ROI: Nonprofits and Technology

Beyond “How Much Does It Cost?”

By Beth Kanter, Beth’s Blog

Key Goals:

  • To understand that ROI goes beyond a financial calculation that answers the question, “How much does it cost?” “Can we afford it?”
  • To understand why Legal Services Technology staff should use ROI thinking when planning new technology purchases or upgrades
  • To understand how ROI thinking can help Legal Services Technology staff be proactive in their organizations in thinking through how technology can enhance effectiveness and efficiency of programs
  • To provide a tips and simple techniques for applying ROI methods
  • To spark conversation and generate discussion in the Q/A at the TIG Conference.

Part 1: ROI Thinking to the Rescue


  • Scenario 1
  • Scenario 2
  • Scenario 3

Part 2: ROI Primer

  • Why
  • What
  • When

Part 3: Benefits, Metrics, Value, and Costs, Oh My


  • Benefits: To Efficiency and Beyond!
  • Metrics and Values
  • Tangible and Intangible
  • Quantification of the Intangible: Can You Quantify Love?
  • Costs: Formulas and Approaches

Part 4: Communicating About Your ROI Analysis


  • ROI as Storytelling
  • ROI as an agent of change
  • ROI as proof of concept

Summary