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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Smart

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Robin Fisk of Advanced Solutions International thinks the time is right to invest in your technology infrastructure. Here’s his reasons

“It’s when the tide goes out that you find out who has been swimming naked,” Warren Buffet.

This classic quote attributed to Warren Buffet refers to investors who are over-leveraged and benefiting from a rising economic tide as opposed to smart investment decisions. It can be applied to many other situations, including non-profits and technology. If you were “swimming naked” with outdated and incomplete technology during the rising economic tide, you may find you are ill-equipped to deal with the ramifications of the economic downturn.

Three Reasons Why You Should Invest in Technology Now

1.  You have reduced headcount.

If you are like many non-profits, you have already let some staff go as a cost-saving measure. Unfortunately, the work these employees did does not leave with them. While remaining employees can be counted on to pick up some slack, and in some cases efficiencies can be gained by reevaluating job responsibilities, you may still have more work to go around than staff available. Planning will only take you so far. You need to evaluate and determine how to automate tasks that staff are currently performing manually.

2. You need to cut expenses and contributions are falling.

You need to keep contributions from falling but you also need to cut costs. As you take a hard look at your budget, you are most likely finding ways to cut costs, such as minimizing travel. But eventually you start to cut into flesh and begin to cut costs that directly impact contributions. You will need to evaluate where strategically spending money will not only increase contributions but also lower expenses.

3. The economy will eventually rebound.

The good news is that the world economy will eventually rebound – and the current economic orthodoxy targets 2010 for the rebound. But that leaves 2009, which is likely to be a very difficult year for non-profits. Will you be an organization that hunkers down and limps through the year? Or will you use this year to reevaluate everything you do and make strategic improvements to position your organization for 2010 and beyond?

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