Ever since the pandemic, the world has gone more digital. For-profit organizations are at ease with work-from-home set ups and technology like Zoom and G Suite are the order of the day. For the success of any organization, for-profit or non-profit, it is imperative that they adopt to the onward march of technology. While it may not be possible to do all activities online, the digital medium can be used to increase communication, transparency and cooperation with internal and external stakeholders. It can make your NGO efficient, and help you market yourself better.
Here are six reasons why NGOs need technology:
1. Improve transparency and track outcomes
6. Improve competitiveness
Giving Circle provides technological solutions to NGOs at very low costs. Depending on the NGO’s short and long term goals, Giving Circle can create a customized technology solution.
Technological solutions can create a more effective and impactful future for your NGO. Here’s how it can help:
Improve transparency and track outcomes
Non-profits have visions, missions, long and short-term goals, just like for-profit organizations. They have budgets, dedicated teams people who take up diverse functions and execute plans for the community. However, unlike their for-profit counterparts, there is little or no account of what goes on within the organization daily, monthly or yearly. This makes the operations of an NGO seem shrouded in mystery—an element that to avoid if one wants to attract volunteers and donors. After all, the most important thing for a non-profit is to be clean and focused on the good. Technology can help achieve a clean image with record-keeping so that information is available within seconds. Therefore, facts about the NGO, including its budget, spending, and impact, can be shared quickly and openly. Receipts for donations, 80G certificates on the fly, and recording volunteer hours are some of the many advantages of adopting a tech-based system.
Any NGO or non-profit today knows that paper consumption is terrible for the environment. Not only that, paper trails are messy, difficult to manage and take up unnecessary space. Manual processes take human hours, which can be used for better purposes than filing paperwork. Besides, paper records are risky and can be easily lost, stolen or damaged. Client records, donor information and volunteer information, are precious, and it is the non-profit’s duty to mitigate to maintain the privacy of its stakeholders. Technology can help by making administration easy through automated tasks, forms, etc.
Centralization is another advantage of adopting technology. NGOs have many sources of information for their activities, including individual contributors, consultants, volunteers, etc. Also, if an NGO has several branches, each working in their communities without any communication between them, this can lead to disarray. Through technology, NGOs can adopt a centralized system that records the on-goings of each branch. This can be hugely helpful when creating a monthly or yearly report for donors and volunteers, or to appeal for funds. Branches can also learn from each other’s experiences and assess their performance to ensure the NGO does well in all areas.
Today, there are a million ways in which NGOs and non-profits can be in touch with potential volunteers, donors as well as customers. And yet, many non-profits are averse to using social media or websites to market themselves. “Marketing” has been seen as something opposite to doing good, whereas with good causes, there is all the more reason they are marketed well! Using social media, websites and platforms such as Giving Circle, NGOs can reach the right audience, keep them updated on the latest events and achievements and circle back to them with results.
Many NGOs are turning asking themselves what the next step after skilling is. And the answer seems to be selling! Yes, you heard that right! Selling is the next frontier for NGOs in creating a means of employment for their beneficiaries as well as ensuring a stream of funds. Traditionally, NGO-made products have been sold in local markets or at special events around the year like Ganpati, Eid, Durga Puja, Diwali, Christmas, Holi, etc. While this is definitely helpful, it does not account for the gap in the buyer’s mind. Afterall, this is a buyer who is used to logging on to ecommerce websites on a daily basis and ordering products on demand. For the buyer (and potential donor) today, the convenience of digital access and payments in undeniable. It makes senses then that non-profits also adopt online platforms where they can sell their products all year round. This will also ensure a steady flow of cash, versus the funds they receive only during festivals.
In the world of for-profits, competition is not only accepted but encouraged. Competition is seen as a means to improving products and services. What if NGOs and non-profits were to compete to see who is doing better? Technology offers us a way to account for the impact of the NGO, report the impact and compare with other NGOs in the same community or area of work. This can foster an environment of healthy competition which can lead to better results for beneficiaries. It can also help non-profits learn from each other’s mistakes as well as successes.
Technology can improve prospects for the NGO, its staff and beneficiaries. If technology seem intimidating to you, then Giving Circle is always here to help. Giving Circle offers many technological interventions, depending on the goals of your NGO.