What Nonprofits Should Consider when Hiring an IT Company

January 16, 2019
Nonprofit volunteers

Nonprofits serve an important role in the Tampa Bay community, providing service and support to those who need it most. If this describes your organization, you may be wondering how to choose an IT services company for your nonprofit. Should budget be the only consideration? And how will you know which company is the right fit?

Here are four things to consider when looking to hire a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for your nonprofit.

  1. Your IT Goals

Before meeting with an MSP to discuss their services, it’s important that you understand the IT goals of your nonprofit. Are you looking for help with hardware and software installation, or upgrading your workstations and servers? Or are you interested in support for your existing IT infrastructure?

If you’re unsure of your exact needs, can you clearly identify your pain points? For instance, is making sure donor or patient information is secure important? Or perhaps there is a governing body that dictates certain compliance requirements. Understanding your current IT and clearly identifying the vision for your future will help you to have more effective conversations with providers. It will also guide how you choose an IT services company for your nonprofit.

  1. Your Budget

Budget is a big consideration for how to choose an IT services company for your nonprofit. Before beginning your search for an IT services company, sit down and plan out your IT budget for the next one to three years. This will give you a good idea of your immediate budget, as well as the budget for long-term IT services.

At Atlas, we are cognizant of our clients’ budgets. We can work with you to establish a long-term plan to address all of your IT needs. Our team can make recommendations based on what needs to be addressed today, and what can wait until future donations come in. Establishing a long-term plan can also help your organization to budget for future needs and solicit donations as needed.

  1. Your Software Needs

Every industry has a set of software that is needed to operate in that space, and nonprofits are no different. When considering how to choose an IT services company for your nonprofit, list the software tools that you are currently using, as well as those you would like to install. Then, look for an IT service provider that can help with installation, upgrades and support, and provide recommendations for other software tools, as necessary.

At Atlas, our team can manage your software needs from installation to support, even on tools that come with an existing support staff like donor software. When diagnostics and support are included in the cost of your software, our engineers can work alongside your team when an issue arises. Whether you aren’t sure how to communicate the issue, or the tech on the other line isn’t speaking your language.

  1. Your System Vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity is huge for any organization, particularly nonprofits that are regularly collecting personal and financial information from donors and beneficiaries. If you’re wondering how to choose an IT services company for your nonprofit, support with cybersecurity should be a top consideration.

At Atlas, our team regularly conducts IT vulnerability scans to identify weaknesses in our clients’ IT infrastructure. This includes websites, firewalls and networks. Doing so allows our team to address vulnerabilities before clients are subject to a malicious attack and valuable information is compromised.

Wondering how to choose an IT services company for your nonprofit? Contact us today to learn how we can help.