While we all strive to aspire for all the better things in life for ourselves and for our family, we still manage to somehow share to the less fortunate when we have something extra – whether it be in goods or cash. You feel good whenever you share, right? Not only do your charitable efforts pay off in heaven but it likewise helps uplift the life of another human being.
Charity giving also leveled up along with technological advancements. Most charitable efforts and fundraising activities now take place on the web. Social media is a powerful tool in reaching out to more people without spending much on propaganda. It’s basically the digital form of word-of-mouth. Helping others have never been this easier. If only technology is always used in a good way and not to spread hate and negativity, life indeed will be such a breeze.
Cloud, in every form, is a boon for non-profit. Out of necessity, charities in particular have very strong governance in place to scrutinise the value of any investment and have thin resources that must be utilised as efficiently as possible – particularly if reliant on fundraising. They will often have little IT infrastructure and no in-house IT support, so the opportunity to outsource to the cloud where they pay for only what it is needed at that point in time is compelling.
Non-profits were quick to adopt everyday office and collaboration tools such as mail, document sharing and conferencing on a flexible per-user basis. However, what’s really interesting is how non-profits can access innovative cutting-edge services such as data analytics and machine learning that would have only been possible by joining the queue at a major university computing centre in years gone by.
Research scientists can crunch terabytes of data in the cloud and scale to suit their needs – and funding levels – in an effort to solve big problems like predicting crop failures, understanding societal and health trends, or eradicating disease.
While many of us only have a limited technological know-how, there are a handful of people who excel in the field who are now using technology to improve society by giving/ sharing more and helping find solutions to problems that plague mankind for as long as we can remember.
Five years ago few people would have heard of Uber, Airbnb or Netflix but now they are household names.
And, as more of us turn to apps and technology for the services we use in our leisure it would be naïve for charities to ignore the digital revolution, wouldn’t it?
Well, worryingly, a recent study by Lloyds banking group found that a staggering 49% of third sector organisations lack basic digital skills.
The report’s authors said this included such things as charities having a website, having a social media presence or an ability to accept online giving.
So, are those charities ignoring digital at risk of being left behind?
Financially yes – the report also found charities that are more digitally mature are 28% more likely to report an increase in funding than those who aren’t.
So why are so many charities failing to be more digitally aware?
As with much of the sector, funding is an issue. To make use of any new technology some training is often required and although there are some free online courses, depending on the tech involved training costs can still add up.
To implement new digital strategies and techniques new staff may have to be hired in specialist roles, particularly if existing staff don’t have digital skills or are simply stretched to the limit in their current role.
More charitable institutions must realize the importance of keeping up-to-date to technological innovations to staying relevant in a rapidly changing world. If not, you miss out on a lot of opportunities to seek help and consequently help those who are poor and struggling in life. If you look around you, you’ll see that the future lies with technology.
So, why not take advantage of technology and spread the love through charitable works and fundraising activities that raise awareness for various causes – and no better way to do it than up in the clouds where all the action is currently taking place.