With a greater pressure on resources than ever before, it can be hard to find the time to focus on digital transformation for charities. However, it is vital that digital transformation becomes part of the overall strategy for any charity that wants to thrive in the near future.
What is Digital Transformation?
The term digital transformation can vary in meaning between industries which makes it harder to find a clear, accurate description of what it entails. We believe that it means using Systems to work more efficiently and improve the way People and Processes work together within your charity. This can include:
- Automating repetitive back-office processes
- Empowering teams to share information across departments
- Improving case management and ease of access to information
- Reducing admin time for teams so they can focus on their job
It is important to note that a digital transformation is not a one and done project. It should be an ongoing way of thinking within your charity that looks at using technology to support what you do.
Why Does it Matter?
The charity sector continues to be a changing landscape, with service demand increasing, funding decreasing, and continuing scrutiny of costs. This is combining to put charities in a difficult position to carry on working as usual.
Charities can address these problems in several ways, but digital transformation has the potential to tackle many at once. You can meet increased demand by freeing up team members from admin work. Less funding can be countered by spending less on systems, something that is possible with the increase in Cloud-based technology. And scrutiny of costs is easier to manage if you can get data out of your systems, showing clearly what you are spending and where.
All these things are possible through the power of digital transformation for charities.
Challenges to Digital Transformation for Charities
Implementing a digital transformation is no easy task and charities face several challenges to embracing digital. The biggest two are lack of funding and lack of staff skills, with the Charity Digital Skills report finding 50% and 48% of respondents citing these areas.
However, continuing to use these excuses will only make the situation worse. A proper digital transformation will help lower costs in the long run and a crisis like Covid-19 has proven people’s ability to adapt to digital working. Looking to build on these skills should be planned for those charities who feel left behind in the digital landscape.
What are the Next Steps?
If your charity wants to embrace a digital transformation, then there are some clear steps they can follow.
First, you want to understand what your end goal of any project is. You could choose to focus on cost reduction longer term or improving service delivery through technology. What ever you decide it must be measurable so there is a clear point that it can be ticked off the list and the next part of the digital transformation started.
Second, you will want to see what help and support is available. This could be in the form of grants and funding, connections in your network who have been through a similar process, or organisations, like Optimum PPS, who can help you on your journey.
Finally, you will want to create a plan of action. This should lay out the goals you set previously, who needs to be involved in the project, and things like budget and timescale. This can be a time-consuming process but is key for accountability and ensuring buy-in at all levels of the organisation.
We Can Help
We have helped multiple charities to embrace digital ways of working and are experts in helping deliver digital transformation for charities. To find out how we can help you, use the form below or contact us.