How are not-for-profits using technology and how can it help them achieve their goals? In October 2020, Infoxchange conducted an investigation across Australia and New Zealand to determine how not-for-profit organisations are using digital technology. Infoxchange’s key findings were that most not-for-profits did not have the necessary equipment and hardware to respond quickly to a changing external environment (like a pandemic) and that the delivery of services within the not-for-profit sector was massively disrupted.
The beauty of working and providing services in the digital sphere is that changes can be implemented and managed extremely quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, many not-for-profit organisations are grounded in their physical environment, or their brick and mortar bases. Most require in-person interviews or screenings, or some people visiting not-for-profit organisations need another human being to guide them through whichever assistive process they happen to be applying for. Remove the ability for these organisations to open their doors and provide face-to-face services and you suddenly have a large number of clients unable to get the help they need.
But what does fully utilising digital technology to your advantage mean? It all sounds a bit vague and to the average person could mean anything from having your computer connected to the internet, to know how to code! If we consider the digital capability categories, as determined by Infoxchange, things become a lot clearer:
- IT Management
Is there a strong ICT Vision? Is there an IT management plan? Organisations need a team who can manage programs, servers, technology use and development. Without it, systems are ad hoc and randomised, there is no clear structure and everyone ends up struggling to use the system.
- Technology- PC’s emails, infrastructure
Can you access your work information and content from anywhere and are these supported by simple collaboration tools? Having the correct infrasructure in place means staff can collaborate and work productively from anywhere!
- Information Systems
Predominantly paper-based systems are inefficient and high risk. Being digitally optimised means you can make integrated reports and run client services seamlessly and efficiently, you can easily track services, processes and outcomes, resulting in better outcomes for clients.
- Online Presence
It’s time to embrace social media and update your static website. Through a sophisticated website and a strong social media presence you can attract new funders, clients and staff as well as showcase your services!
- Skills and Culture
Are your staff members comfortable using technology, computers and the internet? When they are, their productivity is maximised fully!
- Security and Risk
It is vital you keep confidential information safe and make sure those accessing your services through digital technology feel safe, confident and protected. Having optimised security systems in place ensures service interruptions are minimised and all of your sensitive data is protected.
Having the right technology is essential for not-for-profit organisations so that they may maximise their impact and enable new ways of working. If you’re looking to improve your not-for-profit’s efficiency and ability to provide service through a fully optimised website, Web 105 can help build and develop an effective online presence for you and provide ongoing support and maintenance.