Using technology for nonprofits is an approach that should be encouraged in today’s digital world. The increased use of handheld devices and the adoption of the internet has improved the way technology is used in various commercial environments, and nonprofits should not be left out.
It is also no news that organisations focused on productivity today turn to technology to increase the ease at which work is done and are constantly looking to deliver products and services through digital technology, so why shouldn’t nonprofits be part of this innovation?
Technology generally refers to the use of scientific knowledge or processes in business and industry. It often encompasses systems or methods that can be used for practical purposes and improvement of life. Although these improvements sometimes come at a cost that might be steep, especially since nonprofit organisations run on tight budgets when compared to the cost of running activities without these advancements, they are well worth it. One might even consider them more efficient than having to resort to manual means.
This article reviews a few ways to use technology for nonprofits in 2021 to improve operations, increase impact, and ultimately ensure a hitch-free experience for both team members and donors.
Fundraising for nonprofits in 2021 is easier with the use of technology. From sending e-mail campaigns; to creating social media campaigns and accepting donations, so much can be done in so little time using technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic further reemphasised this as several crowdfunding apps —such as GoFundMe, donate-ng or JustGiving —that can receive payments securely from donors around the world were used for fundraising for personal causes, social justice and charitable causes in various countries. Campaigns such as Captain Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS and OGRA Covid19 Stimulus in Nigeria were successful as a result of the effective use of technology by nonprofits.
Web & E-mail Communication
Nonprofits now turn to technology to reach and communicate with the far ends of the world. Websites and e-mails have become very effective technology tools for nonprofits to communicate with their staff, volunteers, donors or beneficiaries. According to the Global NGO Technology Report, 92% of nonprofits worldwide have a website, and of those number, 63% regularly send e-mail updates and fundraising appeals to donors and supporters.
Using websites and e-mails to communicate with a nonprofits target audience is something that should be encouraged. Information is consumed digitally today, and nonprofits should embrace technology to inform the public about the organisation’s vision, mission, impact and recent activities.
Meetings, Webinars and Conferences
Technological advancements allow for flexibility and ease of meeting, eliminating the need to be physically present for an interview or travel across the state to attend a conference because all that can be done with a mobile phone, tablet or computer.
In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, many conferences and meetings had to be done virtually as various social distancing rules did not allow for large gatherings. Many businesses and nonprofits found that though the meetings were conducted virtually, they were as effective as face-to-face meetings in many situations. Also, the added advantage of additional savings of cost, energy and time make it more appealing to nonprofits today.
Increased Reach in Marketing and Awareness
Marketing and awareness is another effective use-case of technology for nonprofits in 2021. The process of running a successful fundraiser can never be as efficient without technology. From brainstorming within teams to setting up social media campaigns for awareness, technology is integrated into the core of these processes.
Reports show that 90% of NGOs worldwide regularly use social media to engage their supporters and donors, and 94% of NGOs around the world agree that social media is effective for creating online brand awareness.
These days, individuals do not want to only donate, but they also want to be involved in the process. They want to see how their donations change lives, and this can only be fulfilled with the aid of technology. Particularly, social media use helps nonprofits share information about their causes more cost-effectively and allow them to reach a wider geographical audience.
Effective Organisation and Planning
Running a nonprofit requires careful planning and detailed organisation of tasks and deliverables.
Organisation is vital, especially when it comes to running a nonprofit organisation effectively. Having all your information (including volunteers, staff, donor, and nonprofit’s information) in an organised database will save you all your essential resources like time and energy, especially when trying to verify and cross-reference details.
Something as little as scheduling a wrong meeting or even forgetting to make a phone call can cost a nonprofit a lot. All these can be avoided with the use of digital calendars and schedules. Just like having your very own assistant that reminds you of all your important engagements, the only difference is that you do not have to pay your digital calendar an hourly wage as these apps are free most of the time.
There you have it, five main reasons why you should use technology for nonprofits. From increased efficiency to brand awareness, the potentials in technology for nonprofits are endless, and it is an improvement you should consider for your organisation. Digital innovation and the internet is here to stay, and your nonprofit should embrace them.