Woman working from home at her dining table.

In the shadow of the COVID-19 global pandemic, all businesses are forced to face unexpected changes. Nonprofits are especially affected. If nonprofit organizations prioritize their websites and embrace technology during these times, they will find unique opportunities to support their mission and thrive.

The Importance of New Technology for Nonprofit Organizations After COVID-19

It may be unclear where we are in the journey of the COVID-19 global pandemic, but it’s very apparent that now is the time to be open to change and shift toward innovative approaches. Across the world, people are leaning on technology now more than ever as a result of the lockdown.

Nonprofits’ Relationship to Digital Transformation

Nonprofit organizations focus on their mission, whether it’s helping people, the environment, animals, or other groups-in-need. Corporations fixate on profits and marketing strategies.

Historically, nonprofits know that technology is important. However, a 2018 study found that only 10% of respondents view their digital program as “highly effective”.

For nonprofits, there is a beneficial sweet spot in the middle of these two dichotomies. When nonprofits focus on their digital transformation and think about how they can leverage their organizational strategy with technology, they connect with more people, raise more money from donors, and support their cause overall.

As consultant Douglas Kelly mentioned in a discussion with Yale Insights, the “strategic use of technology” can “increase the efficiency and effectiveness of [the organization’s] work and the impact on its mission.”

An Updated Website is Crucial

Now more than ever, organization websites are going to be the main point of contact for donors, volunteers, and service recipients. Keeping information up-to-date online is vital, since it will be the first stopping point for people sheltering in place.

Catchafire, a service which connects nonprofits in need to pro bono experts, distributed a survey at the beginning of the pandemic. They found that the majority of nonprofits “in human services, health, education, and housing & homelessness reported seeing an increased need for their services” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More people than ever are unemployed or furloughed and are looking to spend their time in a positive way. For others, self-isolation brought about a slowdown that allowed for mindset changes, and with that, many folks are intent on dedicating their time to a good cause moving forward.

A website, especially one with thoughtful, people-centered design, is the backbone for any solid nonprofit right now. It serves as a hub of information, whether it’s to host fundraising efforts, update donors on projects, serve as a reference for volunteers, or as a source for virtual events.

Nonprofit Fundraising Events Must Be Moved Online

Many nonprofits depend on in-person events for fundraising efforts and growth in awareness. With these events moving to the digital space, organizations are seeing “a need to take all fundraising digital. Nonprofits are pursuing alternative fundraising strategies.”

Nonprofits can utilize technology to help meet fundraising goals. By live-streaming events and getting in touch with constituents on a more personal level via social media, organizations can still reach their donors, despite physical barriers.

Upcoming virtual events can be featured on a website and marketed through social media. Even better: because many during- and post-pandemic events are hosted online, they can be archived and viewed in the future and continue to serve the organization’s patrons.

Because people already have a high level of trust with nonprofit organizations, they are not hesitant to interact with them online.

“The non-profit (sic) sector could be a great place to try new technologies in innovative ways because there is that trust in the organizations employing the technology.”

Douglas Kelley in an interview with Yale Insights

Supporting Nonprofit Volunteers and Remote Work

Beyond live video meetings and online donations, a well-built site can help coordinate volunteers. With an online database, volunteers can have a place to log in to a nonprofit website to see where their energy is needed most. A site with an online portal can be an epicenter of information, schedules, instructions, and communication between nonprofit staff and volunteers.

Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive Post-Pandemic With the Right Technology

With a digital-friendly strategy in place, nonprofits can continue making an impact and raising money, even despite financial and hardships seen during the pandemic.

There are definitely a lot of choices to consider, but the key is to take it one step at a time, starting with a solid website as the foundation. As Blake Morgan writes, “Digital transformation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s not something to check off a list, but instead a mindset that becomes part of the organization’s culture and experience.”

With this change in mindset, a nonprofit can become modern and future-proof its efforts. Organizations who implement the right technology will stand out to their supporters.

Done effectively, technology adoption [and] strategically selected digital tools [...] empower staff and stakeholders to deliver on the organization’s mission.

Here at Lucid Fox, we understand that your organization may need to fast-track your website build or update, and we would be honored to work with you. If you’re a nonprofit and would like to learn more about partnering with us, please contact us here.


References

  1. Digital Teams in 2018: The new landscape of digital engagement, NetChange, 2018 https://netchange.co/digital-teams Go back up: [1]
  2. Can Technology Transform the Nonprofit Sector? Suzanne LaPorte, Douglas Kelly, Tosin Agbabiaka, May 29, 2018 https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/can-technology-transform-the-nonprofit-sector Go back up: [2] [5] [8]
  3. ‘We had a Shoestring Budget in Good Times’: COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on the Nonprofit Sector, The Catchafire Team, March 23, 2020 https://catchafireblog.org/we-had-a-shoestring-budget-in-good-times-covid-19-s-devastating-impact-on-the-nonprofit-sector-434df2d5f78b Go back up: [3] [4]
  4. Is COVID-19 Forcing Your Digital Transformation? 12 Steps To Move Faster, Blake Morgan, April 5, 2020 https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/04/05/is-covid-19-forcing-your-digital-transformation-12-steps-to-move-faster/ Go back up: [6]
  5. How The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Fast-Tracking Digital Transformation In Companies, Bernard Marr, March 17, 2020 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/03/17/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-fast-tracking-digital-transformation-in-companies/ Go back up: [7]

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