Although the world has been moving to a more digital space, before the pandemic in 2020, nonprofit organizations had a difficult time making the switch.
The pandemic did give a necessary push as many nonprofit staff and volunteers suddenly were required to work remotely.
Since then, organizations around the globe have seen the benefits of digital transformation for nonprofits. But in case you haven’t dug into it, we’re discussing more about this nonprofit tech trend.
Here’s your complete guide to digital transformation for nonprofits – 3 benefits and 3 busted myths:
What is Nonprofit Digital Transformation?
Nonprofit digital transformation is a fancy way of saying your organization is prioritizing using nonprofit technology and software for many operational tasks.
Rather than printing paper copies of donor contact lists, your nonprofit keeps them in a CRM software.
Instead of solely sending direct mail fundraising campaigns (which does still work!), your nonprofit prioritizes email fundraising campaigns.
And in doing so, your nonprofit adopts certain software or platforms that allow you to work digitally.
Why Prioritize Nonprofit Digital Transformation?
Think of it this way.
20 some odd years ago, cell phones weren’t widely used. Landlines were still the primary way of calling someone.
Fast forward to the present day, and people have smartphones in their pockets that keep them constantly connected to the world around them. A quick text message to their spouse, and boom! They have dinner plans.
A quick “like” on Instagram on a friend’s photo, and bam! They’ve shown their friend that they care.
Just that one single piece of technology has come so far. And while it has certain cons that come alongside it, the majority of the world’s population has labeled that technology as having more benefits than disadvantages.
The same goes for technology that can aid your nonprofit. If cell phones have come so far in the last 20-something years, then how far has software come to help you advance your organization?
3 Benefits of Prioritizing Digital Transformation for Your Organization:
Any decision your nonprofit makes needs to make sense for the organization. And digital transformation for nonprofits is still an investment.
Your teams need to know that this is the right call to make. The great news is that the benefits of prioritizing digital transformation outweigh the cons. And they’ll only continue to do so as the years go by.
But what are the benefits? Here are our top 3:
1. Improve Collaboration and Communication Internally and Externally
Too often we see internal departments succumb to the dreaded “department silos.” Rather than effectively communicating with teams across multiple departments, some teams unintentionally are cut off from others.
It often makes for a disorganized nonprofit. Projects are delayed. Or miscommunications cause projects from starting or finishing altogether.
This has only increased as staff and volunteers without the proper nonprofit technology have moved to remote working.
The fabulous news is that the right tech tools can prevent this from happening altogether. In fact, it can simplify it even further!
Cloud-based communication technology allows staff and volunteers to work with one another no matter where they are in the world – as long as they have an internet connection.
Donor relationships and fundraising is also made even easier through nonprofit tech! Whether it’s streamlined email software or it’s virtual event platforms that allow donors to engage from their living rooms – it’s never been simpler to communicate with your supporters.
2. Increase Efficiency for Operational Tasks
When organizations prioritize nonprofit digital transformation they quickly reap the benefits of efficiency. They’re not stuck behind their desks, doing manual tasks that are complete time sinks.
Instead, they can automate and streamline workflows and operational tasks!
So, let’s say your nonprofit had an event last Friday. On Monday, a team of staff and volunteers go through the whole list of attendees and manually enter them into a spreadsheet with their contact information.
But they spend hours doing that rather than devoting time elsewhere to make more of an impact.
With the right nonprofit tech tools, all of that can be done automatically. Let’s say the attendees had to purchase tickets online for the event. When they make that digital transaction, all of their information auto-populates into a nonprofit CRM software.
That saves team members hours of manual work! So they can get back to doing more of what they want to do – making the world a better place through the nonprofit.
3. Keep Important Documents and Nonprofit Data Safe
Finally, with nonprofit digital transformation, you can migrate all of the important documents and data to a digital space. And that can help keep it more secure than ever. Doing so inevitably leads to more trust in your organization from your supporters.
For example, let’s say an organization primarily took payment information from donors over the phone. Nowadays, and with many younger generations, they no longer feel comfortable giving up that information in such a way.
Instead, a nonprofit can implement a trusted and secure payment processor on their online donation page. Through state-of-the-art, current encryption technology, donors know their information is safer.
And that can lead to more funds coming into your nonprofit!
3 Nonprofit Digital Transformation Myths Busted
Of course, there are a few myths that are circulating about digital transformation. But some of them are just that – myths. There isn’t merit behind them.
Here are 3 myths that are totally busted:
1. It’s Too Difficult to Migrate to Cloud-Based Digital Technology
It can feel overwhelming to migrate your information from an existing workflow, like spreadsheets, into a new software.
The great news is that most nonprofit technology companies know that, too. So they do everything they can to make it easier for you.
Take GrantHub, for example. They’re a nonprofit grant management software. The technology acts as the central database for all things in the grant writing process.
But the company takes it a step further by offering incredible service and support to assist organizations in the switch. From live training sessions, to pre-recorded video tutorials, to unlimited phone, email, and chat support – users have GrantHub experts almost at their beck and call.
If you’re hesitant about making the switch to digital technology for the majority of your nonprofit, don’t worry! The right software companies will be there to help you every step of the way.
2. Keeping Documents and Data Isn’t the Responsibility of a Nonprofit
As digital technology has become more prevalent in the last few decades, cyberattacks have become more prominent, too.
Data is a sought-after resource for people who have ill-intent on the internet.
So if your nonprofit is accepting any kind of information from supporters, staff, or volunteers, your organization is responsible for it.
The great news is that with technology’s advances, nonprofit cybersecurity is better than ever. And it’s only going to continue that trend!
3. Learning New Nonprofit Tech Tools is Too Expensive (and Takes Too Long!)
Now, it is true that there are plenty of nonprofit tech tools that are expensive. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all too expensive to even consider nonprofit digital transformation.
There are plenty of low-cost and even free resources for nonprofits available! All of them can help you streamline your organization in one way or another.
And if you’re ready to make the switch to some fantastic tech tools, but you don’t have the budget for them, then it may be a great time to look into nonprofit technology grants. These grants often allow nonprofits to put the funds toward operational programs that can help you streamline, organize, and automate your organization.
In doing so, you’ll find that making an impact in your mission is even more possible!
Digital transformation for nonprofits isn’t just a trend. It’s a movement that’s here to stay. As more of the world moves toward a digital space, organizations are eventually going to have to follow.
And we feel confident when we say that it’s only going to make your mission even greater!