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Like most organizations, non-profits are responsible for a lot of moving pieces, but with one major difference: non-profits often have to accomplish their goals with a much smaller budget than a traditional organization.
Because most of the funds non-profits have to work with comes from grants, donations, and other fundraising efforts, there’s always pressure to make sure as much of the funds raised as possible go towards their mission, rather than administrative tasks. And, with organizations like Charity Watch, it’s easy for potential donors to see just how much of their money goes to the cause.
This puts great pressure on non-profits to spend less internally, which makes sense, but can also lead to problems when cost-saving measures include cutting back on IT costs – costs that can help maximize your donations and protect your precious (private!) donor information and that pays for themselves.
This lack of investment in tools like IT is one of the reasons nonprofit organizations are increasingly at risk from cyberattacks. As of 2018, only 20% of non-profits had documented policies in case of a cyberattack. This means most non-profits are in serious trouble if they’re attacked.
However, it’s not impossible for non-profit organizations to get high-level IT management services, including comprehensive cybersecurity, while still maximizing their donor funds. A managed services provider (MSP) makes it easy to get all the IT and security support you need, for one low price every month.
How MSPs help non-profits
MSPs are in the ideal position to help non-profits by their very nature. Similar to the way they can help startups save money without sacrificing their IT needs, MSPs are designed to provide a high-level of care for technical infrastructure and security in a way that’s more affordable (and realistic) than having an in-house IT team.
Let’s explore how that’s possible.
You know what your IT spend is every month
One of the core selling points of an MSP is that your IT costs remain constant from month to month. A good MSP takes this one step further by sticking to that one monthly fee and not including any “gotcha” fees, surcharges, or hourly rates for in-house visits (we include ourselves in this category).
What makes this particularly nice is that you can choose what level of service and select from options like full coverage, which includes everything, or add specific services to bolster any in-house expertise you may have.
These are services like:
- Helpdesk, virtual or in-person
- Strategy and planning
- Proactive network monitoring
- Managed website services
- Telephone, VoIP, and communications infrastructure
- Managed security services
- Digital transformation
You save money on IT staff
This is another big one for non-profits. While IT staff are great to have around, they aren’t cheap. Even a starting salary can be as high as $100,000 USD a year in New York. This can be hard enough for a smaller non-profit, but the bigger you get, the more support you need. And, the more support you need, the greater your expenses.
With MSPs, you don’t have to spend anywhere near that kind of money to get what amounts to a full-time IT department. This includes people who can help you solve technical problems, upgrade and optimize the equipment you’re already using, and help you strategize and plan for the future.
Increased productivity and efficiency
With the right technology in place, people have the tools they need to work better. This means implementing flexible workplace options like cloud-based productivity suites like Microsoft Team and 365. These provide a collaborative working space – in-house and remotely. Whatever your nonprofit needs.
Along with providing the right tools to suit your organization, an MSP ensures that your employees aren’t wasting their valuable time trying to deal with technology problems they don’t have the skills to solve. As it stands, the average non-tech employee spends up to 8 hours a month (22 minutes a day) dealing with technical problems.
Better regulatory compliance
It’s one thing to understand what you need to do to be compliant with any security or privacy regulations that might affect your nonprofit, but having the technical know-how to implement is different. Regulations exist around donor information, ensuring personal identifying information (PII) is secure, financial records stay protected, and more. The specifics vary depending on where you’re located, how much money you raise each year and the industry that you serve.
MSPs can help ensure your tech stack is designed in such a way that it provides the maximum level of compliance while reducing the impact of a cyberattack on your organization. This, in turn, can save you a significant amount of money in terms of fines should an attack occur. And, it will help mitigate the loss of trust from donors who trust you with their financial information.
Enhanced protection from attacks
We’ve already mentioned that hackers are increasingly targeting non-profit organizations because security tends to be lacking. And because nonprofits are rife with tempting financial info. But as a whole, cyberattacks are up across the board to the point where there’s an attempt made roughly every 39 seconds.
Where non-profits are concerned, skimping on cybersecurity isn’t an option because, as we mentioned above, regulatory compliance plays a major role in this sector. Between fines and the loss of trust, a single security breach could be the end of a nonprofit organization.
Managed security service providers (MSSPs) like Kaytuso (our MSSP division) can help non-profits by providing a whole host of security services designed to meet the specific needs and concerns of this sector. An MSSP will work closely with you to understand where your organization needs help, as well as its specific risks, and puts together a plan to help.
- Training and development – Humans continue to be the weakest link when it comes to security. An MSSP can work with you to help train your staff on proper cybersecurity protocol around things like passwords, how to spot a phishing attempt, what to do if you get hacked, etc. But, it’s not just lectures and sharing PDFs full of stats, you and your staff get hands-on experience with simulated phishing attempts that put their training to the test.
- Strategy and consulting – Get a solid plan that helps you properly navigate the world of cybersecurity as it relates to the nonprofit world. Risk and vulnerability assessments help you understand where the weak points in your security platform are, and what you need to do to strengthen them.
- 24/7 Monitoring – Reactive security isn’t the most effective solution. You need to be monitoring your systems at all times, so you know the moment something goes wrong. Monitoring helps you mitigate any damage done by potential attacks by shutting them down as soon as they’re detected.
- Identity and access management – Along with proactive monitoring, identity and access management can go a long way towards protecting your systems by limiting how much access any one user has to your systems. For example, should a hacker manage to get into your network by phishing an employee, they won’t be able to bring down the entire system because they can’t get to it.
Ready to get more for your donor dollars?
If you want to explore how you can get the most from your fundraising efforts, without having to sacrifice your technical capabilities or security, we should talk.
Manhattan Tech Support (MTS) has a solid track record for providing businesses and non-profits with high-quality tech solutions that don’t break the bank. If you’re ready to save money and protect your donors, contact us today.
Kaytuso – the cybersecurity & regulatory compliance division of ManhattanTechSupport.com LLC.
Exceed Digital – the custom software development and business intelligence solutions division of ManhattanTechSupport.com LLC