Curious Case of Digital Transformation For Nonprofits

05 JUL 2021
Curious Case of Digital Transformation For Nonprofits

For many Non-Profits, the prospect of digital transformation — the adoption of digital technologies in place of manual processes — seems downright daunting.

Organizations resist change when their members lack the skills and know-how to use new technologies … But use them they must!

In a post-COVID world, the digital revolution is here to stay. As such, legacy organizations must adapt to survive.

But survival, in the digital landscape, is far from certain. A whopping 84% of organizations fail at completing their digital transformation

That’s three out of every four companies.

When it comes to a successful digital transformation for Non-Profits — just like businesses — must set realistic goals, define clear strategies, calculate risk, and allocate enough resources towards implementation and people training.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Non-Profits in the context of digitization — at challenges and trends — and discuss how to navigate those choppy waters in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital transformation — what it means for Non-Profits

The concept of “digital transformation” is best predicated by way of example.

Let’s say a Non-Profit manages its donor base in a legacy CRM that does not integrate well with its email list (a common story).

Donors have to be add to email lists via excel spreadsheets and donations are then processed through a third-party website which has to be synced manually with the legacy CRM. (A recent study from Yale University shows that 89% of Non-Profits still rely on outdated legacy CRMs that require manual integration with email lists.)

Even though this is all happening within the digital world, nothing is connected. Thus, “digital transformation” isn’t just about using computers — it’s about connectivity.

This legacy system, with its siloed business processes, could be replaced with a cloud-based CRM (like GiveLife365) that manages every aspect of the donation process — allowing Non-Profits to track who donated, when they donated, how much they donated, and whether or not the donor has subscribed for recurring gifts.

Has COVID-19 promulgated the need for digitization in the Non-Profit sector?

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the COVID-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on demand, capacity, and revenue, and is influencing staffing decisions and volunteer contributions.

In short, it’s made the business of sustaining a Non-Profit — with its reliance on volunteers and charitable events — far more challenging than in previous years.

In Canada alone, Non-Profits have faced billions in lost revenue because of interruptions to their services. And with a critical lack in federal funding, organizations need to think outside the box.

When it comes to critical decision making, the digital revolution has taught us that such decisions should always be data-driven. Never has this been more important than it is today, with so many organizations on the ropes.

With tools like GiveLife365, which offer analytical insights into donor, volunteer, membership, campaign and sponsorship management, Non-Profits can keep a close eye on the inner workings of their organizations.

And that’s a huge boon — the best way to prevent a disaster is to see it coming.

How do you start a digital transformation in your Non-Profit?

The first step towards a successful digital transformation for Non-rofits is to conduct an audit of how your organization is currently operating.

Ask yourself:

  • What are your current processes for operational categories like donor or volunteer management?
  • How are you tracking funding opportunities, whether through grants or sponsorships?
  • What tools are you using to oversee your campaigns?
  • Which systems — digital or otherwise — are currently connected?

From there, you and your team can begin to map the answers to these questions to your organizations biggest challenges, such as funding cuts, reduced donations, interruptions to operations, and all of those other challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

At the end of the day, success in charitable organizations — just like in businesses — depends upon connectivity. The more connected your systems are, the more efficient your operations will be.

To learn more about how to incite a digital transformation within your organization, reach out to one of our technology experts today!