Key Takeaways from TAG’s 2018 State of Philanthropy Tech Survey

11/21/2018

Philanthropy Tech Survey  

Not only does the Technology Affinity Group (TAG) throw a great conference, but their annual survey continuously provides insightful data into the growing importance of technology in the philanthropic space. This year approximately 200 foundations responded to the 2018 State of Philanthropy Tech – weighing in on everything from the perception of technology, diversity equity and inclusion practices, security breaches, and the tools foundations are coming to rely upon to protect their information and grow their communities. Naturally as a SaaS provider ourselves, we’re deeply curious about how foundations perceive technology and IT, especially as they relate to securing sensitive data – and three key statistics stood out the most.

60% of foundations believe that IT is perceived as a strategic partner or leader in their organizations.

This overall rate dropped from the 68 percent that perceived IT to be a strategic partner in 2017. Clearly more can be done to elevate the perception (and role) of IT in our space.

21% of respondents reported a security breach happening within the last two years.

According to the TAG survey, 38 percent of these security breaches are due to ransomware attacks. Compare that to the data from 2016, where only 15 percent of privately held foundations reported a security breach. While the data doesn’t indicate what may have led to a security breach, a few key factors may have been at play.

Earlier this year we interviewed a Knowledge Management and Technology Officer and a CIO from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and MacArthur Foundation respectively. Employee error (more specifically, an employee’s natural tendency towards kindness and willingness to help others) was cited as a huge security risk. The people drawn to foundations and nonprofits are ideal targets for cybercriminals looking to capitalize on seemingly innocuous exchanges through email spearphishing campaigns.

However, foundations can help mitigate this risk through mandatory security awareness trainings along with requiring two-factor authentication. Not sure if mandatory training is important? Then note this: the foundations that did not report a security breach are also “more likely to have a security awareness policy (60 percent compared to 40 percent for organizations that encountered a breach),” according to this TAG survey.

6% don’t use a single grants management service solution.

Yet an investment into a grants management solution is an investment in keeping your data contained and secure. When you’re no longer passing important documents back and forth via email, you mitigate the risk of a phishing attack. If you notice that your foundation regularly works in, around, and outside of your grants management system in order to get things done – it’s time to consider the safety of your data and look into a system that fully supports your needs. Fostering a culture where sensitive documents are regularly passed back and forth through email, printed out and passed through the office, or copied into several platforms is extremely risky.

Fluxx is honored to be among the leading grants management solutions selected by the TAG community. Thank you to the over 15 percent of respondents who trust the security of Fluxx and rely on us to deliver a platform that can manage the needs of foundations and nonprofits alike. We are committed to supporting this powerful network of givers and doers.

To learn more, request a demo today.

Written by Jill Richards

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