For nonprofit organizations acquiring new
technologies is a particular challenge. Hardware
is expensive and quickly out of date; software is
the same and mostly directed at profit-driven
enterprises; and training and support can be
beyond the means of a nonprofit organization.
Woodward offers practical advice based on her
experience with planning and implementing
several technologies, including PC systems,
wireless local area networks and Web sites. She
is careful to keep the needs of both small and
larger organizations in mind, including ensuring
the technology supports the explicit goals of the
organization, working up a technology plan
accordingly, figuring out what specific hardware
and software to acquire and how to support it,
getting current employees and volunteers
trained, hiring or contracting with support
people, supervising technical volunteers and
staff, and safeguarding essential information. The
result is an accessible, common-sense guide for
people just starting the process.
- Reference & Research Book News
"Technology in nonprofits is most useful when it
frees both human hands and human imagination,"
writes Jeannette Woodward, library director of
the Fremont County Library System, in Lander,
This book outlines the steps necessary to
improve technology at small, mid-sized, and big
organizations and how to make the best use of
computer applications and of staff members who
specialize in technology.
Ms. Woodward guides charity managers through
the basic steps in designing a technology plan.
With chapters on how to select a Webmaster to
design and maintain a Web site and when to hire
a consultant or other outside contractor for
technical help, the author helps nonprofit groups
determine whether they need outside technical
support or if they can take on large technological
projects on their own.
One section pertains to the proper training of
volunteers and staff members to ensure that they
fully understand and can use the computer
programs on which the organization relies. Ms.
Woodward emphasizes how important it is that
people who specialize in technology and those
who do not speak the same nomenclature be
flexible regarding the other group's needs.
She recommends starting a technology-
mentoring program for new employees or
volunteers to help avoid communication
"Without a close association with at least one
other staff member or experienced volunteer,
new arrivals are likely to remain outsiders,
lacking the knowledge base and personal
involvement to make informed decisions," she
- Chronicle of Philanthropy