IT Challenges

Strategies for Success: Conquering IT Challenges in Nonprofits

Yann Guides 9 minutes

Introduction:
Charities in the UK play a crucial role in providing essential services to people worldwide, but often they encounter unique IT challenges due to limited budgets and factors of a nonprofit nature. As the digital world continues to evolve, UK nonprofits must address these obstacles to remain effective and competitive. In this guide, we’ll explore the top IT challenges they faced, supported by relevant statistics, and hope to offer possible solutions to help your nonprofit thrive in these fast paced times.

Optimizing Limited Budget:
Charitable organizations in the UK operate on restricted funds, with the majority of donations directed towards their core mission and not tehcnology. In the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) UK Giving Report 2020, the total amount donated to charities exceeded £10 billion. Aside from addressing core principles, leveraging technology is crucial for operational success in today’s UK landscape. By making informed decisions and focusing on cost-effective solutions, UK charities can maximize their return on investment (ROI) and allocate resources wisely. Microsoft offer great Non profit support with their discounted Mocrosoft Office subscriptions. AlsO frameworks such as Charity Digital Exchange offer a range of products with charitable disounts applied.

Strengthening Cybersecurity Defenses:
Being critical service providers, UK nonprofits are prime targets for cyber attacks. The 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey conducted by the UK government revealed that a staggering 46% of charities in the UK had reported a cyber attack within the previous 12 months! Again underscoring the alarming cyber risks faced by the sector. Unfortunately, the lack of cybersecurity investment within the sector leaves charities vulnerable to potential threats. To safeguard their operations and data, UK charities must prioritise cybersecurity education and implement robust defense strategies. Staying informed about modern cyber threats and employing preventive measures, such as social engineering awareness training, can significantly reduce risks. We can offer a Cyber Aware training module which is a per user license to help train and empower your workforce from as a little as £2.50 per user per month.

Embracing Remote Service Delivery:
The recent lockdowns accelerated the need for remote work within the charity sector. A study by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group in 2020, found that 66% of charities surveyed expected to increase their use of remote working in the future. However, the shift to remote service delivery can also present challenges but also new opportunities, including access to a wider talent pool. Embracing remote service delivery can enhance a UK charity’s flexibility, productivity, and outreach, while also providing opportunities to recruit the best talent for their cause.
Coupled with a BYOD scheme suddenly the move to remote working can start to make economical sense.

Providing IT Training and Education:
With continuous IT advancements, it’s essential for nonprofit employees and volunteers in the UK to stay informed and well-trained. According to a survey by Skills Platform in 2020, only 32% of charities in the UK provided regular IT training for their staff and volunteers. However, investing in comprehensive IT education is vital to empower personnel to protect the UK organization from potential threats and ensure efficient IT utilisation. If the staff are aware they work as a human firewall for your company. Check out our news post entiled The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Cyber Risk.

Ensuring Compliance with Evolving Regulations:
With ever-changing compliance regulations in the UK, nonprofits, especially those handling personal data, must remain vigilant about meeting requirements. A report by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in 2020 stated that 33% of reported data breaches in the UK were in the charity sector, emphasizing the importance of staying compliant with data protection regulations like GDPR. Implementing efficient processes and procedures to manage compliance throughout the UK organization is crucial to avoid potential penalties and maintain public trust. Again , employee training and some investment inot cybersecurity will help mitigate issues. Importnat is compliance and this is something we can help advis you on. Importnat is to ensue you have shared policies amongst staff such as IT policy and a Data Protection Statement.
Cyber Essentials is a great way to get awareness throughout the business. This is relatively inexpensive but demonstartes your commitment to your business as well as your supply chain that you are cyber aware.
Our company can help you attain Cyber Essentials. Please read more here.

Conclusion:
The charity sector in the UK faces IT challenges, and the statistics from recent years demonstrate the urgency of addressing these issues. By embracing technology, educating personnel, and making well-informed decisions, charitable organizations in the UK can continue their vital work while staying competitive in a rapidly evolving world. Our expert team is here to help your UK nonprofit navigate these challenges effectively and thrive in the modern IT landscape. Get in touch with us today, and let us assist you in overcoming these hurdles and achieving your organization’s mission with IT excellence.