Great post today from Laura Quinn, Executive Director of Idealware. Idealware provides solid and objective advice about software for nonprofits and educates charities on the pros and cons of different vendors/packages.
In this post (which you should read in its entirety) she's railing against an all too common nonprofit request.
"We can't afford software for our nonprofit. What can we get for FREE?"
I agree with Laura. This is a REALLY ANNOYING REQUEST.
No one is suggesting that you break the proverbial bank with your next technology purchase. However, if you want to reap the benefits of technology, i.e. enjoy the ability to share information among stakeholders, integrate data among platforms, get better reports and analytics, etc.) you have to make some investment in technology. More important, you have to invest in training for your employees so that they can USE the new tools.
Don't scrimp when using technology. Determine your goal, do you homework and invest the cash and human capital to achieve success. Beware of FREE.