Supporting digital transformation in the non-profit sector
Digital tools and infrastructure allow organizations to be more effective, better connect with their stakeholders, and collaborate more effectively.
A partnership between the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and key non-profit sector stakeholders is exploring the digital landscape of the sector to support Canada’s social, cultural and economic recovery from COVID-19.
Digital tools and infrastructure allow organizations to be more effective, better connect with their stakeholders, and collaborate more effectively. The benefits of digital transformation are well understood as being critical for organizations to meet the needs of their stakeholders, especially due to the impacts of COVID-19. However, realizing it requires coordinated support to build digital capacity at every level: among employees, within organizations as well as the non-profit sector.
Some solutions are readily available, but even when employees have the tools they need, they don’t always have the training to use them effectively. Digital transformation also requires a culture shift to support new ways of doing things with support from the top. We need leaders who are open to change who can easily adopt new technologies and expand their organizations’ partnership opportunities.
We also know that when budgets are tight, non-profits often choose to spend on activities that contribute directly to their mission. While technology ultimately enables results, it’s not always easy to demonstrate the connection. How can we further support digital transformation in the non-profit sector?
Driving positive change through partnerships
Partnership is critical to raising the collective level of digital maturity in the non-profit sector. With the right digital tools and infrastructure, organizations can better connect with the people they support and can work together more effectively to drive positive change in their communities.
Technovate, a collaborative co-led by OTF, Royal Bank of Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, IBM Canada, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Medavie Foundation, and Canadian Tire Jumpstart, explores the digital landscape of the non-profit sector to support Canada’s social, cultural and economic recovery from COVID-19.
The collaborative looks into what exists that can be scaled up and what is missing that requires investment. So far, we’ve learned that:
- the non-profit sector needs dedicated funding to support the purchase of new technology and the training to use it, building capacity from the front lines through individual organizations and ultimately across the sector.
- doing it one organization at a time is not enough - cross-sector partnerships are key.
The Technovate partners are embarking on a second phase of work in collaboration with the recently launched Canadian Centre for Nonprofit Digital Resilience.
Learn more about OTF’s Partnership Investments program.