“We gave your info to our IT guy.”

26 Feb

the it guy

I can hardly keep the grin off my face as I type this week’s post.

I’ve heard this week’s title quote from a couple nonprofits in the last few weeks and it has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard from anyone, let alone hearing it from a nonprofit.

It’s funny to me because I envision an IT guy having say-so at a nonprofit over the digital tools they use and I wonder how far the IT guy’s decision making power goes. Is he picking the office furniture? Is he picking the coffee in the coffee pot? Maybe he wears a crown as the chief picker of things at these nonprofits.

If your nonprofit lets the IT guy pick digital solutions for you to use you have it all wrong I am sorry to say. And I mean this in the best way.

IT is a support role. Repeat it 3 times. IT will always be a support role. IT guys are supposed to do what you tell them to do, not the other way around and this is especially true with nonprofits and tech trends like the rapid shift to a mobile-first internet.

Your IT guy should be the deliverer of solutions that you ask him or her to deploy in support of your mission and goals. Think if what you would want a mobile solution to do and then tell the IT guy to find solutions for you to evaluate. When you choose one the IT guy is supposed to support you not pick for you.

Look, I know you’re not alone in having the IT role define things instead of instructing them to support your goals. I worked at Sprint and far too many products created at Sprint were tinged with IT mandates and rules and little thought given to the customer or the changing dynamics in the marketplace. Thus, more than a few flopped miserably.

If mobile is, as I believe it is, the future of engagement and fundraising then your IT guy had better be a rockstar because there are many much higher paid IT guys in the for-profit space that still can’t figure out mobile (see Microsoft).

So when you say to me that you gave our information to your IT guy I always want to say but never do “Why in the world would you do that?”

What you’re really saying is “We’re only going to be as good as our IT guy in pursuing our mission.”

And this makes me laugh and smile because I don’t think the people who say this have ever turned the tables and thought about how silly they sound. It would be like me saying I gave your direct mail piece to my tax preparer.

I can see your IT guy looking at our platform and coming to the conclusion that using RAZ Mobile looks like work and well, he says, “I’m not really into work.”

Truth be told we like to think our platform is super easy to use. If your IT guy is responsible for your mobile solution(s) chances are you’re going to overpay and be underwhelmed by the results if he’s making the decisions for you. And sadly, you’ll be the one responsible for the results of something he chose for you.

Last thought to share on this topic-when it comes to looking at mobile solutions don’t give our info to your IT guy. Give it to a millennial and ask them if if they would make donations to you via a mobile-optimized site. The majority will say yes.

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