Not for profit organisations are truly amazing places to work, packed with ideas, creativity, purpose and commitment. Nowhere else do you get that buzz from people focussed on raising money to deliver services they care passionately about. Nowhere else do people go the extra mile, day after day, week after week, year after year to make the world a better place. To be blunt, the voluntary sector rocks!

a group of people with one standing out

Understand your People

Technology can be a huge asset for voluntary sector organisations. Technology can deliver entirely new fundraising approaches, free up our staff, delve inside decades of data to find nuggets of gold, bring our donors, our staff and our beneficiaries ever closer. Technology can reach around the world to form powerful collaborations between organisations and let us punch above our weight. To be blunt, technology rocks too!

So, why is it so often a bit of a damp squib? Why doesn’t that superb new web platform hook up to my shiny new CRM system? Why do suppliers still have to email response files? Why does every new giving platform have to be integrated differently? Why can’t I have the data I want, when I want it? Why do perfectly sensible questions about supporters seem to be so hard to answer? Why oh why oh why is this stuff just so hard?

A circle of stones representing a business process

Understand your Processes

Well, that’s where I come in. Of all the problems that I bump into again and again there’s one that’s bigger and uglier than all the others put together, and it’s my job to help you avoid it. Many years of experience of working on IT systems of all size, shapes and colours (in the public, private and voluntary sectors) has taught me that if you don’t think wider and consider how the People, Processes, Information and Technology work together as one, single, complex system you’re saving up pain for later. You can’t change one without impacting the others and a weakness in one area will reduce the overall benefit you hoped for.

A burning arrow breaking through a wall

Understand your Information

Information is the lifeblood of an organisation, but it has to flow. People have to know what information means, they have to share a common vocabulary when talking about information, they must have the information they need, where they need it, when they need it. It might seem dry, but business processes are what make our organisations tick along. Knowing who does what, when, where with which information is vital. It’s the business processes that move and transform the information within an organisation – turning a click of a ‘Submit Donation’ button into front-line action, turning a quirky idea into an award wining marketing campaign, turning bits and bytes in pounds and pence

And the technology? Well the technology is the glue. If the systems cannot talk to each other then information trickles instead of flows, if they cannot understand each other without manual intervention then we waste time and energy that’s better spent. If they don’t survive the test of time by flexing, adapting and extending then we lose our investment. The future is unknowable so we have to stop thinking only about the design of technical systems and focus instead on their architecture. .

Loads of cubes like a server farm

Understand your Technology

It’s all connected and to fail to plan for the whole system is to plan to fail. So that’s what I do. I’ll help you see the bigger picture when you’re thinking about how to use technology to support your cause. I’ve worked as a software architect, a developer, a trainer, a systems engineer, a consultant and an analyst. I’ll help you strategise, I’ll help you plan and then I’ll roll up my sleeves and help you do. Are you planing some new developments? Cursing some current systems? Writing a strategy for the multi-platform, multi-channel world? Or just looking for some friendly advice? Have a look at the services I offer and get in touch – I’m here to help you.