March 25th, 2015
As you begin exploring your technology options, here are some ways to make the most of the evaluation and decision-making process.
Articulate your needs and prioritize them before approaching vendors. Mapping your needs for a particular technology solution in advance will help you assess what’s available and whether a prospective solution will meet your core business requirements. It will also prevent you from succumbing to “shiny object syndrome” brought on by exciting, but less crucial, features.
Request contact information for three comparable clients willing to serve as references. If it is not apparent to you how a particular reference is comparable to your organization, ask the vendor. Let them know if you are looking for references from a particular type of client—for example, another chorus or an arts nonprofit with a budget under $50,000.
Contact the references. Be sure to inquire about features or areas about which you have concerns. Ask each reference to tell you about a customer service experience they have had.
Make decisions with sustainability and transferability in mind. Can you afford the ongoing costs? Do you have the human resources to administer the solution? How easy will it be to pass the reins to someone else when the time comes? Take the time to find a technology solution that answers all three of these questions positively.