The What, Why and How of Digital Transformation for Non-Profits

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“Digital transformation represents the opportunity for businesses to think and operate like digital companies in the way they engage their customers, empower their employees, optimize their operations and transform their products.” Caglayan Arkan

This definition comes from a Microsoft article titled; Digital Transformation: Seven steps to success – How businesses can stay relevant and competitive in today’s new digital era.

The articles definition is not only pertinent, but the title itself speaks volumes for non-profits, or so it should.  It is not only businesses that need to stay relevant and competitive in today’s digital era.  Non-profits need to stay on the cutting edge of technology as well, not only to stay relevant, but to also protect the vulnerable people they serve.

As a non-profit, you understand that every donor dollar earned is a struggle and every donor dollar spent is done so under a microscope.  You are held to a high level of accountability and are expected to provide a high level of transparency. It is the nature of the industry.  Added to that, non-profits are responsible for the safety and security of the private information of the vulnerable people they serve, a duty that is getting harder and harder to maintain.

What does digital transformation look like for non-profits?


Even though social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are essential in expanding your digital footprint and connecting with a global audience, these tools are not considered digital transformation.


Typically, non-profits approach digital transformation by upgrading existing systems or advancing to new systems from an ad-hoc perspective, focusing only on the technology itself. Important factors like impact on staff and staff engagement, organizational challenges and organizational culture are overlooked.  These ad-hoc solutions usually operate in a silo, information cannot be shared among existing and implemented solutions.  Data is segmented and scattered, rendering it useless. Ad-hoc solutions tend to fail because the business solution is not delivered.

The right way

Having a clear strategy with the big picture in mind will put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  Even though technology is changing rapidly, an organizations overall vision and long-term goals should remain the same.

It is imperative to have qualified professional IT team to help you establish an actionable goal, one that helps your organization operate at maximum efficiency.  When you begin with a digital transformation strategy, you make the focus about the business outcome and what you actually want to achieve, the technology is merely a means to deliver on those business outcomes.

Why is Digital Transformation important for Non-Profits? – Enhancing the donor experience

Non-profits are always looking for ways to enhance the donor experience and there are three key areas that are important to donors; the interactions between donor, realizing that their contribution is making a difference; and that non-profits are delivering on their mandates.

As volunteers come and go, non-profits need continuity of service, a crucial part in building a long and sustainable relationship with a donor.  Donor experience begins with interaction with volunteers and information that they gather and are able to relay to other volunteers is crucial in delivering a seamless, meaningful interaction with donors.  Having a strategic plan in place to implement digital application such as a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) can capture all the information and interactions pertaining to your donors, giving your volunteers the ability to deliver top-notch, informed customer service.

Due to the digital age and information at their fingertips, people nowadays are expecting information at the click of a button. In order for donors to feel as if their contribution is making a difference, it is imperative to provide donors with an accurate snapshot of how their contribution has impacted the community.  Again, having a strategic plan in place will allow non-profits to integrate their digital applications that capture and analyze data with their CRM, showing the donor the direct impact, their dollars have on the community.

Delivering on their mandates includes non-profits operating at maximum efficiency by spending the majority of their assets on their goals and objectives and a very small amount on administration.   To cut down on administration, non-profits can increase their efficiencies like shortening the donation cycle or increasing leads on new donors.  In order to achieve this, the right technology and processes have to be aligned to meet this efficiency.] However, identifying and implementing cohesive systems that interact and deliver the desired business outcomes is not always apparent.

How to get it right

At INVORG we want to work together with non-profits to uplift communities.  In order to empower non-profits, we have developed a host of tools to provide end-to-end advice and support to guide you through your digital transformation. Our CIOaaS program provides a qualified IT professional helps to identify your organizations unique needs, creates a strategic plan to update and advance systems and operations. Our CIOaaS program can also be delivered as a subscription-based model where you pay one low monthly fee to have defined access to our IT professionals for advice on strategy and implementation. We believe the cornerstone of donor experience is a robust CRM that will capture, track and manage information. Our End-to-End CRM Implementation seamlessly integrates people, process, data, policy and technology to help you maintain a positive long-term relationship with stakeholders.

Article by:

Joseph Edward

Founder & Chief Innovation Officer @INVORG

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