IT at Foundations Continues to Lag - US Study
17 December 2007 at 2:12 pm
US Grantmakers are reporting fewer barriers in implementing technology, yet continue to lag behind corporations in technological innovation and adoption, according to a new study.
Sponsored by the Technology Affinity Group and the Council on Foundations, the Grantmakers Information Technology Survey demonstrates the need for technological expertise in the sector and suggests the need to make it a higher priority to better benefit donors and grantseekers.
The Council on Foundations is a Washington, DC, area-based Not for Profit membership association of more than 2,100 grantmaking foundations and corporations.
In the 2007 survey, 35 percent of respondents indicated there were no barriers to implementing technology within their foundations, an improvement from 28 percent in 2003.
However, the lack of barriers did not translate into an increase of technology adoptions.
The percentage of surveyed grantmakers describing themselves as leading edge/early adopters has fallen, from 27 percent in 2003 to only 5 percent in 2007, while the percentage of grantmakers describing themselves as lagging behind has increased, from 22 percent in 2003 to 57 percent in 2007.
Almost half of the survey respondents said "online grant applications and online donor information" was the biggest technology challenge they faced.
Progress is being made in a few areas. The study found that disasters such as Hurricane Katrina had an impact on the development by foundations of a disaster preparedness plan, with 65 percent of respondents indicating having done some disaster preparedness, compared to only 36 percent in 2003.
The study also found an increase in the number of foundations reporting the use of an intranet, from 28 percent in 2003 to 35 percent in 2007.
The online survey was sent in June to 2,160 grantmaking organisations with a broad range of sizes and technological capabilities, and had a completion rate of 15 percent.