Knowing if your Not-for-Profit is ready for digital transformation boils down to the individual interpretations and perceived value of digital transformation of your committee members.
The statistics that you are working against are that, according to recent research by Lloyds Bank, NFPs as a collective are the least digitally mature industry in the UK, and that 50% of NFPs do not have a formal digital strategy in place. So, if you’ve identified that your NFP’s growth opportunities lie within combining visibility from online donations, social media engagement and campaign participation, apparently you’ve got your work cut out.
I’m on your side and I’m here to help you build the case for digital transformation. I’ve seen many charities benefit from changing their whole infrastructure in line with the changing trends of their supporters.
50% of UK NFPs may not have a digital strategy in place, but that means that 50% do. And it’s that 50% that are more than twice as likely to see an increase in funding according to the same report by Lloyds.
Just last month, Parkinson’s UK appointed former BBC creative director Julie Dodd as its first ever director of digital transformation, which is also one of the first for the whole sector. So it goes to show, digital transformation is happening.
Digital transformation is happening
It is happening in your sector; it is happening across every other sector too, but most importantly it is being driven by your supporters. So, to approach the movement successfully, start small. Create a Digital Strategy. A concise document that addresses how the wider team can use technology to achieve your organisation’s goals. You need a single hymn sheet that encourages every stakeholder to question if there is a more efficient way to get more out of your supporters’ donations and funding.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all digital strategy template that I can give you. But there are some simple guidelines I can share which will help you on your way.
Be prepared that the case for a modern approach to fundraising could start and end with the culture of your team. Relying on a single digital pioneer is asking for an up-hill battle. Instead, schedule some round table sessions with both decision makers as well as the teams that are hands on with systems and processes. It’s here where all ideas are shared and encouraged, regardless of budgets. Once all avenues are explored, you can then apply a level of realism.
Understand existing skills
When it comes to the likes of social media or online browser habits, don’t underestimate the power of your team. And not just by their roles within the organisation. Invite members from the wider team, and those that are more digitally savvy will naturally be intrigued to have input and share their views on software expectations. Meanwhile, it’s essential to understand the abilities of those that are less confident with tech too. Being able to accommodate both ends of the spectrum will strengthen your case to embrace digital transformation. There are solutions that are industry leading and as simple to use as the applications in Microsoft Office.
Some of the key benefits of digital transformation are organisation-wide transparency and the availability of real-time data. It’s just a natural by-product of modern software and technology that proves to be an essential feature of modern working and quick and effective decision-making. If your Not-for-Profit still suffers from silo-based teams or projects, paper (or email) based processes, use your digital transformation research project to break the mould. Ensure your digital transformation project work is easily accessible for everyone in your organisation to view at their leisure. Once it’s populated with supporting research documents, write-ups and meeting invitations and agendas etc. share the link of your new hub of information with everyone. This is eventually how everyone will be working together so lead by example. Encourage others to use it too. Collaboration tools have easy to use notes and comments’ functionality where users can post their thoughts against the actual project as opposed to sitting within an inbox to some of the teams.
The fact that you have found and read this article suggests that you have the right intentions for your charity. A free eBook, Is your Not-for-Profit organisation ready for digital transformation?’ has been put together by the m-hance Not-for-Profit team to help people like yourself evolve your fundraising activity at a pace suitable for your team. It contains research and statistics to help you build a better case to speed up the adoption of tech, which in turn will improve supporter experience and help you achieve your fundraising targets.