Twitter down. Google Calendar down. Asana down. Maybe a fundraising platform craps out on a Giving Day or you forgot to run a database backup. Sometimes all you can do during a technology fail at your nonprofit is wait and try to figure out what you could have done to avoid the mess. And during those times, we think you’ll appreciate a laugh, a little commiseration, and some positive vibes.

Enjoy our favorite tech fail quotes, plus a few extra tips for managing the chaos.

Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.

Steve Wozniak
Nonprofit technology fail keyboard

If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.

Marie Osmond
Nonprofit technology fail laugh

There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

Henry Kissinger
Nonprofit technology fail

The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.

Ted Nelson
Nonprofit technology fail

I don’t want to be over-dramatic, but today felt like a hundred years in hell and the absolute worst day of my life.

Leslie Knope

Remember that failure is an event, not a person.

Zig Ziglar
Nonprofit technology fail

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

Dr. Seuss
Nonprofit technology fail

[A] step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.

Kurt Vonnegut
Nonprofit technology fail

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’

Mary Anne Radmacher
Nonprofit technology fail

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A.A. Milne
Nonprofit technology fail

Tips for Managing a Technology Fail

When there’s a nonprofit technology fail, it can throw off your whole day, especially if it feels like there’s not much you can do now. Here are some ways to cover your bases before you throw your hands up and focus your energy somewhere else.

  1. Check the official status from the company by going to their social media accounts or seeing if the website or service is just down for you.
  2. Maybe the problem is on your end? Reach out to any contact you have with the platform or software and at least get a support ticket in place.
  3. Communicate internally and externally if needed, like if the outage affects the ability to deliver services or for people to contact you.
  4. Start drafting a plan to outline what your steps will be (reboot, upgrade, replace) should this problem happen again in the future.
  5. Get some fresh air or move away from your desk. A little physical distance from technology can help reset your mind and your day.

Have any favorite sayings or quotes that ease your frustration? How else do you deal with technology fails that disrupt your work? Share (and commiserate) in the comments!