Close this search box.
Sponsored story nonprofit Social Affairs Digital

Five strategies to support the digital transformation of not-for-profits

3 min read

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the increasing challenges to secure funding have made it imperative for not-for-profit organisations to adapt or risk falling behind. More than ever, digital technologies are driving operational efficiency to improve stakeholder relationships and helping to retain and share knowledge while bolstering fundraising efforts.  

The volatile nature of the current climate has had a significant impact on Australia’s not-for-profit organisations over recent years. There are not only reports of a decline in funding, subsequently leading to increased competition to secure funding – but an array of unprecedented disruptions meant nearly 2000 charities in Australia were unable to operate, over a quarter attributing COVID-19 as a reason.  

Considering learnings following the pandemic and a shift towards a more remote and hybrid workforce, we explore five key areas and subsequent strategies where organisations can look to digitally evolve to adapt and future-proof their operations, including the why behind the importance of organisations taking this step.  

Adapting to change – the significance of embracing technology for not-for-profits    

Increasingly, it is important for organisations to first understand the far-reaching influence of technology and its critical role in helping organisations to adapt to challenges and achieve their mission. Salesforce’s Non-profit Trends Report revealed that in 2022 only 12% of charities are considered digitally mature, and those who have successfully embraced digital transformation are four times more likely to achieve their mission’s goals while experiencing increased efficiencies and higher levels of employee motivation.  

Retaining institutional knowledge 

Successful operations in charities and not-for-profits heavily rely on maintaining healthy stakeholder relationships, which is essential for smooth operations and to effectively achieve their mission. From Board members to paid staff or volunteers, the ability to collaborate and manage the end-to-end of various projects is vital for all to fulfil their roles. This can prove challenging when individuals are spread across various locations, different time zones and with varying levels of IT knowledge and skills. Establishing an IT infrastructure within an organisation can help to bridge various gaps, including the accessibility of documents for real-time collaboration.   

Establishing an infrastructure to support the sharing and maintenance of institutional knowledge can alleviate issues such as outdated information kept in isolation in paper-based systems and issues of version control with documents stored on local computers which is imperative for sustainable growth.  

Increased visibility for information sharing and transparency 

People are critical for Australian not-for-profits to achieve their mission, so it’s not surprising that they collect and maintain a range of personal and operational data. However, without accessible means to securely maintain records or easily access onboarding procedures, volunteers and staff are at risk of breaching privacy laws or finding systems too cumbersome that they become disengaged. It is predicted that two-thirds of organisations that don’t digitise will fail within five years. This figure highlights the significance of ensuring visibility across organisations and retaining institutional knowledge to ensure business continuity and consistency. 

While leveraging digital tools is important, a further consideration for organisations should be how information is stored and managed securely. By using proficient digital tools and providing access for those who require it without compromising your operations or sensitive information – such as assigning different sets of permissions to information – you can create a visible audit trail, automated process and assign responsibility. Implementing the right tools – such as portals and cloud workspaces can simplify collaboration while protecting your organisation’s assets by securely providing permissions to the right stakeholders who need access to particular resources.   

Developing a digital approach  

A digital approach can look differently depending on your organisation, however, there are common themes that technology can help organisations address including: 

  • The ability to quickly adapt to changes in circumstances  
  • Connectively with stakeholders regardless of their location or schedule 
  • Safeguarding knowledge and collaboration across an organisation 
  • Enhanced systems to improve and promote data security  

Ultimately a digital approach involves utilising one or more digital tools or systems to streamline operations to effectively achieve your goals and mission targets. This ranges from cloud storage systems to project management software to enhance processes and allow for seamless collaboration. 

Steps and considerations to digitally evolve  

Implementing a digital approach can be daunting, especially with budgeting or resource constraints. Here are some cost-effective strategies that organisations can implement to kickstart their digital journey. 

  • Assess your current technology stack and identify any gaps or weaknesses 
  • Support your strategy by leveraging social media platforms to extend reach and engage with wider audiences 
  • Start simply by investing in cloud storage systems or project management software to establish processes to enhance collaboration, regardless of size. 

In an increasingly competitive funding environment, digital transformation is no longer an optional consideration for organisations – it’s imperative to not only survive but for sustainable growth and employee satisfaction.  

In their guide, ‘Technology for not-for-profits: The power of digital transformation’, Ideagen CompliSpace provides an in-depth overview to help not-for-profits understand the importance of digital transformation and actionable steps not-for-profits can take towards future-proofing their organisation. Download the guide here for further insights on how your organisation can take steps to digitally evolve.    

About Ideagen CompliSpace 

Ideagen CompliSpace are expert in governance, risk, compliance and policy management, helping organisations of all sizes across Australia to meet their governance, risk, compliance and policy management obligations, providing peace of mind so they can focus on their mission. 

For more information, visit the Ideagen CompliSpace website.

+ posts

Ideagen CompliSpace are experts in governance, risk, compliance and policy management, helping organisations of all sizes across Australia to meet their governance, risk, compliance and policy management obligations, providing peace of mind so they can focus on their mission.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Next Up