Through our involvement with the Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Pompano chambers of commerce, LAN InfoTech has had the opportunity to connect with a number of fantastic area nonprofits. Organizations like food banks and homeless shelters work hard to support their communities by offering resources to those who need them most and rely on donations and grants to keep the doors open. Despite how vital the work they do is, most of these nonprofits have a tight operational budget, which often doesn’t leave them with much to put towards things like technology and technology support.
LAN InfoTech’s President and CEO, Michael Goldstein, was recently featured on ChannelProNetwork to discuss the work we’ve done with nonprofits, and why we were so eager to jump into this vertical as soon as we realized this was work we could be doing.
Nonprofits are a vertical we were excited to step into. Not only have we been privileged to work with some amazing organizations and meet some truly wonderful people as a result, but we’ve been able to fine-tune our approach to these organizations in a way that grants them the absolute most out of their partnership with us. This includes helping them to understand and meet HIPAA and PCI compliance – which a good amount of these organizations are subject to.
Tackling the budget issue quickly became a priority for us, and it’s led to some interesting changes to our team. We learned early on that most nonprofits count on grants to fund operational projects like IT upgrades and management, and that knowledge is what led us to create the GIFT – the Grant Intelligence Funding Team. The GIFT program has been our secret weapon, and it’s a huge part of the reason we’ve been able to offer much of the technology support we’ve brought to these organizations.
By subscribing to a secure database of grant intelligence, we’re able to find whatever grants are available and bring that information our nonprofit clients in order to figure out which grants are best suited to both their business model and their current needs. We’ve also bought a freelance grant writer onboard to help our nonprofit clients with this often complicated task.
Most importantly, we’ve made a point of not limiting this particular service to grants that cater to technology and technology support. We’ve been able to use the GIFT program to clients purchase needed specialty items that aren’t tech-related to help their staff work more efficiently and better support the people who depend on their services. One of the bigger homeless shelters we work with has added a dental clinic for their residents, and we were able to help them get a grant for ergonomic desks for their staff.
It’s not unheard of for businesses like technology support providers to limit the number of nonprofits they work with or shy away from this vertical altogether. It’s typically not a lucrative vertical, which can make some businesses a little nervous. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re willing to embrace the challenges that come with working alongside nonprofits fully, the benefits your business gets out of that endeavor are just about endless.
Aside from the other business professionals, you’ll typically cross paths with through these organizations that can easily turn into new business in other verticals, there are opportunities like the one we were presented with through the Dan Marino Foundation to work with the next generation of technology professionals. LAN InfoTech had the privilege of taking on three students for an eight-week internship created to give teens and young adults with autism the chance to gain employment experience and learn new skills.
Opportunities like this are simply the icing on the cake. Working with nonprofits is extremely rewarding for our team as members of the community, and from a business perspective, it’s a fantastic networking opportunity. Getting out there and getting involved with the local community increases your business’ visibility in the best possible way, which can open a lot of doors for future success and growth.
The key here is to approach nonprofits the same way you would any other type of business in need of technology support. Taking the time to understand the challenges these organizations face, the goals they have for themselves, and the impact technology – or the lack thereof – can have on those challenges and goals is critical. Knowing your client well and being totally willing to roll up your sleeves and get involved with them in whatever way they need you to makes all the difference in any vertical.
Above all else, our goal is to bring the same business class technology and technology support we offer to our clients in healthcare, legal, or property management to our nonprofit clients. The right IT boosts efficiency and productivity cuts down on unnecessary costs and creates opportunities for our clients to do more for their own clients. By giving them the tools to do more, we’re able to help our community as a whole become stronger.
And that is a fantastic feeling.
Ready to learn more about the technology support we offer to nonprofits and other great businesses in South Florida? Contact LAN InfoTech at email@example.com or (954) 717-1990 today.