Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Policy

Executive Summary

Nonprofit organizations today face an increasingly competitive landscape and often operate under the motto of “doing more with less.” As nonprofits struggle to balance mission fulfillment with financial support, information technology [IT] is usually deemed a luxury or acquired as-needed. I posit, however, that technological innovation must be considered a crucial element to staying competitive, efficient, accountable, and engaged with supporters.

After conducting a survey of a sample of Kentucky nonprofits [NPOs], I explore a number of organizational characteristics that might predict the information technology budget, especially with respect to IT innovation. I combine a set of explanatory variables in bivariate and multiple regression analyses. Of my observed variables, the number of employees, number of volunteers, and the frequency of introducing new IT items all correlate positively with IT expenses. Nonprofits with a board that sets the IT budget on the other hand, reported significantly lower amounts for their IT expenses.

As significant as these variables are, I also discuss explanatory variables that did not always correlate with IT spending—mainly process innovation (introduction of new methods) as well as strategic and operational planning. While the results of this study are limited to the sample surveyed, I outline recommendations for two primary types of organizations: those wishing to secure more funds for IT budgeting and those wishing to prepare for future uses of information technology.



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