Not for profit organisations are on the cusp of a digital revolution. They need to innovate to grow and prosper in an increasingly digital-driven world. Technology is redefining how people engage and respond to giving their time and money to charities.

Non-profit leaders need vision, courage and drive. At the very top, digital transformation must have sponsorship from senior leadership to make it happen. This is against a backdrop of generally low level of digital skills amongst board level personnel (69% of UK charities according to The Charity Digital Skills Report).

Digital Transformation cannot be just delegated to the IT department. Neither should digital focus upon digital marketing and fundraising alone – it’s important to define how digital technology can transform the entire organisation’s processes so that it can deliver on its mission and vision.

The Skills and Funding Gap

There are significant factors that are holding back digital change. Non-profits are increasingly concerned about funding and see it as their biggest obstacle (58%, up from 52% last year according to The Charity Digital Skills Report 2018). The skills gap continues to widen – developing and retaining talent has become even more of a priority.

The Reinvention Test

Digital transformation reaches far beyond the web and on-line stakeholder interaction. It means embedding digital transformation within every facet of what your organisation does – at every level and for every process.

It is not really about digital processes – it’s about rethinking and redefining what your non-profit does and how it does it. Digital transformation solutions will help non-profit organisations to change and improve. They enable improved productivity; increase collaborative working; improve service provision; save costs and make operational efficiencies. Organisations will be more agile, innovative and better-placed to thrive.

Mobile is Smart

Non-profits need to engage with their stakeholders in new ways and adapt to the way people increasingly use mobile devices to communicate, engage and stay informed. This means enabling people to interact with your charity through multiple channels, all of which must create a seamless user experience.

  • Mobile responsive websites – ensure your website, content and donation ability are optimised for viewing on a mobile device.
  • Mobile messaging – to enable you to communicate effectively with employees, volunteers and donors.
  • Online donations/text-to-give – enable people to donate via mobile devices using an online donation form / website or texting a donation directly.
  • Mobile Apps – create customised applications which donors can download to their smartphones and tablets.

Creating a Learning Culture

Continuous improvement means creating a positive learning culture. It means a ‘virtuous’ cycle of feedback that inspires employees to understand what’s working and what can be done differently to achieve better results. This process of reflection should be embedded into an organisation’s culture.

Most organisations collect data that is stored across different spreadsheets and is collected by different people and departments. However, this data is not linked to organisational results or mission defined goals. To empower people and create a culture of continual improvement, charities need to:

  • Ensure key performance indicators are used throughout the charity.
  • Appoint an employee to oversee data collection and reporting.
  • Empower and ensure employees are checking, applying and interpreting their own data.
  • Share metrics across departments and implement a process for analysing, discussing and applying results.

To learn more about innovating for impact, download our Not for Profit Whitepaper.