This eBook is a guide to how nonprofit organizations can utilize the principles of eCommerce to improve business processes within their organizations. The focus of the book is on the various forms of eCommerce available to nonprofit organizations and how each may be applicable for a specific business process or function. It begins with a general overview of the advantages of eCommerce and provides in-depth analysis of how nonprofit organizations may best utilize the various forms of eCommerce. Examples of specific uses and functions related to the industry or area of business in which different nonprofit organizations fall within are provided. This eBook also provides some general information on web design principles that can help the nonprofit organization optimize its use of eCommerce.
eCommerce is a valuable tool for any business or organization that wishes to increase its reach and exposure, connect with the public, and maintain or develop a positive public image. Nonprofit organizations are no exception. The web has developed into a complex network that allows organizations to exchange information, collect data, connect with members, and a host of additional functions that can be made simpler by utilizing technology to the nonprofit organization s advantage. eCommerce involves more than online retailing. It includes electronic processes occurring online that simplify or streamline how an organization conducts business. eCommerce activities can range from selling goods and services to inventory and resource management.
Though the web is a complicated space, eCommerce for the nonprofit organization does not need to be complicated. It can be as straightforward as designing a web site to inform supporters, community members, and business partners about the organization s mission and its overall strategies. However, eCommerce can be a more involved process of adding features for communications to occur, to offer products for sale for supporters, to manage supplies and resources, and to allow members to complete tasks more efficiently.
For many nonprofit administrators the thought of designing and utilizing a web site for business processes seems like too daunting a task. However, when the potential benefits are considered the initial efforts required to make use of eCommerce seem like less of a chore and more like an essential avenue for maintaining continued growth. Like many small, regional or local businesses, the nonprofit administrator may not see the potential benefits of eCommerce initially. This guide will explain why even the smallest local business may utilize the web to its advantage. It also explains how the nonprofit organization may go about planning and designing eCommerce activities to improve operations. Member/sponsor participation is a sub-category addressing how the nonprofit organization may use eCommerce methods of keeping in touch with supporters, members, and partner organizations. Finally, the theme of efficiency/cost reduction focuses on how to utilize eCommerce activities to streamline different processes within the nonprofit organization.