Gifts In Kind International Announces Results of the 2001 Technology Tracking Study of the Nonprofit Sector

Gifts in Kind International
Tuesday, 25 June 2002

Nonprofits making progress but majority still lack technology plan

Gifts In Kind International, the world's leading charity in product philanthropy, today announced the results of its fifth annual Technology Tracking Study to identify the hurdles nonprofit organizations still face in overcoming the "digital divide" within the nonprofit sector. The key finding of the survey is that while there has been significant improvement in nine of the fourteen criteria which Gifts In Kind International measures, most nonprofits do not have a long-term technology plan.

"Technology upgrading and product replacement was a priority for us long before the term 'digital divide' became popular," said Susan Corrigan, President and CEO of Gifts In Kind International. "Just over two years ago we set a very ambitious goal of providing $1 billion in new technology products and services to 100,000 charities around the world by 2010. Thanks to the generosity of our growing number of technology donor partners, we are already a quarter of the way to realizing that goal."

Other significant findings included:

- 58% of nonprofit organizations have some remote capability via laptop computers

- 73% have workstations in their headquarters networked

- 77% of all nonprofit organizations have a Web site on the World Wide Web

- 97% have Internet access from their offices; 90% enjoy external e-mail capability

- 74% have voicemail, 93% have a fax machine and 59% have cell phones

"While we have seen significant improvement on more than half of the key measures, it is concerning to note there was little or no increase in long-term technology planning on the part of 33 percent of the nation's nonprofits," said Sue Bell, Gifts In Kind International's research analyst. "It's not just about hardware, software and Internet access. Having a technology plan ensures that nonprofits have a better chance of using technology wisely to improve service delivery, resource allocation and advancing their respective mission."

"The survey also reveals a dramatic difference in technology use depending on the size of the nonprofit organization," continued Bell. "On virtually every measure, there is a significant difference between those respondents with total annual budgets under $1 million, and those with budgets over $1 million. For example, larger organizations with budgets over $1 million are more likely to have laptops, desktops, mainframes, servers, and a budget for purchasing and upgrading hardware, software, and maintenance. The difference in budget size also affects the respondents likelihood to have computers networked, their ability to share information electronically and to remotely access the network. Agencies with a higher budget are better equipped in terms of size and age of computer equipment, Internet access and usage of a broad range of communications tools.

One of the few areas where budget size doesn't seem to matter is weather or not the respondent is measuring the effectiveness of new technology purchases."

Gifts In Kind International's TechLearn program, supported by a grant from the Sara Lee Foundation, is making great strides in closing the gap between nonprofit technology needs and donations. TechLearn also assists nonprofits in matching technology needs with product and services available through Gifts In Kind International. The 2001 Technology Tracking Study of the Nonprofit Sector was funded by a generous grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

Of an estimated 849,697 tax-exempt organizations nationwide, a total of 1,572 nonprofit organizations of all sizes and varieties participated in the survey. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percent at a 90% confidence level when comparing the findings from the total samples from 2000 to 2001.

Copies of the 2001 Technology Tracking Study are available on the Gifts In Kind International Web site at www.giftsinkind.org for $25.00 for nonprofit organizations and $50.00 for corporations or individuals.

About Gifts In Kind International

Gifts In Kind International (www.giftsinkind.org), is the world's leading charity in product philanthropy and the 7th largest charity in the United States. Its network of 350-plus affiliates provides nonprofits access to more than $675 million annually in product and service donations. Gifts In Kind International operates at less than 1 percent of the fair market value of products donated, making it one of the most cost-efficient charities in the world.

For more information, or to contact Gifts in Kind International, see their website at: www.giftsinkind.org

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