“Failing to plan is planning to fail” is an old adage often attributed to Benjamin Franklin – and he was right. Understanding why you need to digitally innovate, what your charity’s digital strategy includes and giving yourself a framework to deliver from are vitally important steps to digitally transform your charity.
Here are some guiding principles to get you started:
- Create an overview of your customers and audiences who are currently using digital channels, and discuss how that informs your charity’s digital strategy. It is useful to create personas for your typical donors or volunteers; imagining them as real people makes it easier to think about what kind of messaging or approach they would find most engaging.
- Take a second look at where your charity is going. Dig out your charity’s vision and values, blow off the dust and pin them to the wall. Make sure that you are referencing them throughout the process to stay on track, or perhaps they need a review so they can be brought up to date with your fresh approach.
- Ask the right questions of the right people. Conduct an internal survey or hold a focus group with some key people. And these might not be the people at the top of the tree.
- Your volunteers, or that digitally savvy intern who is constantly on Facebook, may have some fantastic insights to get you started.
- Defining your organisation’s personality online at an early stage stops challenges further down the line. How could/should you behave on social media? Take a look at other charities to see how (or how not) to do it.
- Analyse opportunities, channel-by-channel. Break down where you think your audience is (data will tell you if you are right or not!) and include your website, mobile, apps, social media platforms, email database and outreach through partners or PR prospects.
We may still be at the early stages of realising the true potential of digital service delivery in charities, but getting the whole organisation on board and establishing the right strategy and plans from the start will help to ensure the journey to digital transformation is as smooth as possible.
Once the decision is made to digitally innovate and develop a strategy that revolutionises internal systems and services, charities need to look at effective solutions that can meet their requirements. As part of the charity’s digital strategy, many are turning to dynamic and reliable CRM systems. From one central place, charities can build strategic marketing campaigns informed by data, report and track their fundraising performance, automate marketing activity and monitor social media conversations.