Over the last couple of years we’re seeing the position of CIO / CTO evolve and become more strategic and have a wider influence on decisions at non-profit organizations. Why is this?

If we look at the evolution of the impacts on fundraising and other communication programs at nonprofits, we can see the path that led here. Go back to the 90s, when websites and a ‘donate now’ button were often led by someone in the IT department in between their work of making sure office desktops, servers, phones and other technologies were supported the office infrastructure. These departments were headed up by IT Directors and sometimes even a VP position. Enter the new millennium.

In 2000, SAS systems such as Network for Good, Friends Asking Friends, Convio and others. These new SAS systems offered nirvana for development and communication professionals. They had the technology platform and were now free to publish the content and forms that were most effective for donors. These SAS systems were successful in bringing in donors, but brought about the question of how to integrate in with other donor data?

Around 2010 nonprofit organizations wanted to participate in the promise of big data and have a full 360 degree view of their constituents. Data and system integration, that’s where development and communications begin to look for help from their technical colleagues. For the IT department, this new charter of integrating systems and using the information strategically requires new skills and the ability to work closely with other departments.