News and analysis
July 28, 2014

Average Nonprofit Spends 3.2% of Budget on Technology, Report Says

The average nonprofit technology budget accounted for 3.2 percent of total annual organizational spending, according to a new report.

Most groups said their spending on hardware, software, and consulting changed minimally compared with the previous year.

The eighth annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report, published by the Nonprofit Technology Network, or NTEN, examines the roles of information technology and technology support staff in overall operations.

The new findings are based on survey responses collected from 781 nonprofits for their current fiscal year.

Among the other findings:

  • Nonprofits budgeted an average of $114,443 for technology in their most recent fiscal year. That figure ranges from $10,530 to $432,214 depending on the size of the organization.
  • The average nonprofit reported having about four-and-a-half technology staff members. On average, one technology person supported 30 employees.
  • A little more than two-thirds of nonprofits reported that their strategic plan includes technology components, but nearly half said they are not conducting any assessments to figure out their return on investment from technology spending.
  • Slightly more than half of nonprofits described their current use of technology as "operating," or having a stable technology infrastructure, practices, and procedures. Only about 12 percent ranked themselves as "leading" in technology, while the remaining nonprofits described themselves as barely maintaining, or failing to maintain, their technology systems.

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