Study: Number Of Data Staff At Nonprofits Increases

August 22, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Nonprofits are bringing more data experts onto their staff in the face of rising concerns about data security, according to results of the Nonprofit Technology Network’s (NTEN) 8th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report.

The report, which included responses from 781 of the organization’s members, revealed that nonprofits have an average of 4.4 technology-responsible staff members, up from 3.4 last year. “Leading organizations” (nonprofits at the forefront of technology innovations) had the highest number at 15.1; “struggling nonprofits” (those struggling to even operate) had 1.6.

Of these individuals, IT staff continued to have the lead with an average of 1.7 per organization but one area saw a significant uptick from the previous years’ study: Data. Nonprofits employed an average of 1.1 of these staffers per organization, up from 0.7 last year. Very large organizations (budgets greater than $10 million) helped to fuel this increase with 3.8 individuals (1.8 in 2013). The uptick is even more pronounced among leading organizations, with these groups having an average of 4.3 data staffers, an increase of 3 from 2013.

When it comes to organizational budget there are some surprises. While very large organizations dominate total technology budget, as expected, with $432,214.93, the picture gets a little more complicated when the field is narrowed down to budget per organizational staff. In this case, NTEN found that very large organizations don’t outspend their smaller counterparts by that much. Specifically, the average is at $2,880.69 for very large nonprofits compared to $2,191.01. In some cases, NTEN notes, large organizations are even spending less than organizations with smaller budgets.

Other key statistics from NTEN’s report include:

  • On average, each technology responsible staff supports about 30 organizational staff members.
  • The median technology budget as a percentage of the organization’s total operating budget across all organization sizes in the survey ranged from 1 percent to 2.2 percent.
  • Larger size and budgets don’t necessarily correlate with being at the Leading end of the Tech Adoption Spectrum: 7 percent of small organizations report that they are at the leading end of the Technology Adoption spectrum compared to 3 percent of the very large organizations.

You can download the full NTEN Technology Staffing and Investments Report for free by visiting http://www.nten.org/research/the-8th-annual-nonprofit-technology-staffing-investments-report