Tech ideas for a new nonprofit

Twilight

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2006
71
Looks like I'll soon be back in the nonprofit world, running a public-facing marine science educational org. We'll have a facility with exhibits, tours, a gift shop, maybe some rental boating. Probably 3-5 seasonal employees and some interns when we're up and running, though for the next 9 months or so it'll just be me and the board President.

I was hoping the collective wisdom of SoSH would help me avoid a few mistakes and make some good tech decisions from the outset.

Some things we'll need to set up are:
  • Email/calendars/document storage
  • Financial software
  • Retail/inventory (gift shop sales)
  • Website
  • WiFi
  • Phone (office and a couple of cells)
I'm sure there will be more but that's a start. Naturally I lean toward platforms I've used before, so that means the Google/Gmail universe, QuickBooks, and Eero but if there's a much better option, this is the time to consider it. If the options are comparable I'll go with the familiar. Website will probably be built by someone else, but I'd like to be able to do quick updates myself. I have no experience with retail whatsoever (that's the one which worries me most).

The principals are PC users, btw, though it doesn't seem like that's much of an issue anymore.

I've been reading SoSH for 15 years or so, and have always appreciated the expertise and advisorial generosity of SoSHers. Hoping to make a withdrawal here and will be looking for ways to make deposits. Thank you.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Get an account on TechSoup as soon as you have your 501c3 designation (or now, if you have it already). Use that to get free software and services from a whole host of providers.
 

Twilight

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2006
71
Thank you both. I'd forgotten about TechSoup--great resource. We are applying for NP status now and the lawyer says it might be a year before we are official, so I'll see if we can sign up while that is in process or if we have to wait. Evidently it was already a six-month delay before covid, and now it's worse.

I think we'll be Gmail based unless I'm overwhelmed by an alternative. I think we can do better than the old organization's @earthlink.com email address and early nineties website...
 

EnochRoot

lurker
Feb 7, 2020
90
Baltimore, MD
Looks like I'll soon be back in the nonprofit world, running a public-facing marine science educational org. We'll have a facility with exhibits, tours, a gift shop, maybe some rental boating. Probably 3-5 seasonal employees and some interns when we're up and running, though for the next 9 months or so it'll just be me and the board President.

I was hoping the collective wisdom of SoSH would help me avoid a few mistakes and make some good tech decisions from the outset.

Some things we'll need to set up are:
  • Email/calendars/document storage
  • Financial software
  • Retail/inventory (gift shop sales)
  • Website
  • WiFi
  • Phone (office and a couple of cells)
I'm sure there will be more but that's a start. Naturally I lean toward platforms I've used before, so that means the Google/Gmail universe, QuickBooks, and Eero but if there's a much better option, this is the time to consider it. If the options are comparable I'll go with the familiar. Website will probably be built by someone else, but I'd like to be able to do quick updates myself. I have no experience with retail whatsoever (that's the one which worries me most).

The principals are PC users, btw, though it doesn't seem like that's much of an issue anymore.

I've been reading SoSH for 15 years or so, and have always appreciated the expertise and advisorial generosity of SoSHers. Hoping to make a withdrawal here and will be looking for ways to make deposits. Thank you.
How is your site going to be built? What eCommerce platform? Where will it be hosted? Do you have a domain name procured?
 

AlNipper49

Huge Member
Dope
Apr 3, 2001
41,208
Mtigawi
We do some non-profit tech and would be happy to point you in the right direction. I’ll shoot ya my email.