The New Reality – guidance for digital transformation in our sector

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“The digital revolution has already happened, and we are living in the aftermath”

A really practical report and wonderful set of resources was published by Julie Dodd (@JulieDodd) a few months ago which I would highly recommend having a look at if you work or volunteer in our sector. It is all about how we can make our way along the journey to using digital technology to achieve the outcomes, impact and change which our organisations exist for. The resources have been created and drawn together following interviews with 50 senior leaders and digital experts from both inside and outside the non-profit sector. The New Reality site is a helpfully curated online resource comprising:

  • An overview and links to content about each of the 6 key themes:
    • leadership
    • culture
    • infrastructure
    • innovation
    • funding
    • service delivery
  • Some really lovely and useful resources, called take aways, which include the poster below, snappy slide sets and a video
  • The full report and an executive summary

The following are a few of the insights from the Executive Summary which really resonate with me:

  • Digital services will deliver greater value than anyone can imagine (but first we need to address the culture and infrastructure issues that are standing in the way)
  • Until sector leadership stops delegating responsibility for digital we’re not going to get very far
  • You don’t need a digital strategy. “Having a digital strategy will soon seem as ridiculous as having an electricity strategy”
  • A tried and tested process for delivering transformation already exists – it’s just not being used
  • The next stage of digital for non-profits is not fundraising and marketing
  • We need to think beyond web to a broad range of digital technologies to achieve maximum impact

I’ve been meaning to write here about The New Reality resources for some time (thank you to Paul Webster for bringing this to our attention), and I started working on this post while at Local Gov Camp in Leeds. Local Gov Camp is an unconference bringing together people who care about public services, which has a strong focus on digital / tech. I was fascinated to discover that people who work in local government seem to have many of the same concerns and challenges as people in organisations in our sector, though our starting positions are different. Perhaps there is potential for developing some solutions together.

Below is one of the take aways from The New Reality: 20 ways to achieve digital transformation in our sector (also available in pdf). I’d love to hear what you think about The New Reality research, the resources and what support you would like from Dudley CVS in relation to digital transformation. Leave a comment here or get in touch with us on twitter (@dudleycvs) or Facebook.

poster from The New Reality

Missed opportunities? Demonstrating our worth online

Photo credit: mkhmarketing / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: mkhmarketing / Foter / CC BY

A study published by Lloyds Bank has reported that more than half of charities lack ‘basic digital skills’, especially compared with small business. You can read the full report here.

The study particularly focuses on the lack of understanding about how a web presence can increase donations and other forms of finance, but it also chimes with one of Dudley CVS’s priorities for the forthcoming year and one of the key findings of our recent state of the sector survey –  voluntary and community organisations would like some support with telling their stories online.

Being able to demonstrate your impact online, at a time when organisations cannot solely rely on grant-funding alone to survive, might expose your organisation to new sponsors, supporters, crowd-funders, investors, donors, businesses looking to fulfil their corporate social responsibility principles. But the reasons may not be purely financial. Having a web presence can be empowering for your organisation and the people you support; you can run campaigns, dispel myths, inspire people, connect, share and learn.

But what do you think? What do you think about the report? What has an online presence allowed you to do more easily? What are the barriers to getting your organisation on the web? Is it resources, skills in tech and design or anything else? How could we all support each other to grasp new opportunities that the digital world might offer?