There are a lot of choices in the marketplace. The dizzying array of consumer choices and relentless marketing bombard us with claims and statements that make it hard to discern fact from fiction. As a consumer, it is difficult to make a truly educated choice. This is true in the business application marketplace and it creates a daunting problem for nonprofits that are struggling to make an informed, deliberate purchasing decision.
For organizations that need to invest in new back office systems such as accounting, fundraising or HR software, the process of selecting potential systems and carefully evaluating them objectively is difficult for a number of reasons. For one, it is difficult to get the software publishers to speak candidly about the merits and limitations of their systems. I don’t fault them for that, necessarily. They are in business to sell their software and their team members drink the kool-aid and may genuinely believe their software is ideal in most situations. Secondly, most organizations start the process with incomplete or disorganized requirements and priorities. They aren’t really sure what they need and don’t know how to ask for it if they did.
One of the guiding philosophies of JMT is to maintain objective independence from our vendor partners. Having multiple nonprofit software vendor relationships is a cornerstone of JMT’s business philosophy and we do extensive vetting work to identify quality solutions and business partners that we can recommend (when appropriate) without hesitation. Knowing that it is important to use the right tool for the job, our process is to first complete careful discovery with our clients to make sure everyone at the table fully understands the project requirements, goals and priorities. Only then can we credibly recommend a solution. Our process allows us to empower our clients to overcome some of the challenges cited above – organize your criteria and cut through the marketing noise to identify the exact right solution.
Even the most seasoned nonprofit professional may only implement a major new business system (accounting, donor database, etc.) a handful of times in their career. With the rapid advance of technology and innovation, it is very difficult to be an expert in this area. Knowing how important key business infrastructure is to the sustainability and growth of nonprofits, JMT will help you ensure that you and your organization make an informed, deliberate decision when the time comes.