Get More Out of Your Nonprofit’s Current Technology - Heller Consulting

Get More Out of Your Nonprofit’s Current Technology

When you have an immediate challenge that needs a solution, it’s easy to turn to “point” tools, or software tools aimed at solving a particular problem. But here’s something to consider: These days, there are lesser-known features in the software you’re probably already using from vendors like Microsoft and Google that might be just what you need.  

In short, there’s a stack of technology sitting in your office that’s probably being underutilized. So, why not put it to work?

Why use the technology your nonprofit already has

There are multiple reasons to use the technology you already have. For example: 

  • You get more out of the investment you’ve already made, versus spending money on redundant functionality.
  • The learning curve is lower if you use a feature in software, you’re already familiar with, so you can be up and running that much faster.
  • Your staff will have a better overall experience if they don’t have yet another tool to learn and need to log into, which will help to decrease staff burnout.
  • Your technology stack will be less complex if you don’t add a bunch of new tools that take up time with integration and maintenance. 

So, even if a point tool is free, there are other costs involved with adding new technology. 

Examples of functionality in technology you might already have

We mentioned Microsoft and Google because they include a lot of productivity functionality that are the types of tools nonprofits often acquire. Here are just a few examples: 


  • Use the Scheduling Poll feature to find a good time to schedule your meetings for everyone involved. This can be a viable alternative to tools such as Calendly and Doodle.
  • Use the process mapping tool, Visio, which is free with a Microsoft 365 subscription, that helps you create step-by-step visualizations of your organization’s processes to help you document workflows and find areas for improvement.
  • Use the screen recording tool in Stream, which is also free with a Microsoft 365 subscription, to make a video of yourself thanking a donor, and then send a link of the video to the donor.
  • Use the notetaking functionality that’s part of the Microsoft Copilot artificial intelligence features in Microsoft to produce transcripts and summaries of meetings. 


  • Google has similar scheduling functionality available within the new Google calendar called Appointment Schedule.
  • Google, like Microsoft, has a data visualization tool (Looker Studio) that gives you visual representations of your data for added insights. 
  • Google allows you to create applications using AppSheet without writing any code and works from the data you have stored in Google Sheets and other tools.  
  • You can also create whole websites using Google Sites, either for your constituents or just for your employees, like an intranet 

These are just a few examples of the many capabilities of Microsoft and Google. Other software vendors, including Salesforce, offer an extremely wide range of tools and functionality – many of which are free within your existing products or available at a low cost.  

Get the most out of your nonprofit’s current technology

Keep in mind that we’re not suggesting you never buy a point tool. What we are saying is that you can often do what you need to do with tools you already have.  

So, take the time to check first before you purchase a new product. One effective approach is to go to the website of your current technology vendors and look at what functionality is available. Often, you can also see what’s available when you’re logged into your account (usually via a web browser). 

If you’d like more ideas and inspiration, listen to the Nonprofit Radio podcast, where we recently spoke with Tony Martignetti about how to get the most from your nonprofit’s current technology.  

Our team at Heller Consulting is ready to help, too. If you have a question about getting more out of your current technology, contact us today.    

About the Author

Patrick McDermott
Before joining Team Heller, Patrick previously worked in the nonprofit sector for Common Threads, a nationwide nonprofit providing cooking and nutrition education to children and families. He also worked for Americans for Informed Democracy as their Global Peace and Security... Read More