Digital technology has significantly transformed the way NGOs operate on a daily basis; from receiving funds, to raising awareness, managing volunteer programs, accessing wider audiences and generally providing an optimized workflow.
Over the last decade, every NGO has come face to face with the question “Do we digitally transform?” Whether or not the response was in the affirmative, this digital era is inevitable especially if you want to remain relevant.
Change can be challenging at first especially when it propels you into unfamiliar territory. Here are 5 ways your NGO can begin a relatively seamless digital adoption process:
1. Adopt a Mind-set for Change
Digital transformation requires buy-in from the top level management all the way down the hierarchal chain. Everyone must be provided with the necessary information required to guide this culture change in a way that does not generate fear or anxiety. Without an organizational culture change, this process will be more challenging to integrate and may even be unsuccessful.
2. Develop a Strategy
Digital transformation is an ongoing process that requires a clear and shared core strategy if your non-profit intends to successfully embark on this journey. Decide on the most beneficial areas to adopt first and identify the steps that could be adopted in the short, medium and long-term in order to achieve them. Be open to feedback from all stakeholders. Remember, there is no final end point as new technology will continuously affect the way we do things.
3. Invest in Your Strategy
This includes more than investing in technology (laptops, software etc.) but also in securing new skills and talents. Educate everyone involved in the process including the end users who should know about the expected benefits stemming from any new changes. Staff who are trained to adequately and comfortably operate new systems or implement new methods feel more confident and this significantly reduces resistance allowing a smoother adoption process.
We cannot emphasize the benefits of collaboration enough. Find an organization similar to yours that has demonstrated and successfully continues to adapt and team up to learn from their process, mistakes included.
5. Keep Transforming
Don’t get complacent because technology isn’t. Keep learning, trying, and experimenting all with the focus of advancing your NGO’s mission. Remember, digital transformation does not happen overnight so be patient with yourself and your staff.
If you haven’t started, it’s time you unleash all the potential that the digital era has to offer and ensure that your NGO is not left behind or forgotten.