Pierce Family Foundation invests in the technology needs of grantees so that the headaches and stress associated with IT problems can be reduced, and nonprofits can then focus more time and resources on their mission. Following are a few examples of IT projects supported by the Foundation.
Network Speed Restored: One of the foundation’s grantees was struggling with the slow speed of their network, which affected every aspect of day-to-day business. The Foundation’s IT team soon discovered that 95% of the agency’s computer server was being consumed by spam email. Over the following weekend, a spam filter was installed, and when the nonprofit’s staff returned on Monday, they thought they had entirely new computers. While costing only a few thousand dollars to install and run efficiently, the change was monumental for the agency.
Virtualizing Servers and Reducing Energy Costs: The IT support team discovered that a grantee was using numerous servers that ran at only 10% capacity. These separate servers were consuming large amounts of unnecessary energy and expelling excess heat, resulting in excess costs. The IT team used software to consolidate the different servers into one. This central server increased capacity, was easier to back up, and eliminated excess power consumption—opening up more funds for the agency’s mission.
Simple Solutions: IT support can be simple and inexpensive. One agency, for example, had installed their network incorrectly, and the simple rewiring of the network and a $200 switch was all that was needed to correct multiple problems. The agency was also fighting with an out-of-date, barely functioning fax machine. Buying the agency a relatively inexpensive multi-use printer eased stress levels and allowed for more productivity in the workplace.
“[The consultant] you connected us with was invaluable to this process. Your support of us, along with your guidance in our creation of a Technology Plan, have really been the impetus for these exciting tech advancements.”
“Staff are beginning to use the [database] system…they have already generated a quarterly report for a government funder in about 10 minutes that usually takes several hours of inputting data by hand. The benefits are real!”
“Our new phone system changed the way we work and made us feel more worthy of doing our work.”
“I think I am more excited about the computer lab updates than the Christmas I got my Easy Bake Oven…Having supporters who understand the day to day work of nonprofits is crucial.”