January 9, 2020
Implementing Software License Management to Support Your Cause
It's no secret that non-profits aim to save money wherever they can. Sometimes that can include staff taking shortcuts that aren't exactly legal. While you need to do everything you can to save money, voiding your policy agreements for the software you use can get you in big trouble.
One of the ways in which non-profits look to save is through software licenses. Sometimes, that can mean that everyone shares the same license for products that need to have individual users.
Having some software license management in place for your non-profit is crucial to ensure you are keeping any End-User License Agreements you've gone into with individual companies.
What is Software License Management?
Software license management is simply a term for the tools or processes an organization uses to control how and where software programs get used.
Software vendors often implement license management tools to enforce compliance with the license they've distributed. Because you're running a non-profit, this likely boils down to relying on the vendor's management tools as well as internal policy.
You may opt for free versions of software that would make your workflow and donation center operate more efficiently. While this may be necessary in some cases, it might only be hindering you in others.
Here are the steps you need to take to implement a software license management policy in your non-profit and make your staff's time count for more.
Identify Your Software Needs
Before you start, you must know what software needs your non-profit has. Are there any programs you've been putting off purchasing? Are you currently using any heavily outdated software? These may be signs that you need to purchase new software. If you're struggling to find the funds for a new program, turn to grants and donors. Let them know that this software will help you support your cause better. When you're able to operate more efficiently, that means you have more ability to address the problems you created your non-profit to address.
Understand All Software Details
Do you know the user agreement at the beginning of installing software that everyone skips? Don't skip that. The documentation most people skip has important legal implications that you may be infringing on by not being aware of them.
Take some time to read through the agreement and write down any regulations and stipulations you need to know. If there are any rules about how many users can access your software at a particular time, you'll need to know that so you can be aware of how many licenses you need to purchase.
Abide By All Program Regulations
Once you know all of the rules for using your non-profit software programs, keep them. Put them in your organization's handbook, so new staff knows what actions they need to take. Create a training or meeting so everyone can be informed on what the regulations are, so they know how they need to act.
Create consequences for if you find staff or volunteers acting against regulations. You don't need to be harsh about it, especially at first. Adjusting to new requirements takes practice, and it may be a difficult adjustment for them.
Asset Panda's infinitely customizable fields can help you track software licenses as part of your assets. It can also help you follow regulations, and which employees have access to which versions of the programs you use.