How to Convince Leadership to Adopt New Technology

Nonprofits, like all other successful organizations, need to keep up with the tools of the times. It’s important that your board of directors understands the importance of new technology in letting your organization run like a well-oiled machine.

Technology should be intuitive, affordable and able to grow with you, and your board should be willing to provide that for you. Here are some tips on how to convince leadership that adopting or buying new technology is a worthwhile investment.

Know what you want

Start by figuring out exactly what products you want and what need they would fulfill. Show board members the data on where you’re lagging or what inconsistencies you have before showing them what product you need to improve it.

Do your research when it comes to what tools are out there so you know which ones provide the best value for organization. Remember that return-on-investment is of utmost importance to board members, so showing them projected results should be a primary component of your proposal.

Know your audience

Introduce the idea of new technology to individual board members first. Before you pitch your idea to the board as a whole, it helps to have a couple of them on your side already. Speak in terms that everyone can understand so they’re not sitting there wondering what you’re talking about. Don’t be afraid to get individual board members involved in the selection process or pitch process—they’ll feel like they’re helping out directly with the cause they care about and you’ll form a better relationship for the future.

Make the ask

Obviously, the most important part of asking for new technology boils down to making the pitch. Be respectful, be sophisticated and be helpful—but be direct as well. Get to the point when it comes to the presentation (whether that’s a formal one or via email or written proposal) and tell them what tools you need and how you’re at a disadvantage without them. They will be willing to take the risk when they know what’s at stake. After all, they joined the board of directors to help you complete your mission, and if this is a step they have to take to do it, they will.

Getting your board on board for large financial investments can be hard, but the payoff is worth it when you have technology that helps further your mission. Change the way you work so you can change the world.

  • Heidi Suzanne Whitman

    Google has a program they call Google for Nonprofits, which allows you get their G Suite of software, ie gmail, Google drive, etc completely FREE! Plus a bunch of other technology! Check it out.

  • Susie Cambria

    This is a good start. Thank you.

    But I’d add something that is definitely less appealing, and that is practice standards. Most times, they cost time (but not software, etc.). What do I mean: Setting up your shared drive so document and other information can be found. Using naming conventions. Saving for posterity (PDF/A). I’ve worked in one organization where sharing was the norm and it’s unfortunate it was only one.

    Technology will just not solve these important operational elements and it’s the rare staffer who thinks about these issues. Would love to see a more thoughtful job than I did on this!