According the report “Digital transformation of NGOs: concepts, solutions and case studies” by the ESADE Institute for Social Innovation in collaboration with the PwC Foundation, today most NGOs are still merely starting the process and “only 8% of NGOs have a digital transformation strategy defined as such”. This document was presented this month (19 of January, 2018) in Madrid, Spain within the framework of the tenth anniversary of the ESADE-PwC Social Leadership Programme, aims to serve ‘as a starting point to explore the challenge of digital transformation at social organisations and its impact on all stages of their activity’.
Some of the main challenges for the successful development of a digital transformation strategy identified by the report were “having the necessary talent and providing appropriate training (57% of NGOs claimed to have staff limitations, whilst 55% emphasised the need to train their employees), overcoming budget constraints, the complexity and oversupply of new technologies, and the long-term impact”. According to the report, it is advisable to set up a specific task force to oversee the initial move into the digital domain (as 47% of NGOs do), although in the medium-to-long term, efforts should be made to integrate this effort across the organisation.
According to the survey the main objectives that NGOs pursue with their digital strategies are:
- to reach a larger public and grow their social base (81% of the cases);
- more efficient use of resources and better team and process management (61%);
- to improve their programmes and services for users (40%)
According to the report some of the main challenges identified by the report in the area of internal processes are:
- taking advantage of NGOs’ willingness to improve their internal flows in order to embark on a digital transformation;
- embracing cultural changes; alignment with the digital champions in each department;
- providing support for the sense of urgency in the form of empathy on the part of management and appropriate training for workers;
- carrying out an adaptation process;
- making sure that the investment in technological tools goes hand in hand with cultural changes in the organisation;
According to the survey the main benefits that digital transformation offers to programmes and services are:
- the ability to automate services, increased possibilities for collaboration, and the potential of a culture of innovation;
- getting to know our users and donors better allows us to incorporate new tools that make it possible to adapt our programmes to them; it offers new ways to learn more about them and tailor our offer accordingly;