If you’re interested in digital tools for your nonprofit, you need to assess your organization’s current digital strategy and plan for its digital journey. Before you make a final decision about what tools and services your nonprofit needs, take the time to read up on the benefits and challenges of digital transformation and innovation and what you can do to get started.
The need for digital transformation and innovation
As the economy becomes increasingly digital, nonprofits must stay on top of the latest innovations. In addition to cutting costs and increasing efficiency, technological innovations can free up valuable resources for mission-related work. Listed below are some of the ways to benefit from digital transformation. These changes will improve your organization’s overall operation. They are necessary for non-profits to grow and thrive.
Digital transformation is a cultural, operational, and organizational change. It is a process that involves the adoption of new technologies and creating new business models. While the term “digital transformation” is often used to refer to changes in society, it can also refer to societal challenges, such as the growing importance of innovation and digitalization. However, the process of transformation requires more than digital expertise. Not every non-profit will be prepared to adapt to these changes.
First, create a roadmap. An effective roadmap outlines the direction of the digital transformation process. Identify key stakeholders and initiatives. Once you have a clear idea of the direction of your digital transformation, you can begin creating your plan. Once you’ve created the strategy and launched the new initiatives, you can then determine how best to scale it and increase its impact. The key to a successful transformation is to establish clear targets for key performance indicators and clearly communicate a timeline for achieving those targets.
As technology becomes more advanced, non-profits must also invest in innovative tools. Data analytics, for example, will help non-profits measure and communicate their impact. This will help non-profits attract more funding and serve more people. This will reduce the administrative burden of employees and allow them to focus on more important work. A non-profit should invest in technology to help them grow. When done correctly, it will yield great results. So make the move today!
What is a digital transformation strategy
To ensure growth, non-profits must adopt digital transformation strategies. Non-profits should start by moving basic operational tools and systems to the cloud, or at least implement a cloud-based alternative for these. Then they should move on to developing a strategy for ongoing change. Ultimately, they should plan to create a digital infrastructure that supports ongoing growth and innovation. To do this, non-profits should invest in new technologies and modify their business models as needed.
Nonprofits often lack the necessary technology infrastructure, including experienced IT staff. Manual data handling results in serious risks and poor organizational performance. Old technology infrastructure has limited utility in today’s business environment. Moreover, the nonprofit workforce is not uniform and often relies on full and part-time volunteers. A digital transformation strategy may involve incorporating a variety of technologies to meet a nonprofit’s needs.
Nonprofits that embrace digital transformation strategies are agile, fast, and resilient. Nonprofits that embrace digital transformation strategies are able to collect data quickly, pivot when unexpected events happen, and adapt to the changing world. Not only is a digital transformation strategy beneficial to nonprofits, it also enables them to improve their services and serve their constituents better. With the challenges in the nonprofit sector, a digital transformation strategy can help nonprofits meet these goals.
The digital transformation strategy for nonprofits should be aimed at improving efficiency. A digital platform for donation tracking, for example, will simplify the donation process, allowing nonprofits to focus on the mission-oriented aspects of their operations. Another way to use digital tools is to gather data from different sources. This data will help nonprofits understand donor behavior and identify areas for improvement. Taking a digital approach to the digitization of nonprofit operations will allow them to focus on the tasks that will benefit their constituents the most.
Assess your current digital strategy
Developing a new digital strategy for your nonprofit is important because it can open doors to a new audience, improve member engagement, and gain a deeper understanding of your donors. In addition, your nonprofit needs a strategy that outlines steps to achieve your goals. These steps should be easy to identify and implement, so your nonprofit can be more successful at attracting, converting, and retaining donors. The following are steps to assess your current digital strategy for growth.
The first step in creating a new digital strategy for your nonprofit is to assess your current technology systems. The assessment process can help detect issues and identify opportunities for improvement. Next, develop a digital strategy that will allow your team to work towards achieving fundraising and target objectives. Consider developing automation tools for email campaigns, using video and personalized content, and leveraging technology platforms to integrate them. If your nonprofit doesn’t have any of these tools, consider hiring a digital marketing consultant to help you create a digital strategy.
Once you have developed a strategy for implementing these tactics, you should set specific goals and evaluate how successful you’ve been in achieving them. For example, if you’re trying to recruit more donors through email marketing, you could create a SMART goal for increasing your email marketing list by 200 members. You might also choose a goal to increase adoptions by acquiring 50 new donors through email marketing.
Once you have established a strategy for your nonprofit’s online presence, you need to develop the right tools to build meaningful connections with donors. Understanding your donors’ preferences is key to building a relationship. Using tools like Google Analytics and A/B testing can help you learn more about your donors, and can even provide you with research and data from thousands of nonprofits. So, before you launch your next marketing campaign, assess your current digital strategy for growth and start implementing it today.
Planning your nonprofit’s digital journey
When developing a digital strategy, your first resource should be data. You can use it to create donor personas, the imagined online supporters of your nonprofit. Identifying which of these groups is most interested in your nonprofit’s cause can help you tailor your messaging and target efforts to reach them. For example, an email appeal to mid-level donors might be different than one targeted at first-time supporters, while a social media viral marketing campaign might be more relevant to first-time donors. Determining these categories can help you target your efforts to reach each group and refine your marketing strategies.
Next, consider what your nonprofit’s goals are and how to reach them. While your goal should be to increase donations, you should also strive to increase engagement. A low-friction ask explains the impact of your nonprofit and the role that your contributions play. Prospects want to know that their contribution makes a difference and increases their sense of emotional satisfaction. To accomplish this, make sure you create a plan that outlines the details of how you’ll use digital strategies to reach your goals.
Your staff’s experience is critical when implementing digital tools and processes. Consider how employees will benefit from the tools. Some organizations have a dedicated IT team, but these teams may still be operating in a “napkin” stage when it comes to digital transformation. For example, a large metropolitan food bank typically onboards volunteers in person, while smaller nonprofits may still be a bit rusty. Nonetheless, it’s crucial that the new technology and processes your team implements are user-friendly.
Digitally empowering your team to succeed
Don’t stop at digital fundraising. The economic climate and 2020 pandemic have put the spotlight on change. Nonprofits need to stretch their budgets, defy the odds, and leverage the power of technology. Here’s how. First, leverage collaboration software. Collaboration software can help your organization connect and collaborate. If you’re a nonprofit, you can sign up for free services offered by various software providers.
In addition to the new technology tools, nonprofits should test them first. Many of these tools are free or extremely affordable. Try them out for one event or campaign. Then evaluate their impact and decide if the technology is useful for your mission. Then, consider how you can continue to use the technology and innovations you’ve tried in the past. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home.
First, make sure that your nonprofit’s mission-critical aspects are prioritized. Consider the importance of data security. According to NetChange, $68 trillion dollars will be passed from the boomers to the younger generations in the next 30 years. Second, look at new tools for fundraising, like SMS and user-generated content. Lastly, evaluate the challenges and opportunities associated with data management. Aligning people, process, and technology is essential to a successful transformation.
As the nonprofit sector continues to grow, the ability to embrace technology will be critical in meeting its mission impact goals. Nonprofits that embrace technology will be better positioned to navigate crises and create change. Furthermore, nonprofits that embrace technology will be more successful in defining and achieving their ESG goals, and will increase their social impact exponentially. But the question remains, what can you do to maximize your nonprofit’s digital maturity?