Who am I – how am I qualified to give this talk? HMSR major, worked for hillel (dir of technological services), founder of b4c, founder of ferst solutions – help clients look at things like this.
As an HMSR Major in college I was taught to think of non-profit work strategically – mission driven and goal focused.
Without the right process the outcome will never be right. Process is not more important than the outcome, but it’s a close 2nd.
Just because there is another site or organization doing something you want to do doesn’t mean it makes sense for you or will be cost effective!
Public only sees the tip of the iceberg (front end design) – but an organization needs to be concerned with the whole thing
Ask, then hit it as they will pop up one after the other…
And are there people you don’t ask…
In the digital age you have access to troves of data you never knew you had – important when setting benchmarksInternet content can be a bridge to deeper involvement in your religion and education. How can you craft content that will engage people online – i.e. ourjewishcommunity.org
Many systems were built individually without a holistic approach
Disclosure: I helped to build when I worked there. Not a perfect system – ran out of money. mis communication between the consultant and the organization.
Congregations 2.0 Presentation
Working with Digital Strategy & Tech Consultants<br />A.K.A.<br />What My Organization Should Know <br />Prior to Working With a Consultant <br />Judah Ferst<br />Ferst Solutions<br />Congregations 2.0, January 14, 2011<br />
How can Technology Projects be Thought of Strategically?<br />Needs<br />Audience<br />Goals<br />Mission <br />Priority<br />Affordability<br />Integrated Systems<br />
Why Do Organizations Start this Process?<br />Website looks old / outdated<br />Pressure from board members<br />New staff<br />To increase donations<br />To create a portal for members<br />Heighten visibility of the organization in the community<br />Want to be seen as modern / hip / cool<br />
Assesment<br />Before you even begin to start<br />
Who are your audiences?<br />Staff<br />Clergy<br />Funders<br />Potential <br />Members<br />Partner <br />Organizations<br />Affiliates<br />Congregants / <br />Members<br />Board <br />Members<br />Community<br />Members<br />
Who are your audiences? (cont.)<br />Questions:<br />How will they inform this process? <br />What are their unique needs and concerns?<br />Have you asked them?<br />Managing the expectations game<br />
What are your goals?<br />Think of each piece of technology as a program…<br />What will you accomplish with it?<br />Technology allows us to measure goals in whole new ways…<br />Number of people who read your e-newsletter<br />Number of people who visit your website<br />How often your staff uses the new technology<br />
How will your organization’s mission inform these decisions?<br />Is your mission current and applicable to the work you do?<br />What does it list as your priorities?<br />How will your new technology help you carry out your mission?<br />If it will not, consider reevaluating the project<br />Remember you will need to justify the expense to funders and board members<br />
What is your<br />What needs to happen now?<br />What can be done in house?<br />Will your organization always have the skills necessary to maintain it?<br />How can you lay the infrastructure for the future?<br />
What can you afford?<br />Too often technological expenses are not budgeted for<br />What would you do if your building’s roof caved in?<br />It is easier to tell staff just to “deal” with issues that are not seen by others<br />Items such as these tend to run over budget<br />Quality and price are not necessarily related<br />Long term costs<br />Hosting, updating, etc.<br />Maintenance <br />
Integrated Systems<br />Most modern non-profits communicate with their constituents through a weekly or monthly e-mail.<br />These e-mails contain links back to the organization’s website. Many of them are events that are on your organizational calendar.<br />That calendar may contain information about room bookings and set up as well as how to sign up and pay for an event.<br />Many of those e-mail addresses (that the e-mail is sent to) were collected through a sign up form on your website and entered into your donor management system.<br />
Dangers of Non-Integrated Systems<br />Duplicate records<br />People receiving multiple pieces of communication<br />The more places you need to keep data the more chance for computer and/or human error<br />Personal information<br />Content<br />Confusion among staff<br />Confusion among those you serve<br />
So…<br />Why are these pieces of informationso often in <br />multiple systems? <br />
Integrated Systems:A Case Study<br />Hillel of Greater Philadelphia<br />
Hillel of Greater Philadelphia<br />Hillel of Greater Philadelphia inspires Jewish students to cultivate and maintain their Jewish identity, to bond with other Jewish college students and to share a broad spectrum of religious, cultural and social experiences. <br />In a given academic year, approximately 25 staff engage over 10,000 students through nearly 700 events/meetings across 20 campuses.<br />How can a system be crafted that serves the needs of students, staff, funders, maintenance staff, etc.<br />
See the BIG Picture!<br />Have attendance data to support fundraising activities both for numeric outcomes (short term) and data for alumni fundraising (long term).<br />Allow program staff to track success of programs and see areas to focus on.<br />A unified back end that distributes content to multiple front facing websites.<br />Content that populates a weekly e-mail:<br />Calendar<br />Announcements, educational pieces, etc.<br />Eliminate the need for multiple systems.<br />Allow students to RSVP and pay for events<br />Collect online donations.<br />
One student record that…<br />Can be created by the student on an interest form on the website<br />Receives weekly listserve e-mails<br />Click tracking data<br />Can RSVP (and pay) for events<br />Has their attendance tracked<br />Has their interests tracked<br />Has their contact information tracked<br />Becomes an alumni/parent/donor<br />
One Event That…<br />Is automatically fed into our listserve<br />Students can RSVP (and pay) for<br />Students records are associated with for attendance tracking purposes<br />Is used for space reservations in building<br />Set up / clean up time, room set up, supplies needed<br />Can be sorted according to interests they have entered and can update as well as internal categories<br />Events can be private and only viewable to staff<br />Is tied to evaluation data<br />
How can projects be thought of strategically?<br />Needs<br />Audience<br />Goals<br />Mission <br />Priority<br />Affordability<br />Integrated Systems<br />