Non-profits have unique challenges with IT when compared to for-profit companies guests heard during our first Catholic Community Network of the year. Special thanks to our guest panel made up of Wade Yeaman, President and CEO of Fluid IT Services, Heather Flabiano, Ph.D., Vice President-Finance and Operations at The Dallas Foundation and Carol McDonald, CPA, Chief Financial Officer at The Catholic Foundation. According to Wade, here are key IT challenges involving non-profits • Budgets are very constrained in general with IT budgets either non-existent or at the bottom – IT ‘resources’ are often office managers, volunteers or ‘one guy in a truck’. • Employees of non-profits are generally very giving leading to ‘free’ IT related donations in time and materials, which create a diverse and dissimilar technology environment. • Employees and friends/relatives of employees often try to offer help with IT, which typically results in technical environments that are not standardized, not secure and more difficult to manage (less efficient). • A ‘living’ technology roadmap is required for every company to have a holistic plan for the organization to follow over a rolling 12 to 24 month timeframe – many non-profits do not have a roadmap and as a result no plan. • Funding is driven by grants, which must be written with specific details related to any IT purchases – IT purchases should follow the roadmap and have appropriate technical engineering, architecture advice and review. • All non-profits have sensitive information and can have compliance requirements – cyber security is not an option. • The year-to-year unpredictability in the budget process often leaves IT without resources required to have consistency.