The Creative Nonprofit Podcast Episode 011

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In this episode I had the pleasure of interviewing a brilliant friend from Vancouver, Phil Manzano, on The Creative Nonprofit podcast. When I first met Phil at a meetup earlier this year, I instantly knew that he would be a fantastic person to have on this show.

Phil is the Head of Marketing Communications at Keela. He has worked as a communications professional within the sector at many levels: grassroots, local, regional and national. Now, he spends his time telling powerful stories of impact and is devoted to helping nonprofits do good, better. Keela is a certified B Corporation that creates software specifically for the nonprofit sector. They do everything from donor management, CRM, email marketing and much more.

But I wasn’t looking to have Phil on to talk about marketing, perhaps in the future. What I really wanted to dive into was his experience with technology planning and purchasing for nonprofits. With technology being so essential to the creative professional’s heart, it’s imperative that we know how to manage our systems and make logical decisions to invest in our future technology.

Through our chat we were able to dive into a number of topics, the two main ones being the technology audit for your nonprofit, as well as creating a business case that you can bring to your ED or board to help get the team on the same page with investing in new tech.

Quick Links That We Mention:

The Full List of Topics and Links in This Episode:

  • Phil’s background and transition into CSR and then Keela [2:59]
  • How are partnerships between for-profits and nonprofits important? [6:33]
  • “Keela is on a mission to help organizations raise more money and do good, better” – Phil Manzano
  • What is a Technology Audit?

“A technology audit is basically a level-set, a way of looking at your entire organization and all of the tools that you use. Every piece of technology, whether outdated, or brand-spanking new, and consolidating it into one spot.”

Phil Manzano
  • The technology audit template provided by Keela.co [11:52]
  • What does the template look like, and how do we use it? [12:13]
  • First Column, tool categories, next columns for description, fees, limitations, is it essential?
  • It’s important to have the tough decisions around what is “essential” with your entire team, but go prepared [13:14]
  • How does this apply to the creative nonprofit professional? The content marketer? [14:31]
  • How do you evaluate if the software “is essential”? Ask yourself, what is your mission and will this investment get me closer to it? [15:30]
  • This technology audit is more common for digital/software-based tools but can be completely used to capture insights about physical tech too.
  • According to Phil, the most frequent type of software purchase, or debate, is around the CRM system. [17:55]
  • What is your opinion of cloud-based software? [20:39]
  • Literally, every sector is or has gone through this transition to cloud-based infrastructure, the nonprofit sector seems to have missed this. [22:15]
  • An increasing amount of work with contractors and freelancers creates a boost in benefit from cloud-based infrastructure.
  • How Often should we plan to do a nonprofit technology audit?
  • After completing the tech audit, you should evaluate your “redundancies” where software is being paid for or used when it doesn’t have to. Then look at your opportunities afterward. [27:11]
  • This tech audit process is more common in staff to bring to their ED or board, not as much the other way around. [29:21]
  • The biggest tip for pitching a technology investment to you board member: a business case [31:23]
  • Keela’s business case template download [32:03]
  • What are some of the most common objections people will face when trying to bring a new tech investment proposal to their board? [32:55]
  • Focus on ROI to show your use case for the technology [34:15]
  • Understand what motivates the decision makers, is it money, is it avoiding the hassle? [35:53]
  • Link to Keela’s website
  • Sign up for the Capacity Conference: Use Discount Code CREATIVENP for 10% off your ticket. This conference on May 27th is for nonprofit professionals looking to expand their thinking, build their network, and have an all-around good time with their peers. Come say hi to me, or to Phil, and get 10% off with the discount code above.
  • Phil on Twitter: @philipmanzano
  • Keela on Twitter: @keeladotco

About Keela

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