Accurate and detailed documentation of your non-profit’s IT network is crucial. Considering the possibility of hardware failure, viruses, or data breach, documentation should become a top priority. To start down the right path, ask yourself these questions:

• Do I have an up-to-date inventory of my firm’s hardware, software, and peripherals?

• Do I know the contact information of the vendors supporting our infrastructure and software, as well as administrative credentials?

• What’s my disaster recovery strategy in case of an emergency?

Review the following list of IT network components; documenting these items can help your non-profit be prepared when things aren’t working properly and potentially avoid disaster:


• Hardware and software inventory
Take inventory of your PCs, servers, printers, and other hardware. The same goes for software programs. Are your subscriptions and licenses up-to-date? Are your warranties still valid? How old is your hardware and software?

• Network information
Make sure you have all administrative usernames and passwords. Know your Internet Service Provider and IP address, and document any Internet access information. Also, how do your software and hardware connect? Having a network diagram often helps with troubleshooting a network failure or interruption.

• Outside vendor information
List your third-party vendors (for example, cloud service providers and spam filters) and the contact and account information of each. Take note of any service contracts and their expiration dates and terms of service.

• Security and backup strategies
Identify your company’s antivirus or network security and its capabilities. Know your company’s backup schedule, or how frequently your data backs up. Perform back-up test restores. Furthermore, learn the procedures you need to follow in the event of a security breach.
Documenting IT information and determining your organizations primary activities helps maintain smooth business operations. With proper documentation, your non-profit may pinpoint problem areas and better recover from network failure or interruption. Additionally, in the event of having to hire IT staff, you will have the appropriate information to hand over to the new employee or IT vendor.