Presentation Draft

The thesis committee suggested focusing on the problem statement and methodology because often it is important for the audience to understand those things. So, the problem statement and research question are as follows: Problem Statement Nonprofit enterprises are increasingly incorporating IT into their operations (Blau, 2001; Gifts in Kind International, 2001; Finn, Maher & Forster, 2006; Peizer, 2006; Popjoy, 1992; Public Sector Consultants, Inc., 1999; Quinn, Verclas & Hoehling, 2006). The impetus can come from other nonprofits, individual donors, foundations or government requirements and accountability pressures (Saidel & Cour, 2003; Te’ein & Young, 2003). Those nonprofits seeking to grow and expand have taken a cue from the for-profits with the goal of achieving comparable efficiency gains and growth in support of their mission.

Research Question The three main investments – infrastructure, human capital and strategic plans – are the cornerstone of success in IT implementations in for-profits. Throwing more money or resources at an IT project will not necessarily increase its success if there is no strategic plan (Brynjolfsson & Hitt, 2000). Providing more training to staff will not help an IT project if there is no infrastructure investment (Aral & Weill, 2006; Brynjolfsson & Hitt, 2000; Stiroh, 2002). Clearly, this triangle of investments is critical to the project’s success, with each point on the triangle playing a vital role. But, equally important is the understanding that the bottom line in nonprofits is different than it is in for-profits and judging success of IT projects in nonprofits is far more challenging to discover.

The purpose of this research is to examine this triangle of investments and its impact on the effective implementation of IT and how it relates to nonprofit organizational effectiveness. The research design is comprised of in-depth interviews with a group of tech-savvy nonprofit leaders, a survey to those same individuals and research on available literature. The large body of research surrounding IT use by for-profits will be applied to nonprofits to reveal patterns and make recommendations.

So, what is the problem statement? The fact that nonprofits are wanting to achieve the same efficiencies as for-profits through the incorporation of IT into their operations.

The question then is about examining the triangle of investments - infrastructure, human capital & strategic plans - to see how they impact the effective implementation of IT.

Is that boiled down enough?