A recent study released by Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs revealed that the severe lack of information technology training and tools are greatly reducing the effectiveness of various Indiana nonprofits from traditional public charities to single-issue advocacy groups.
Here is an excerpt from the study released by Indiana University’s News at IU:
More than one-third of the 1,036 Indiana nonprofits surveyed do not have an organizational website, although 60 percent use social media frequently or almost all the time, the report finds. More than one-third rarely or never use electronic financial records or IT security, and two-fifths rarely or never use electronic client or member records.
The use of these internally or externally focused IT tools varies by a number of nonprofit characteristics. Overall, the age of the organization, how formalized it is — for example, the number of organizational components, such as written policies, it has in place — and the primary mission appear to be particularly important.
The report also explores the types of challenges Indiana nonprofits face in using information technology. Creating and maintaining an engaging and current website was the most widespread challenge, according to the report.
Indiana nonprofits also indicated they confront other challenges in applying IT — such as using donor databases — and in capacity, such as identifying IT tools and resources or training staff and volunteers.
IT challenges also differ according to various characteristics of the nonprofit organization, but board vacancies appear to be particularly important, after controlling for all other factors. For example, nonprofits with board vacancies encounter challenges in ensuring all needed IT activities are carried out. Also, those with major IT challenges find it difficult to recruit and keep board members.