Successful businesses rely on technology investments to gain a competitive edge and the Non-Profit sector is no different.
But what is Non-Profit technology? Let’s dig deeper.
Non-Profit organizations leverage technology to meet their goals, scale their mission and share mission impact with key stakeholders, regulators, and grant-makers using data. Technology enables Non-Profits to expand their reach so they can increase their capacity to serve the community. And the right technology can help your Non-Profit reduce operational costs and maximize opportunities to raise a fund with data analytics. It also helps to maintain governance and store sensitive data about your donors and grant-makers securely. The fundamental objective of a good technology solution for your Non-Profit organization will be one that partners with you to achieve your mission objectives.
A 2021 whitepaper on Non-Profit technology trends revealed inefficiencies and delays due to multiple disparate systems moved up the list from third place in 2019 to second in 2020—a result of the COVID-19 induced work from home model. Pulling out data from one system and importing into another can take days or weeks. Then the task of compiling and checking on data accuracy. Add to that, training new staff on multiple systems and worst of all, making decisions based on inaccurate data. Does it sound like you? The impact of this is significant and costly!
The good news is, a lot of Non-Profit organizations have adopted technology for their daily operations.
Some of the main benefits of technology to the Non-Profit sector include:
- Track and evaluate program goals and indicators
- Eliminate data silos and unify stakeholder data
- Enrich audience intelligence to deliver personalized experiences
- Data reliability to help small Non-Profits build trust with funders
- Collaborate effectively with all constituents and staff in a remote workforce
Here are some Non-Profit technology trends to watch out for:
- Modernized fundraising technology
Technology around fundraising has revolutionized the way Non-Profits increase donations and secure grants. While older technology solutions like data off a spreadsheet have helped get started with the fundraising programs, it is now much limited to cope with the changing donor expectations. In our article on ‘How to plan a successful digital fundraising campaign’, you will learn about some of the fundraising challenges, key metrics to measure campaign success, and how to address those challenges.
- Fueling up on AI-powered data
You may wonder what Artificial Intelligence (AI) has got to do with Non-Profits. You may find it interesting to note that AI-powered data can predict donor behaviour and forecast giving trends. This sort of insight allows you to quickly optimize your marketing campaigns to gain maximum results.
- Need for chalking out a data security plan
Aging technology increases risks to changing regulations and data breaches. Have you heard about the data breach at SingHealth, Singapore’s largest group of healthcare institutions? 1.5 million patients’ PII and medical history were hacked! Security thus is quickly becoming one of the top priorities for Non-Profits of all sizes. Download this ebook on ‘Microsoft Non-Profit Cloud Security Advice for Non-Profit Leaders’ and 6 steps to building a holistic security strategy for your Non-Profit to learn more on this topic.
- Digital measurement of Key Performance Indicators
The more constituents you have, the harder it is to sift through the noise. With machine learning and analytics at your disposal, you can get a holistic view of your constituents across multiple data sources so that you can understand their giving trends and personalize your outreach to them in a manner that will build trust.
- Increase of virtual and gaming events
The pandemic has forced many Non-Profits to rely on online fundraising events. Mastering online meetings and events of any size are likely to last beyond the pandemic. Adjusting to all-online events and gaming fundraisers have proven to be effective to garner donations, for some in millions of dollars!
Technology challenges to overcome
For Non-Profits a tight budget, lack of knowledge, and fear of change each seem to play a part in an organization’s resistance to modernizing and adapting to newer technologies. While Non-Profit leaders believe in the power of technology to increase their mission, there seems to be a de-prioritization for investment in upgrading their technology assets. There is a fundamental lack of strategic implementation of technology as an enabler to achieve their mission-critical goals. We believe there is an urgent need to educate and inspire the Non-Profit community of technology’s sustainable benefits to create a measurable impact in the long run.
Assessment and the way forward
We understand that re-imagining your technology roadmap can feel daunting. To simplify, we recommend that you start by carrying out your Non-Profit technology assessment. For this, you need to address how your current tech solutions are contributing to serving your staff and mission. Get a thorough understanding of your current online donation methods, your Constituent Management System and Content Management System, and how it’s adding value. Get a top-down view of your organization’s tools that supports your daily operations. An assessment of this sort will give you a sense of direction of what is draining your pockets dry without adding value to your efforts and accomplishing your critical goals. It will also guide you to steer the discussion with board members on your digital Non-Profit strategy.
The second step would be to prioritize the areas of improvement that offer you the greatest return on investment with smaller investments in dollars, time, and effort. For example, you could start by automating one of the most repetitive task like managing payroll.
The third step would be to determine your long-term goals and the financial budget required. These goals should directly steer your mission forward and the role of technology to achieve it.
That is where the right technology partner comes into the picture. We believe we can help. From data strategy to custom CRM deployment to impact reporting and training your team, GiveLife365 has got you covered.
If you want to explore more about how you can start a digital transformation in Non-Profit, you might find this blog an insightful read.