As a charity, providing the best possible IT support services is essential for your organization’s success. As technology continues to evolve and become more important in our daily lives, charities must have access to reliable and up-to-date IT resources. However, with limited budgets and resources, this can often be difficult. The recent cost of living crisis is increasing pressure on the sector.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can get the most out of your IT systems without breaking the bank. In this post, we will discuss some of these strategies and how they can help you maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. We will also provide tips on what to look for when selecting an IT provider for your charity so that you get the best value for money. So let’s dive right in!
How IT Support Can Help?
Having reliable and up-to-date IT resources is essential for a charity to succeed. But with limited budgets and resources, getting the best possible IT support can be challenging. Fortunately, several strategies can use to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. We will discuss some of these as well as tips on what to look for when selecting an IT provider for your charity so that you get the best value for money. Let’s dive right in!
First, we have to understand that charities from the technical point of view an organisation as any other for-profit business. They need the same equipment such as routers, firewalls, servers, AP and computers.
Each device must be configured correctly to avoid issues with its use on a day-to-day basis. But additionally, charities must be mindful of traps such as outdated and unsupported devices and lack of maintenance.
What is the list of unsupported Operating Systems:
- Windows: Windows XP (support stopped in 2014), Vista (support stopped in 2017), Server 2003 (support stopped in 2015), 8 (support stopped in 2016) and RT (support ended in 2016).
- OS X: Snow Leopard (10.6, support ended in 2012), Lion (10.7, support ended in 2014), Mountain Lion (10.8, support ended in 2015) and Mavericks (10.9, support ended in 2016).
1. Let’s first cover outdated and unsupported devices
It is common for charities to receive donations that will contain older equipment. Slow computers are common, this is very true for cash-strap charities and many businesses. A slow computer on its own is not an issue. Unsupported OS and Applications are the culprits.
Windows 7 reached its end of support in 2020. That means there will be no more updates that will keep the OS safe. Around 26% of Windows users are still on W7 and are not safe. The obvious risk is Cyber attacks. Unfortunately, criminals don’t care much about who is the victim so that leads to situations where any organisation has to be prepared.
Lack of maintenance
Each device will require some maintenance. Routers, AP, and servers will require updates to the OS, installations of new firmware, and updates to antivirus. Even cloud solutions require maintenance. Checking system logs and of course, keeping an eye on backups.
IT equipment is complex, thus it requires correct setup. However, what many people do not appreciate is that configuration of your equipment changes over time. If you leave the network device on its own this can lead to issues.
2. The Benefits of Investing in Technology for UK Charities
Technology solutions allow increase efficiency, reduce costs and better serve the people. From cloud-based accounting software that streamlines bookkeeping processes to mobile apps that facilitate outreach efforts, there are numerous ways technology can be used to improve a charity’s or not for profit organisations effectiveness.
Finally, technology can be used to engage with donors in new and innovative ways. By embracing digital fundraising solutions such as crowdfunding and online donation platforms, charities can make it easier for people to donate money or goods that can help support their cause.
3. What Types of IT Services Are Available?
IT support for UK charities
Can provide a range of services that could help them become more effective and efficient in their operations. One such service is cloud computing, which allows storing and access to data remotely without having to manage physical servers or infrastructure. Non profit organisations would benefit from cloud solutions as many lack trained IT administrators.
Other services include cyber security, which can help protect their data and systems from potential threats. Cyber security technologies such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and firewalls can all help to keep data safe by preventing unauthorized access. The Security first approach should be a priority.
4. Developing an Effective IT Strategy for Your Charity
An effective IT strategy should include a range of solutions such as cloud computing, cyber security, business intelligence tools. By leveraging these technologies, charities can reduce operational costs and enhance their data security while also gaining insights into donor behaviour or patterns in operational performance which is a financially justifiable decision as many choices will fall under legal obligations to ensure confidential data is kept secure. By asking more than one MSP you can be sure to get independent advice. Many MSPs will provide a free consultation.
Can help to reduce IT costs by allowing to use the software and applications without having to purchase or maintain their own hardware. This is especially important for smaller charities with limited budgets as it can help them focus more of their resources on their cause.
Technologies such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and firewalls can all help protect your organization’s data and systems from Cybercriminals. Having the right cybersecurity measures in place can prevent costly data breaches, which can have a devastating impact on charities. One good step is to apply for cyber essentials, this is a government initiative to increase awareness and security for the organisation in the UK. Additionally, it is a good idea to check with all their stakeholders if an organisation have a legal obligation to have their IT systems secure as they might handle sensitive data.
Tools can enable charities to gain valuable insights into their operations and performance. For example, they can use analytics to understand donor behaviour and engagement or data visualizations to identify patterns in their operational performance.
5. Finding Affordable Solutions to Meet Your Charity’s Needs
There are several options available that can help you make the most of your resources. As I mention above cloud computing is one of the most cost-effective solutions, as it eliminates the need to purchase and maintain hardware, while also providing access to powerful technologies such as cyber security services.
By taking advantage of these strategies, you can ensure that you make informed decisions with limited resources while still gaining access to the latest technologies and insights. With the right technology in place, your organisation can better meet its goals and provide a greater impact on the world.
Below you have a few links that can help you on your journey:
- Microsoft 365 Nonprofit cloud solution: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/nonprofits/microsoft-365
- Google G Suite for Nonprofits: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/
- Adobe Creative Cloud for Nonprofits: https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/nonprofit/
- Symantec Security Solutions for Nonprofits: https://www.symantec.com/for-home/charities
- Sophos Security Solutions for Nonprofits: https://www.sophos.com/en-us/nonprofit.aspx
6. Tips for Choosing the Right Managed IT Support Provider for Your Charity
Choosing the right IT support team for an organisation is an important decision. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one is best suited to meet the needs of a specific organization. IT support team should have experience working with nonprofit organisations and understand their unique challenges and requirements and technological investment. They also are able to provide consistently excellent it service on cost effective basis. IT providers working in the sector should ensure that the budget is spent wisely.” They must be knowledgeable about current technologies and trends to ensure that a charity’s IT infrastructure remains up-to-date and secure. Many MSPs provide discounted services for charities, at Operum we provide service to many UK charities and we offer discounts. With careful research can find MSPs that will provide fully managed solutions with a personal service from the team that cares.
The IT support partner for your charity
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about finding IT support for charities and not-for-profit organisation. And better understand. Let us help you succeed by providing reliable services at an affordable cost that will maximize your impact on the world.
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