Our guest, Leon Wilson, Chief of Digital Innovation and Chief Information Officer at The Cleveland Foundation, brings a wealth of experience, IT history, and business acumen (to a job that almost wasn’t!) to our discussion of how to serve nonprofits better using technology. Our current Why IT Matters episode is a longer follow-up to the Nonprofit CDM community panel – Advancing Impact and Equity with the Nonprofit CDM. Our conversation covers in-depth, 40+ years of nonprofit investments in technology and unpacking the patterns that lock them into technology solutions that don’t serve their missions.
We deeply outline the responsibility of providing nonprofits with technology, free or not, and discuss strategies that help nonprofits adopt technology tools and platforms durably. We can’t just assume that giving nonprofits technology is enough; there need to be pragmatic cohorts and shared learnings coupled with the ability for nonprofits to have data that is portable, interoperable, and “plug and play,” regardless of where it rests. Ultimately, it’s breaking this fracturing of nonprofits into the correct configurations AND treating nonprofits as partners, not just customers, in technology consumption.