The Strategic Use of Information Technology by Nonprofit Organizations: Increasing Capacity and Untapped Potential
Public Administration Review, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 474-487, 2007
38 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2011 Last revised: 7 Sep 2014
Date Written: August 23, 2006
How are nonprofits using information technology (IT) to enhance mission-related outcomes and boost organizational performance? In this paper we examine large-scale survey data of nonprofits’ technology planning, acquisition, and implementation to assess the strategic use of IT in these organizations. We further evaluate their strategic technology-use potential through an examination of those IT-related competencies and practices that the literature deems critical for the successful strategic employment of technology resources. We find several promising developments alongside significant deficits in the strategic utilization of IT, especially in the areas of financial sustainability, strategic communications and relationship-building, and collaborations and partnerships. To boost IT’s mission-related impact, nonprofits will have to enhance their organizational capacities in long-term IT planning; budgeting, staffing, and training; performance measurement; Internet and website capabilities; and the vision, support, and involvement of senior management. Accordingly, we end with recommendations for overcoming some of the most pressing challenges.
Keywords: Nonprofit organizations, strategic management, information technology, IT, charity, NGO
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