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With all of the Innovation Weekend business cases focused on non-profit solutions, I thought it might be useful to have an overview of the technology landscape in these organizations. There are some generalizations here but most of this will hold true across groups and countries.

Most non-profits, like most small businesses, are not effective users of technology.  There is often a mix of applications, spreadsheets and custom applications. The hardware is most often not up to date and rarely is there budget for full-time IT support. However, organizations are incredibly creative and come up with some ingenious solutions to achieve their mission.

Here are some of the major categories of software and some of the most common applications

Financial management

–          Intuit Quickbooks

–          Simply Accounting

–          Excel

–          SAP Business One & Business By Design

Constituent Relationship Management (communicating with donors, volunteers, etc.)

–          Salesforce.com

–          Convio

–          Kintera

–          Microsoft Dynamics

–          SAP CRM

Fundraising

–          Raiser’s Edge

–          Sage Millenium

–          eTapestry

Database

–          Access

–          MySQL

Content management / blogging platform / social media

– Drupal

– WordPress

– Movable Type

– Twitter

– Facebook

For more background on the technology issued faced by non-profits, check out:

-Non-profit Technology Network (www.nten.org)

– Tech Soup (www.techsoupglobal.org)

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