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The Dirty Little Secret

 

Technology is cheap.

When did this happen?

It used to be that nonprofits had to go to the 800 lb. tech-gorilla, namely Blackbaud, and pay tens or hundreds of thousands, even over a million dollars for a database. That’s right, over a million dollars for a database!

The folks from Blackbaud would fly in to your hometown, make their presentation, leave behind a contract for you to sign, and fly off to their sunny corporate headquarters.

But it wasn’t just Blackbaud in the nonprofit world. In the commercial world it was IBM, Digital Equipment, Oracle, and many more.

These mega corporations were veritable cash cows for their shareholders, producing hardware and software that companies bought and installed onsite. And it wasn’t that their products weren’t cost-justified or cost-effective in the pre-Internet days… they were.

But in the early 1990s, with the arrival of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the world shifted on its axis for these old-line tech companies. IBM and their ilk have been struggling ever since.

Today, the storage capacity and speed of a database that you bought 15 years ago is surpassed by the speed and capacity of virtually any App you can download from Apple’s App Store, let alone Software-as-a-Service firms.

And cost?

For nonprofits, start with free and go up?

“Wait a minute! Are you trying to tell me that a $60,000 database like I bought from Blackbaud less than a decade ago is free today?”

Actually, yes.

In fact, there is database software you can access online that has 1000 times the power, speed and simplicity of operation (remember all your customer service problems) that you can access from anywhere from a browser for less than $200/month.

Today, a leader of a nonprofit fundraising organization, no matter if they are raising $10,000 a year or $500,000,000 a year can access the same computing power and software capability of some of the largest corporations in the world for either free or single-digit percentages of what they were paying as recently as a decade ago.

The tech world has changed.

Today the tools are unbelievably powerful and inexpensive and getting more so everyday.

So, what’s the catch?

The catch is that, although you are going to pay next to nothing for your technology infrastructure compared to the recent past, you’re going to start having to pay for people… and their brainpower.

Because you see, it isn’t just smartphones, smart watches, or smart tech but smart people… people who understand this new online world and the online digital tools… that can make your organization bazillions of donation dollars.

Yep, it’s moved from the cost of tech to the cost of human brainpower.

Drip, Drip, Drip
-Mike

Welcome to BIG’s Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers…and email me a comment at: mike@big-db.com

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