5 Benefits of IT support for charities
Every business runs on technology and what is a charity, if not a business that works to give its profits to a third party? Regardless of the size of your charity, you need to dedicate resources to support your digital efforts, whether for an administrative function, marketing, or digital fundraising.
This will also mean that you will need to consider charity IT support, and the benefits that come from integrating expert third party technology and services. Let’s explore some of the benefits of IT support and how they can help charities achieve their wider organisational goals.
Reducing overhead costs
Investing in the right technologies can dramatically increase the efficacy of your charity. But where do you start? And will you have the capital to fund such an investment? For some charities, outsourcing their IT support is as much about getting access to leading technology as it is about getting excellent service.
IT support consultancies like ours invest in technologies and staff that can greatly benefit a charity, while allowing you to allocate your working capital to other projects. This allows you to cost-effectively implement digital technology, such as Microsoft Teams to create digital events, replacing traditional practices and reaching a wider audience much more easily.
Beyond the technology itself, IT support services help you implement, customise, and maintain your technology, ensuring that any IT investment scales with your organisation and continues to provide value as you grow.
Record keeping and cloud migration
Most charities are at some level of maturity when it comes to digital transformation. This often means they store data in a variety of places – on devices, in on-premise servers, and on the cloud.
An IT support team can help you organise and rationalise your data, give the right access to those who need it, and optimise your cloud storage so you’re not going over budget. For example, putting data that you need to keep (for regulatory purposes), but never use, in cold storage servers to reduce costs.
As you continue on your digital transformation journey, your IT support team can help you roadmap and prioritise each step, keeping you on track with your long-term organisational goals.
While the overarching aims of the charity will remain steadfast, the day-to-day needs and challenges often change. Having a team on-hand to help communicate and manage changes to processes and approaches will save you time and money. Plus, it’ll help your teams adapt to change more easily.
Third party IT teams are also experts of rolling out changes at scale. If a small digital project needs to expand across your organisation, they have the experience you need to manage deployment seamlessly.
Securing data and privacy
Most charities store data on donors and donations, which can often include financial information, especially if you have donors who donate monthly using a direct debit. Compromised data reflects badly on the charity and can put off other donors. Therefore, it’s vital that you have secure payment methods and data storage.
According to UK Government data, 30% of UK charities identified a cyber-attack in 2022, with 87% of these charities reporting phishing attempts. This tells us that securing data requires both digital protection, such as encryptions and firewalls, and staff education.
An outsourced IT team can help you devise comprehensive strategies and techniques to keep your data secure, using their experience and knowledge of the latest security trends. This may include team awareness training to help everyone in your organisation remain vigilant to cyber threats.
Digital solutions to common challenges
A large part of IT support is providing guidance and solutions to IT challenges or technical issues. Most of the time, your internal team will be able to handle issues themselves. But when they need to respond to something big, urgent, or both, it’s helpful to have an outsourced IT support team to assist them in getting your systems and staff or volunteers back working as soon as possible.
Another common challenge for charity IT teams is that of time – they want to allocate resources to updating systems and building new things, but day-to-day activities get in their way. One way IT support teams can help is by taking on those low-level, high-effort tasks, such as actioning support tickets, running daily checks, and patches, to allow your internal teams to focus on the things that deliver you the most value.
On the other hand, if your internal team’s strengths don’t lie in project work, you can simply flip the script. Allow them to focus on the day-to-day activities, while you outsource a project to an external team.
IT support helps you, so you can help others
Outsourcing your IT support has its pros and cons, but any organisation with a powerful mandate to help people can benefit from letting others focus on infrastructure and technology. Running a charity is hard work. It often focuses on outcomes than on what you need to achieve them, which means that IT takes a back seat.
When it comes to managing a charity, choosing cost-effective solutions, such as technical support, can help contribute towards those outcomes. It can help reduce overhead costs, putting more money towards the cause, improve team productivity, keep your resilient against cyber threats, and help you thrive in a digital world.