November 9, 16, 23, 30, December 7, 14
1 - 2:00 PM Eastern

Does your technology need major upgrades? Where do you start...especially if you don’t have a technical background?  

This course will guide you through a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s technology needs. By the end, you will have a practical, prioritized, written plan for improvements.  

The experience includes six live online classes led by a team of expert instructors. Each week you will complete homework assignments and participate in in-class discussions and activities. All webinar recordings and slide decks will be shared with participants.

Pre-Work: Introduction to the Planning Process (Prior to November 8)

Let’s set the stage for a great learning experience. Complete your pre-course self-assessment, learn the difference between tactical and strategic planning, and form your technology planning committee. 

Session 1: Infrastructure and Security

After introductions and an overview of the course, we’ll dive into hardware best practices, choosing the right software programs and platforms, and how to audit your security infrastructure. You’ll learn how to answer such questions as, how often should you replace computers? What networking equipment should you buy? What kinds of systems should you use for file sharing and collaboration? 

Session 2: Data Management

You don’t need to be a data scientist in order to make smart decisions that lead to better outcomes for your nonprofit. Here we’ll cover what it means to be a data-informed organization, along with tools and platforms to help you. Most importantly, we’ll help you learn how to make sense of data and how to use it to strengthen your organization. 

Session 3: Technology for Digital Marketing, Outreach, and Fundraising

Whether you are trying to raise money, educate, recruit, or persuade, technology can help. A nonprofit’s digital communication toolkit includes its website, email strategy, social media platforms, messaging, and reporting. In this session, we’ll cover how to create effective communication goals that can determine your strategies and tactics. We’ll also review your website functions and structure, email tools and strategy, and social media use. 

Session 4: Technology for Program Service and Delivery 

If you’re in the habit of thinking of technology as a back-office utility, it’s time to consider the many ways it can directly help you advance your mission. In this three-part lesson, we’ll cover ways to use technology to increase your reach to people in remote areas or who struggle with barriers to receiving services in person; using prompts and feedback mechanisms to enhance experiences; and connecting communities together. 

Session 5: Technology Strategy and Governance

Technology strategy and governance is the way you align technology decisions and practices to your organization’s mission. Strategy relates to the way you align technology decisions to your organization’s mission through roadmaps and blueprints of your overall approach to technology. Governance refers to practices and policies that state how technology should be used. In this session, we’ll cover elements of both strategy and governance, including budgeting and planning, policy creation and staff training, and supporting technology use. 

Session 6: Creating Your Tactical Technology Plan

Now that we’re covered the five main areas of technology in nonprofits, you’ve likely identified multiple projects and improvements you want to make. In this last session, we’ll provide frameworks to help identify essential projects and ways to prepare yourself and your project for funding requests. At the end, you’ll put the final touches on your Technology Action Plan and review your next steps.

Who should take this course?

The course is primarily designed for small- to medium-sized nonprofits at a low-to-medium level of technology maturityHowever, organizations of all sizes and stages have benefited from this experience. If you have any questions about whether the course is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

To get the most out of your training investment, we recommend having two people from your organization participate, including the person with primary responsibility for technology and the person who has authority to approve technology expenditures and changes. Allow up to two and a half hours of each homework after each session. 


Accidental Techies, Executives who approve tech 

About Our Instructors

Eric Leland (1)-1Eric Leland
Founder and Director, FivePaths

Eric Leland has spent 15 years working with progressive organizations and businesses tackling online and offline technology challenges. Eric is a founding partner of FivePaths (fivepaths.com), a technology firm that brings unparalleled strategic technology consulting, information architecture, and web CMS and CRM platforms development expertise to each project.


Melanie Meyer-1Melanie Meyer
Tech Advisor, Tech Impact​

Melanie works directly with nonprofits to help elevate their technology use to further their mission. Melanie has a 20-year history working with a nonprofit for the overall strategic direction of technology, systems and processes, marketing, communications, and event management.


CAE approved web icon

As a CAE Approved Provider educational program related to the CAE exam content outline, this course may be applied for 5 credits toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements.