5 ways nonprofits can harness technology

August 23, 2019 12:00 AM
  • Harness tech for social good

Technology is evolving drastically from websites to web apps, servers to cloud, and analytics to AI. Every sector uses technology solutions to accelerate business operations, processes, competencies, and models in a strategized and prioritized manner. While technology for social impact may be a new topic of interest to some, there are tech experts and nonprofits who have successfully simplified their operations with technology interventions. Today we see nonprofits from all parts of the country seeking out technology solutions to strengthen their helpdesk, helping them render services in a better manner.

Nonprofits would need to pivot to accommodate a digital transformation sooner or later, to strategize the growing demand for services with limited budgets. Technology has the potential to easily be the driving force behind better efficiency, cost and resource optimisation. There are  now thousands of possibilities available to changemakers to expand their efforts from raising funds to reaching people with the use of technology.

Here are five standout ways in which nonprofits can make use of technology

1) Automate operations

Nonprofit organizations are generally an amalgamation of diverse teams working towards one social goal. These teams are likely to conduct manual and repetitive tasks which are an added workload. Especially, teams involved in functions like finance, spend a lot of time on manual entering and repetitive reporting. These kinds of repetitive work could cause time and money wastage. Technology can be used by.implementing a system that automates known, repetitive tasks. Technology also provides possible solutions like designing digital workflows for managing processes, provide digital assistants to support, track real-time updates 24/7, etc.

2)Empowering donors with information

Nonprofits no longer need to rely on calls and emails to engage with donors. The time is ripe for such organizations to look for innovative and smart methods with the assistance of technology. Owning a website or a mobile app is becoming the norm for every nonprofit these days. Such methods of outreach, via website, app etc, helps in gaining a larger audience and having a strong online presence. These also aid in creating awareness and empowering donors with entertaining and informative content. It opens doors for nonprofits to follow-up with donors and offers them a piece of content in exchange for signing up for updates (like a newsletter), prompting more involvement. Further optimizing the website into an app or web app will give personalized experience for stakeholders.

3) Improve volunteer engagement

Volunteers play a vital role in fulfilling a nonprofit’s goals and creating the desired impact. It is a challenge for nonprofits to manage and supervise volunteers, especially if it has large scale operations. It is cumbersome for any nonprofit to recruit and train volunteers, keeping them interested in organization goals, and solving their problems. A volunteer management system that rides on technology will increase volunteer engagement, improve retention rates, and help volunteer coordinators to concentrate on other aspects of the organization.

4) Fundraising using different media

Fundraising is not only for raising money, but it is a way to promote the goals of the nonprofit. Fundraising is the fuel for nonprofits to implement various programs in achieving organizational goals. Technology could boost nonprofits in taking its fundraising activities to a global audience. Social media platforms constitute one of the best channels for nonprofits to conduct various programs for fundraising. One can do a lot more on these platforms like run campaigns, send customized messages, and include call-to-actions on ads, etc.

5) Reaching the underserved

Nonprofits operate with a determination to reach every individual in its impact focus. It is not an easy task to connect with and support the underserved. Technology could bridge almost any gap between a nonprofit’s services and its impact focus group. Use of technology in this regard could range from communication support to money transfer, helping take services and products beyond geographical and social barrier to reach each individual in its focus groups. Technology is a proven asset in eliminating communication and interaction challenges.

The articles category on Social App Hub provides insight and guidance on different topics on the use of technology for social impact. Click here to browse for more.

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