One of the workshops we ran in National Trustees’ Week in November focused on the issue of Technology and Trustees.
So what has technology got to do with Trustees, the board and governance?
Firstly – if you’re not technical, then that’s not an issue – Trustees and the board do not need to learn technology. However, the board and Trustees do lead and guide the organisation, and technology is a key aspect of our society these days and can affect every part of the way charities and non-profits work effectively.
So how effective is your organisation? Could technology help?
Are there barriers for your organisation that technology could help overcome?
Could you make better use of limited resources using technology?
Does anyone on the board have oversight of how technology is being used, the issues of risk and benefit and cost and so on?
And importantly, how well does your committee/board communicate with each other and work together? Could you utilise technology to help you do your job as Trustees better?
There’s a single, excellent, easy to read resources that all Trustee boards should refer to:
“From Nightmare to Nirvana: an ICT survival guide for Trustees”
Written in 2008 via NCVO and through the (now defunct ICT Hub), the guide is not technical – so it hasn’t dated as technology has marched on. But it is about how Trustees and Boards should approach and get a grip on technology for the good of the organisation.
It’s full of ideas, advice, checklists, and tools that will quickly help your board decide what you should and shouldn’t be doing about IT.
Download it here and make sure someone on your board takes responsibility for leading on technology. Why? Because other non-profits are – and that puts them at an advantage. Because you’ll be missing opportunities that technology could bring you. Because you’re at more risk not having a grip on your technology than if you have. And because it’s the job of Trustees to keep an eye on all aspects of the organisation – technology should not be ignored.
Ask for help
Of course, at VANEL we’re more than happy to have a discussion with your board/trustees/staff about your technology. We have plenty of IT expertise and currently also are Big Lottery funded to help with IT related matters. So contact me – Karl Elliott, Development Manager for a conversation (email@example.com / 01472 235311)
In our “Technology un-conference” week (19th-23rd Jan 2015) we’ll have a session focusing on Technology and Trustees, so if you’re interested, get in touch or watch out for more details closer to the time.