and strategy.

The times article said  “ group chief executive, Caron Bradshaw said it is becoming increasingly noticeable that professionals are “leading on and IT because nearly every change a faces will have an impact on their risk profile, the business model and sustainability”.

Why is it because most worry about that professionals are leading on everything. professionals to lead and exemplify , not strategic planning, not , not marketing.

Its 2019, but little seems to have changed. people may get involved, but as IT races ahead of our understanding, without an IT or expert who really understands IT and can demythologise and communicate solutions, progress is slow. Which small to medium has the office manager or the fundraiser running the website, the manager ordering the equipment, and has a level of security where passwords are written in someones notebook and kept in a draw.

I still come across web sites that say they are ready, but have no privacy statement. If you have a contact form you are taking and using someones data, what happens to the data from that contact form? Legally you have to say what you are doing with it, even if you are deleting it straight away. This would to be in a ‘privacy statement’ on your website and a ‘terms of reference’ also on your website.

I also come across email signatures that don’t clearly state the name, registration number, exempt status or any company registration and address. Why is that? Most likely because there is no IT/ strategy and no one to understand the reasons why as a or not profit you should have a legal email signature.

Reason 1 : The Law.

Data is king they say, but in reality data is the law. The process, that many went through, often relying on others to do for them without a full wide understanding are often poorly implemented.  Fines on the big companies for breaches have just started, they are a source of revenue for government, eventually no stone will be left unturned. The previous laws that demanded management of data and transparency (thats where the email signature came in) have not gone away with the advent of . to discuss this, to set out a path and a plan, it s clarity and a written strategy.

Reason 2. Efficiency.

Your IT strategy is ed so you can support smart and flexible working. How you use ‘the cloud’ and cloud based solutions can be essential to allowing that flexibility. The Cloud, amazing IT products and Office365 won’t automatically make you more efficient. However your IT strategy can look at how you can use the world to manage and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Reason 3. Fundraising

Trust me or my friends over at 5to1 that whether you use ‘blackbaud’ or ‘checkout’, your IT strategy will to support the marketing of your , the profile building and of course the fundraising. Your core donor and supporter database and what you do with it must be a building block of your IT strategy, if not sitting in its own fundraising or marketing strategy. This is also where mangers come in.

Reason 4. Support.

What was once the magic of the internet is now a business ‘must have’. For many IT is the backbone of their organisation. But  IT works in dog years, a year in IT is like 7 years of normal life, it just races ahead and we struggle to keep up to date. To ensure you continue to progress you the right support. This may be external, but in my opinion you always someone on the inside, who you can trust and help you demythologise the Digtal companies IT language. You may buy the hardware and the software but who supports this and how it is supported is integral to your Strategy. will budget for the assets, but your strategy s to highlight for the support of these assets.

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Reason 5. HR

Staff are your biggest asset and they investment, as does HR. How are you storing HR records, managing supervision and annual leave? Does your IT strategy account for cloud based products that can support whole departments.

You may have staff working on desktop PCs and Macs but the majority of web access now utilities mobile platforms like phones and tablets. Your staff may be more conversant with their phone than they are with your Computer system. So whether it is bang up to date set of amazing macs or archaic running windows 7, your staff help, training, guidance and support. They it to use progressive IT systems that can improve efficiency and communication.  Perhaps you may to change to bring in more tablet working, or ensure all staff have secure email on their phone, Outlook for the lays iPhones has password protection …this is something your IT and strategy will tell you.

6. Media

media is not just a marketing tool, or that thing your children or grandchildren are obsessed by,  its also about communication. Your strategy may outline how managers are allowed to use media, having a team that takes over senior managements media accounts so they can be used to promote your is a path to consider.  People often relate more to the personal than the corporate and many CEOs have an audience via twitter or instagram that can be communicated with about your good work. This would all be defined and outlined in your strategy and Media Policy.

7. .

Small often fear the and can take knee jerk reactions encouraged by managers or trustees who see decisions made by others being laid at their door. It can create low risk appetite that leaves a more vulnerable in the long term. So you may think you ought to buy a new minibus or a visible aspect of your work, however, without direction for your IT backbone, with investment in thought and strategy, it is the minibus that can become a challenge.

What software should be using? Is it cloud based, does it communicate anything to the non accountant? What of budgets for hardware, software, technology in general.

managers  in depth IT training and experience if they are to take responsibility for , a lack of knowledge about and IT in your team means they will not understand the risks or the advantages of a strategy.

These 7 areas are the framework for your strategy and depending on the focus of your or non-profit there may be others specific to you.

So you’ve read  7 reasons a strategy.  Get in touch on the Q&A forums (its free) if you’d like to talk about your , your strategy, whether its a strategy  or the its a business strategy for the next 5 years.

# strategy # # #checkup # #fundraising # # media



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