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Plan IT Program

Affordable Technology Planning for Nonprofits

Technology helps nonprofits raise money, be more productive, measure program effectiveness, and communicate. Plan IT is an action-learning program that empowers nonprofit organizations to make technology a greater ally in achieving their missions. Apply today!

About Plan IT

Plan ITMany technology tools and resources are affordable and easy to use – and better yet, many of these platforms offer special discounts for nonprofits! However, it can be difficult to make good technology decisions when there are so many options out there. Join the 100+ organizations that have capitalized on the Plan IT program to help them make better use of technology.

The training offered in the cohort meetings and the consulting provided by your two consultants are valued at $19,500. However, Plan IT is very affordable because of the support we receive from companies and individuals to cover much of the cost! Additionally, our skilled service corps members volunteer their time to serve as your Plan IT consultants.

Plan IT is an excellent program which demystifies technological challenges facing nonprofits and turns them into opportunities tailored to each participating organization.” - Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

How it works...

Your team of approximately three staff members will meet three times throughout the program with the teams from the other participating organizations to learn about technology and share knowledge. You will meet more frequently (at a mutually convenient time) during the 5-month duration with your volunteer consultants. Your consultants have a broad knowledge of technology and are supported by the expertise of 501 Commons staff.

Each participating nonprofit will complete:

  • An assessment of your organization’s technology infrastructure and use of technology tools
  • A "key issues" report based on the assessment
  • A detailed action plan

Participating organizations must:

  • Have 501(c)(3) status
  • Provide at least two (preferably three) staff members to participate throughout the 5 month-long process (a board member may participate if an additional staff member is not available)
  • Commit to each participant spending 8-10 hours per month on the program

Four steps to better technology...

Cohort Gatherings: Participants meet three times throughout the program to learn and share their experiences. The first meeting will be a program launch, followed by a learning roundtable and a final celebration.

Technology Assessment: Plan IT participants complete a comprehensive assessment of their organization's technology. The assessment document will ask questions regarding the organization's technology infrastructure, website, database, use of social media, and general office technology. You will discuss the results of your assessment with your consultants and identify strengths and areas for improvement.

Key Issues Report: Consultants and organizational representatives discuss key issues based on the tech assessment. The Key Issues Report identifies three key issues the organization should address in their Plan IT Action Plan.

Plan IT Action Plan: Project teams will further analyze the three (3) key issues determined from the report, define organizational goals, and list detailed actions the organization will take to accomplish these goals.

Benefits

Organizations that have participated in Plan IT report that they come away with a better understanding of the strengths and challenges with their technology. Having a detailed plan allows them to take practical and often inexpensive steps. The staff feels more confident in making investments in technology, hiring contractors or vendors, and in recruiting and managing volunteers who support technology.

At the end of the Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 programs, satisfaction with the program was universal, with organizations reporting they were ready to take action and 100% of them agreeing they were likely to achieve the objectives of their Action Plan.

Application & Schedule

Applications are currently open for the Winter & Spring 2019 program (January through May).

501 Commons has been raising funds from companies and individuals in order to reduce the participation fees. However, all organizations will pay a share of the costs on a sliding sale based on your budget.

We are seeking between 10 and 12 participating organizations, so apply early! The application will close on December 14th.

Questions?

Want to know if Plan IT is a good fit for your organization? Contact Jim Pullen at jim@501commons.org.