Last week I spent three nights sleeping under the stars in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. This trip was rigorous and changed my life paradigm. The same can be said about technology’s potential in the nonprofit sector. It requires thoughtful planning before use, but can be the differentiator. Please allow me to elaborate.

The Canyonlands of Utah are vast and unending with many opportunities to hike deep into canyons or high above on “slick-rock” ledges around the perimeter. There are multiple gateways into the park and routes to traverse, based upon experience, careful planning and skill level. My friends and I chose a route that challenged us to climb exposed ledges and explore deep into the wilderness. We were rewarded with panoramic views and remote terrain seldom visited since the Anasazi Indians populated this region centuries before.

Similarly, technology offers multiple applications across the nonprofit sector for a wide variety of objectives, dependent upon the size, type, goals, and resources of an organization. If aligned with strategy, technology enables a nonprofit to raise more money and develop closer relationships with constituents. A nonprofit’s CRM, when used strategically, is at the center of this success. Technology acts as the enabler for staff and volunteers alike to prioritize activities and programs vital to a cause. Leveraging technology means crossing the canyons to enable the work that advances your mission.

With thoughtful preparation and leadership, completing a challenging journey such as mine across the Canyonlands is accessible to everyone. Likewise, leveraging technology to advance development and an organization’s cause is equally available today. In fact, technology is more accessible now to the nonprofit sector than any time before.

During the month of November we will explore what technology encompasses in our work as fundraisers, marketers, program administrators and leaders. We will conceptualize how to determine an organization’s own technology equilibrium and how to balance funding technology versus programmatic and other financial needs.

Packing for a trip into the wilderness involves specific needs, especially when spending several nights in the backcountry. Similarly, we will also discuss what nonprofit leaders and their boards need to know before they embark on new technology spending.

The big news is that, like the business sector, nonprofits can utilize technology to facilitate a proactive approach with donors versus looking in the rearview mirror. Join us in November to learn how technology will become your differentiator.