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How to gain Board support for your next IT investment - Key Takeaways

Sometimes it can be a struggle to gain funding support for much needed IT investments. If you have financial reserves, perhaps the real problem is in how you communicate your needs to your Board.

Boards are taught by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and similar organisations that their main responsibilities as directors evolve around three things:

  • Governance and Risk Mitigation
  • Strategy
  • Financial Sustainability

For Associations, directors also care strongly about the Members’ Experience - after all, they are members, voted for by members.

Therefore, when business cases are presented for IT investments that don’t appear to align with their priorities, such as reducing manual processes or enabling better data analytics, they could be considered low-priority investments to the Board. This is especially true when directors don’t have visibility to these types of operational pain points.

So, what can you do to gain more Board support for IT investments? Build the business case around their priorities, not yours!

  • Have a system that requires significant manual interventions? Consider how that impact risks due to potential human errors and the members’ experience overall.
  • Unsupported system? This is both a business continuity and cybersecurity risk.
  • Does the CRM prevent you from deploying new member services? How much potential revenue are you losing every month?

The point is NOT to mislead your board, but to communicate the needs from their point of view. So, the next time you build a business case for an IT investment, make sure you write it with the Board’s priorities in mind. 

Tammy Ven Dange is a former charity CEO, Association President, Not for Profit Board Member and IT Executive. Today she helps Associations with strategic IT decisions, especially investments.

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