With advances in technology across many industries, the business landscape as we’ve known it has changed considerably throughout this decade. These last nearly three years of the Covid-19 pandemic have caused an even more dramatic change in business dynamics. As Covid began in 2020, all of us were compelled to use more technology in our day-to-day lives.
The game has really changed when it comes to how we can reach our customers, clients, and audiences. This includes a new approach to sharing important missions and messaging, the way non-profits so often do. Vaccines have rolled out, and many folks have already gotten a second booster. That said, gathering inside amongst unmasked and potentially unvaccinated people is still something many companies and organizations are not comfortable with. Let’s not forget many non-profits serve underrepresented communities that have suffered more than most through this pandemic. As a result, there are far fewer major gala events, special auctions, small fundraising parties, or raffle and bingo nights. All the small to massive in-person events that encompass the hard work non-profits do for funding nearly came to a halt at the peak of Covid and has yet to fully return. It may never.
Operating a Successful Non-Profit in the Covid Pandemic
More and more companies have realized they can do their fundraising outside of the traditional formats and that offering more accessibility to fundraising platforms and events is good because it enables events to be more inclusive as a whole. There are many people who would love to participate in fundraising events but don’t have the ability to attend them for any number of reasons – be it physical, mental, spiritual, financial, classist, or a combination thereof and beyond.
The dawning and advancement of the internet has opened up a world of access to people throughout the globe. This opens the capacity for access to funding from broader resources that may not have otherwise been available. It also provides a connection to the services that non-profits offer to a much broader audience of people in need. Overall, technology is a win-win for the non-profit sector. Now, more than ever is the time to ensure your non-profit is keeping up with the times to keep up with funding.
Your Non-Profit Needs More Than a Brochure Website
Non-profit websites need to be more than a brochure site now: services and products, or the benefits your non-profit provides, need to be accessible online. Again, this has been true for some time now, but hasn’t been or hasn’t felt approachable to so many. When an organization looks at the upfront costs associated with upgrading their websites, it can feel prohibitive. However, the benefits and return on that investment are immense.
If your business hasn’t done so already, enabling direct-to-consumer sales, direct-to-client services, and/or direct to donator funnels, is essential. This has been the case for a while and will continue for both consumer and non-profit entities, post-covid and all.
Learning Management Systems Are Non-Profit’s Future
Some say cloud storage is the hot topic for non-profits, but we say it’s learning management systems. Moving to the cloud is pretty important, but having enough data to actually justify it is even more important. In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of ensuring teachers, instructors, and coaches are utilizing Learning Management Systems. This certainly applies to non-profit organizations of all sizes, as well – whether you’re teaching other non-profits how to utilize technology, how to write grants, or how to start mutual aid groups, it should all be available digitally.
This increases your knowledge and involvement authority within your non-profit’s community, but it also creates another income stream. Again, thinking of upgrading your website and online platform to include a learning management system can feel cost-prohibitive. That said, the benefits are immense. The increased awareness due to the enhanced SEO that comes from having a learning management system alone is massive. There can also be a paywall for your online courses that include different bundled pricing to make them more accessible. Many companies offer discounts to non-profits for their software, such as Mailchimp or Google’s G-suite. You can also apply for grants. Click here for a list of all foundations and grant-making organizations. There are thousands of places to submit grant proposals to. In other words, where there is a will (and internet access), there is a way!
Non-Profits Succeed With Technology
You don’t need to be a non-profit company that focuses on technology like “One Laptop Per Child” or “The Guardian Project.” (Both of which empower people around the world through the use of and access to technology, awesome!) What we’re saying is: any non-profit can do massive good with the use of technology.
We look at organizations, like Pencils of Promise, that have a strong digital platform for an otherwise fairly analog mission. They raise money to build schools and educational programs in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, and Nicaragua for the purposes of increasing literacy. Their website has a lot of helpful and smart implementations, like a store where you can buy their book or t-shirts. They also have a blog that delves deep into the details of their work, instructions on how to start local PoP (Pencils Of Promise) clubs, and so much more. Importantly, they also have a number of ways to provide donations and learn more about the organization as a whole. These features all go far beyond what a typical brochure can display. (Maybe they will include a learning management system in the future, too!)
Non-profit organizations such as Girls Who Code use massive and incredibly impressive learning management systems. We don’t think this kind of impact needs to be limited to teaching organizations, though we believe it should include all of them.
Increase Your Technology, Increase Your Funding
If you think your business or non-profit will benefit from a more expansive online platform or would like to upgrade to a learning management system, we would love to hear from you. There are so many non-profit organizations that many of us have benefited from as individuals at Daggerhart Lab, so this is something we’re excited about supporting further.