According to a study by Tech Trust, 59% of UK charities still do not have a digital strategy in place. That may not be a surprise, considering the charity sector has always been an industry where budgets are tight.
However, it’s not only lack of investment that is a big hindrance to the sector’s development but also willingness to embrace digitisation, according to 57% of charity employees.
Staff and volunteers are typically from a wide range of ages, making the implementation of new technologies tedious, and ultimately stunting their adoption.
Running charitable organisations requires consistent and reliable communication with employees, beneficiaries, supporters and volunteers – which is where digitisation can help.
With this in mind charities should take the following into account when considering your next technology investment:
Opex (Operational Expenditure)
For most charities, money is best spent where it’s needed the most such as in front-line services and research. So when it comes to technology, it’s important your investments go further.
This is why many charities are now opting for Opex (operational expenditure) based technologies that allow you to pay for tech without the requirement for an upfront lump sum.
Many service providers will allow you to scale your services up and down to meet fluctuations in demand, ultimately allowing you to only pay for the technology you’re using.
Charities, as well as businesses, are finding OpEx models make it easier to manage IT costs and one example of an OpEx is Software-as-a-Service.
The rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) allows charities to be more flexible when changing and trying new software applications. Importantly, SaaS makes it easier to remain up to date with the latest software without having to invest in a new package when there’s an update, as well as those updates being automated.
Office 365 is just one example of SaaS enabling enhanced productivity, increased mobility and real-time collaboration. Migrating your Microsoft Office suite to the cloud helps meet charity volunteer management needs, such as quickly enabled, scalable email storage and adding new users.
While most industries struggled with implementing remote working and adapting to a shift online for customers since the pandemic began, charities have had some additional challenges to face.
The sector relies on collaboration between partners, supporters, volunteers, and beneficiaries, and finding ways to do this online effectively has been tricky.
Using cloud technology such as VoIP for your applications and phone system rather than on-premise systems can help decrease IT costs, downtime, and required maintenance, ultimately saving money while creating a more reliable way to make contact with your supporters and beneficiaries.
Cloud based applications like Microsoft Teams, through our Connect4Teams solution, not only save money on licensing but provide a secure, centralised place for staff across the organisation to collaborate on projects as well as save and access important files.
In addition, the cloud provides charities a flexible and resilient infrastructure. This is particularly needed at present, as your IT teams may be facing highly increased demand for their services, which are still operating almost exclusively online.
Contact Centre environment
Often the volunteer at the end of a phone is the first point of contact for a supporter, or beneficiary, so it’s important that communication is efficient.
An omni-channel contact centre environment has been shown to improve engagement of supporters by letting them make contact with volunteers via their channel of choice (such as phone, SMS, live chat or WhatsApp). This includes the ability to donate easily over all these channels, ultimately encouraging donation and improving your business relationship with your supporters.
And even where charities have limited resources, a contact centre environment means you can still provide a comprehensive, professional response to those in need.
OneContact offers smart contact centre solutions which aim to deliver a seamless customer experience, all accessed from a single cloud portal – OneCloud. With this platform, we’re able to offer a scalable service. Simply scale up or down when needed, from capacity to levels of automation.
Cloud Communications Service Provider
Working with a Cloud Communications Service Provider, such as Onecom, is crucial when choosing the technologies and applications that best suit your business requirements and the needs of your stakeholders.
A good service provider can help a non-profit organisation maximise technology investments, manage data (keeping donor/supporter information secure), reduce security risk, and ensure cyber compliance.
Better yet, we’ll manage the service on your behalf, offering support to users experiencing issues or requiring support.
As charities continue supporting their communities through this uncertain time, it’s important for you to remember that we can help navigate the ever-changing IT landscape so you can focus your time and resources on what matters most.
With smarter technology investments, charities have the potential to improve almost every aspect of operations – from internal efficiency to fundraising and online user experience.
To speak to one of our team about finding the right technology for your non-profit organisation, call 03300 888 999.