How can you make the shift from offline to digital tools seamlessly? The world is going digital. Now, while it may seem daunting to have to transition all of your organization’s records, data, and contacts to digital formats using technological tools, this process doesn’t have to be.
The first step you can take to ease your nonprofit’s transition to using technology is to enlist a tech expert. When we say “tech expert,” this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hire a seasoned IT professional, although this may certainly help you.
A tech expert can simply be a really tech-savvy volunteer or staff member at your organization. Whoever your resident expert may be, ask them if they would be willing to take the lead in helping your organization begin finding new tech tools and importing data into digital formats.
One of the best things about transitioning your nonprofit to digital tools is that you don’t have to go all-in right away. By taking a gradual approach, you can avoid overwhelming staff, volunteers, and donors. So, where should you start?
Begin with your pain points. Come up with a list of areas where you would like your organization to streamline its processes, and start with some “quick wins” that will help get you moving. This could be in donor management, fundraising, raffles, etc. Whatever the case may be, there are a variety of nonprofit tools out there that can help make your life much easier.
All in all, you will want to develop a plan for making the complete transition for whatever online tools you would like to begin using. Set some goals and deadlines for yourself, such as shifting all donation payments online within a year. No matter what you decide, setting small, digestible goals will help make the transition so much more manageable.
In order to ensure a successful and smooth digital transition, make sure that everyone involved in your organization is on the same page starting on day one. You may need to dedicate some extra time to educating and training your staff and volunteers with regards to technology, but you will come to find that it is much easier to make the shift with complete understanding and buy-in.
Coordinate with your tech expert to designate some time for training and education. You can host a tech workshop for staff and volunteers so that everyone can familiarize themselves with the new tools before they are implemented.
If you’re feeling anxious about beginning to use technology for fundraising and ticketing for fear of alienating your less tech-savvy donors, you’re not alone. Many nonprofits find themselves having to make a choice between the efficiency and security provided by digital tools, and not wanting to make so many changes that they end up losing donors.
In the spirit of taking things step-by-step, you can ensure a smooth transition by gradually introducing new fundraising and ticketing systems. You can begin by doing a hybrid model where you introduce the new tools while continuing…
There are so many valuable reasons to begin using technology for nonprofits. The first and most obvious is going paperless, which has immediate environmental benefits including less paper usage and waste.
Further, by going digital, you can store all of your donor data in one secure place where it can be accessed by authorized users. This makes it easier to transfer knowledge between staff and volunteers in the long run, and prevents hard copy records from being damaged or lost in the event of an unexpected disaster.
Going digital can be seen as making a long-term investment in securing your nonprofit organization’s data, and making processes more efficient. Just like with all long-term investments, there may be a bit of extra time and energy spent in the beginning, but your organization will see the payoff in the long run.