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NFPs Face Growing Digital Divide

15 January 2007 at 9:55 am
Staff Reporter
A new US study finds a growing technical divide between large and small Not for Profits.

Staff Reporter | 15 January 2007 at 9:55 am


NFPs Face Growing Digital Divide
15 January 2007 at 9:55 am

According to the survey Not for Profits are experiencing a growing digital divide with small organisations spending significantly less on technology infrastructure than larger organisations.

The study is described as the first of its kind to look at IT salaries, investments, sophistication, and satisfaction in NFP organisations.

In addition to a growing technology gap in the sector, the study shows that NFPs of all sizes say they do not have enough technology staff.

More than 1,000 organisations participated in the study by US group NTEN which facilitates the exchange of technology knowledge and information within the NFP community.

Katrin Verclas, executive director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network and a co-author of the study says Not for Profits must invest in their technology and IT staffing, and donors and funders must support it.

Verclas says the study helps NFPs identify critical key metrics to evaluate how they compare in their IT investments.

Some key findings:

– Large nonprofits and early technology adopters invest significantly more in IT. Non-tech savvy NFPs have a median IT budget of $US667 per employee, compared to $US2,500 for their more high-tech counterparts.

– Smaller organisations are significantly behind on IT investment and adoption. 41% of small organisations reported no salary expenses related to technology, and an astonishing 20% reported an IT budget of zero.

– On average NFPs have one staff member with some IT responsibility for every five organisational staff members but salaries for IT staff vary widely between smaller and larger organisations.

– More than 50% of organisations feel they are understaffed in their IT areas.

– More than 95% of NFPs routinely outsource specific IT functions.

The study analyses data on Not for Profit IT salaries for different job functions, IT budgets and expenditures, satisfaction in IT staffing, and level and areas of IT outsourcing in more than 1,000 U.S. nonprofits.

The study is available online at

The website requires your name and organisation for access but also provides a tool to test your own organisation’s IT capabilities against ones of similar size and output.

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