For many nonprofit organizations, as with the wider public and private business sectors, the last couple of years have been impacted by a general economic downturn. Did we see evidence of this in our annual Nonprofit IT Staffing & Spending survey conducted at the end of 2010? Well, yes and no.
Compared to previous years (this is our 5th year of conducting the survey), certain areas of investment did seem to drop. However, for the most part, investments in IT staffing and other areas stayed remarkably steady, and we even saw some year-over-year growth in some areas.
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Nearly 1,200 nonprofit professionals filled out the latest annual survey, sponsored by NTEN and The NonProfit Times, providing us with another year of benchmarks and data concerning: salaries, outsourcing, recruiting, organizational structure, and other aspects of Information Technology practices in the nonprofit sector.
One of the findings that stood out to us: Only 40% of respondents reported that their organization has some type of formal technology plan. And much less than that (22%) reported that their organization had ever evaluated Return on Investment (ROI) of technology projects or programs. Clearly, planning and evaluation when it comes to technology is something we could ALL be doing better.
Other Key Findings:
Less than 32 percent of respondents self-identified as Technology Leaders. This is down more than 3 percent from last year, and the first decline since 2007.
Respondents from organizations in all size categories considered their nonprofits to be Technology Leaders, but larger organizations are more likely to consider themselves leaders.
In general, IT expenditures either stayed the same or increased for the majority of survey respondents compared to last year.
Outsourcing does not appear to have any impact on whether an organization identifies as a Leader.
Of the nonprofits who did not contract any IT needs to outside consultants, organizations regardless of size devoted an average of 55% of their IT Budget to staffing.
Among organizations of all sizes, the median budget for IT staffing was $50,000, and the average was $218,000.