Non-profits need to become tech smart

2018-02-21 06:02

FROM savvy millennials to retirees who have time and a wealth of knowledge under their belt, the way we give is increasingly becoming digital.

Data released by www.forgood.co.za, a digital platform that connects people and corporates to reputable causes, shows that 26%, or one in four requests and volunteer interventions, are tech related.

More than 13 000 social-impact connections have been facilitated by the platform to date. “Technology has opened up new revenue and engagement opportunities for pretty much everyone,” said CEO of forgood, Andy Hadfield.

“This is no more apparent than in the non-profit sector — if you’re not leveraging technology, if you’re not open to technology as an acquisition, engagement and operational channel, then you’ll be left behind.”

As we move towards the age of the “social enterprise”, non-profits need to lower their reliance on donor funding by creating more sustainable business models. Charity, as we know it, needs to be reinvented. But how? Lack of tech knowledge, shoestring budgets and not knowing where to start, are the main contributing factors behind slow digital uptake in the non-profit sector. “Google really is your friend,” said Hadfield.

“Use it to attract donors, tell your story and raise awareness. It’s almost criminal if you’re an active non-profit and you aren’t leveraging this.”

Some of the biggest issues facing non-profit organisations are getting the word out about their cause and raising money. “A presence on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram is a good start. But to ensure optimal engagement, don’t forget you need to pay to play. Social media needs to be in your budget to really make it work for you.”

For additional revenue streams, instant payment portals such as SnapScan are increasingly popular, as are e-commerce shops run through the likes of Shopify. Any non-profit (or small business), can have a functional online shop, designed with point-and-click pay and delivery features, for less than R1 000 per month.

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