• Nonprofit Learning Lab

The Nonprofit Guide to Vetting a Managed IT Service Provider

This is a sponsored blog post by Community IT Innovators. Join them on February 2 for a free webinar on "How to Hire Nonprofit IT Support: Questions to Ask Vendors". Learn more and register here.



“Managed services” can mean different things to different people, especially when you are just embarking on a quest to find an outsourced IT provider. To understand what you need, what a provider is offering – and whether they’ll be able to deliver – Community IT Innovators developed a list of basic questions to ask. In our 25 years in serving the nonprofit IT community, we’ve heard lots of stories of IT support that didn’t work out. We used our experience to develop this list of 12 questions you can use to vet any managed service provider as you evaluate your needs and their services. Join Steve Longenecker, our Director of IT, and Johan Hammerstrom, our President and CEO, for an in-depth discussion on avoiding common pitfalls and getting the right level of service for your nonprofit. Learn how your organization can vet and compare IT providers, whether you have 5 employees or 500.


Understanding how an MSP is going to deliver value is a particularly important question if you’re talking to an MSP that’s not that familiar with nonprofit organizations. Because the MSP that typically works with for-profit businesses is going to take a certain approach to talking about making decisions around technology solutions, and if they’re not familiar with or comfortable with working with nonprofits, they may not understand the very different dynamic within a nonprofit organization. Maximizing profit is not really a concept that is useful in a nonprofit setting. If that’s how the MSP thinks about the value that they deliver, it might be a struggle for them to really relate to your nonprofit organization.

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