Nonprofit Culture
TechShop Madison TechShop people


Working with Nonprofits:

Unique Organizational Cultures and Structures

1. These are values-driven organizations

a. They are dedicated to improving our communities
b. Their energy and resources may go into fulfilling their mission rather than building infrastructure
c. The needs they address are complex, unpredictable and immediate
d. They may have a sense of urgency that leads them to quick "fix-it" solutions

MOTIVATION: driven by values/mission<--->driven by dollars
ACCOUNTABILITY: stakeholders/communities<--->shareholders/funders

2. Community nonprofits are frequently understaffed and underfunded

a. Staff members and volunteers play multiple roles in the organization
b. Most organizations don't have dedicated technical staff
c. Staff may be earning below-market wages
d. Some organizations depend on volunteers to perform critical functions

FUNDING: operations demand revenue<--->operations generate revenue

3. Many have a bias toward informality, participation and consensus

a. Decision-making processes may be different than traditional business models
b. Roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers may be fluid and require
repeated clarification

PROCESSES: inclusive<--->efficient

Adapted in part from "Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations—Implications for Consultation," by Mike Allison and Jude Kaye K. Loving 2009

TechShop was funded by:

The Corporation for National and Community Service

The University of Wisconsin Division of Information Technology

University of Wisconsin University Health Services

University of Wisconsin Morgridge Center for Public Service

The taxpayers who support UW faculty and staff salaries and some student tuition


Our Partners

University Health Services


UWUW Division of Information Technology

UW Morgridge Center for Pubic Service