Choosing the right software for your nonprofit organization can feel overwhelming, but don’t despair; you can find a solution that meets your needs, fits your organization, and even makes you look like a genius. It just takes a little time, and a lot of questions.
Here’s the process I recommend:

1. Honest assessment of organization’s readiness – Before you devote the significant amount of time that’s needed to accomplish steps 2-6, make sure your organization is willing and able to make use of the resulting software investment.

2. Needs assessment – Gather and articulate requirements, preferences, and deal breakers.

3. Demos – Look at 3, no more than 4, different products that meet your minimum requirements.

4. Written proposal – get all the details in writing and go through it verbally with the sales representative to make sure you understand what is included.

5. Comparison and due diligence – don’t just look at features, but consider return on investment, customer service, and the company’s experience and reputation.

6. After your decision – commit to managing the setup and implementation process, and getting all software users on board and fully trained.

In my next few posts, I will go into deeper detail on each step.

Subscribe or add this to your Google Reader so you don’t miss these related posts, coming soon:

Unpacking Step 1, Readiness

Resources and Tips for Step 2, Needs Assessment

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