Posted October 10, 2022
So, you’re the person in your affiliate that’s volunteered (or has been volun-told) to tackle technology for the affiliate. You probably know a few things about technology, or you might just be the one person in the office that knows how to get the printer to print. Either way, when trying to figure out the technological infrastructure of your affiliate, start by identifying what I like to call the “Tech Stack.”
Stack is a relatively new term being tossed around in the IT world. It’s simply referring to the various pieces that make up a business process or an app. For example, for an app like Facebook to run it needs to have various kinds of coding languages that do various things like: view your Facebook timeline, type out posts, load images/videos, etc. Each component is what makes the “Stack”.
For your affiliate, start by creating an inventory of all the pieces of software used to do the various processes for your affiliate. I’ve created a worksheet that you can find here to help get you started. The worksheet isn’t by any means a comprehensive list, but it’s meant to get you started.
If you look at the sheet, it’s split into sheets (one for each of the major areas of the work of an affiliate). You’ll see each sheet is asking for name of the app, link to the app (if it’s an online app), the function of the app (what does it do), and the admin user (the person who manages the app for your affiliate).
These are all critical pieces of information which I am willing to guess that, unless you have a 3rd Party IT Company, no one in your affiliate has been tracking. Why is this important? Because there’s a good possibility that you’ll find subscriptions that aren’t being used, you may find that 2-3 people have subscriptions to the same service but for whatever reason no knows why, or you may realize that you aren’t leveraging a nonprofit discount for a particular service (see previous article for more info on that).
More importantly, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. In other words, there may be a technology gap that you’re trying to address but you can’t really address it without knowing what you may already have in the Tech Stack. Knowing your Tech Stack will also be helpful for when you start looking at other technology solutions. There may be a better solution out there to help address your affiliate needs OR you may come to realize that you can do more with what you have.
Want to compare your Tech Stack? I’d be more than happy to compare it to what we’re doing at Habitat for Humanity of Michigan! Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can share notes and talk through any questions you may have.