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Helping to maximise technology for charities

INSIGHTS | January 26th 2023

Delivering Successful Digital Transformation for Charities 

Article by Nathan Baranowski

The impact that successful digital transformation can have on a charity is significant. Having delivered technology within the charity sector for a number of years now, we’ve seen what a change it can make. We’ve actively sought to enable charities to leverage digital effectively, allowing them to see the change, and realise the benefits.

At recent events where we’ve spoken or attended, we love to hear how so many charities are building their awareness and understanding of the importance of digital transformation.

However, the same questions are being asked: “I have a CRM system but what do I do with it?”, “My board want us to do something with all the data we have, what should I do?”, and “We seem to be fixed on AI but not sure what to do with it?”

Too often we focus on the tech and implement it for techs sake. Whether you're taking your first steps towards transformation or your digital landscape is already well developed, it’s important to take a step back and identify how change can positively impact your organisation.

Rather than solely focusing on the what, it is important to consider the why, and then the how.

The first questions to ask should consider your business goals and what will drive the organisation forward. The solutions are out there, but nobody’s digital transformation is the same as one another, and so solutions are not homogenous.

Think outside the box

Having taken a step back and gained a wider perspective on things, you can start to find inspiration from other sectors. There’s no reason why you can’t look at how technology is being implemented elsewhere and then adapting it to fit your needs.

Financial technology, for example, has been reshaped in recent years by the introduction of contactless payments. For charities, that means that contactless donations can now be made, which removes a barrier and makes donating money that little bit more accessible.

Elsewhere, Internet of Things devices have found their way into our homes in the form of smart devices – speakers, televisions and even fridges. By looking at how that technology is being used in other sectors, we can begin to understand how we can repurpose it. Technology has a huge potential to act as an enabler in any number of ways, and by drawing inspiration from outside, you begin to uncover new possibilities.

Remove the roadblocks

Technology exists to make our lives easier, but all too often members of organisations are put off of the idea of transformation because of fear – fear of the unknown, of change, of cybersecurity. That presents a huge obstacle between your charity and successful digital transformation, so removing that barrier is the first step to implementing change.

Start by keeping them involved, understanding their issues and working through them, ensuring that the technology being put in place will impact them in the way it should.

One of your first ports of call should be to consider the digital maturity model, assess where your organisation is in relation to it and then move forward from there.

Map out your journey

Transformation is not about a simple transition from point A to point B, it’s about continually learning and evolving depending on what is right for your charity.

Build a digital roadmap to ensure that you reach your goal efficiently, but don’t let it compromise your agility. Being able to adjust and tweak your approach throughout the process is key to making sure that your digital transformation impacts your charity in the right way.

Once you have identified how technology can benefit your organisation and plotted your path towards successful transformation, it’s time to start implementing those changes.

Having identified the impact you want technology to make on your organisation and made sure it is grounded in purpose, you can begin to build those intelligent ecosystems that will future proof your charity.

By ensuring the technology is there to ultimately enhance the performance of the organisation, the sky is the limit as to what you can achieve.

If you are looking to make your charity’s next step towards digital transformation, we can show you the way, get in touch with our team for a chat.

About the author

Nathan Baranowski

Digital Strategy & Solutions Architect

Chief Wondermaker and Head of Big Thinking, Tech Innovation & Solution Design at the wonderlab of all things digital, Nathan is the lead data scientist and "Super Thinker" in the team - and makes a great cup of coffee (or two).

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