Digital technology is at its peak more than ever before, and with all the different tools and channels available these days, it has become imperative for charities to start going digital in order for them to build their organisations and services. But why is there such an urgency to make the change? What are the reasons behind the need to go digital?
The Rise of AI
The increasing popularity and use of digital are starting to disrupt existing practices. AI (artificial intelligence), for instance, is beginning to change the nature of most jobs, and soon more machines will be used in making decisions on key social concerns like welfare, immigration, and criminal justice. It is vital for charity leaders to understand these changes brought about by digital technology, and to be more active in shaping these developments to protect the most disenfranchised and disadvantaged in society.
Expectations from Consumers
Many people that rely on charities for support will attempt to engage with them first via digital channels. As many people today use the internet extensively, there is a serious risk that the charity sector will end up disconnected from beneficiaries if it fails to harness the power of going digital. It is essential that charity leaders understand all the possibilities that digital presents, because this is the preferred mode of engagement for many people as they go about their everyday lives.
In times of Disaster and Social Upheaval
The changes that the world is seeing today are not only technological but also economic, social, and even environmental, as proven by the rise of tropical storms and hurricanes in many countries. People are living in a rapidly changing, highly complex and messy world that makes it crucial for the charity sector to be able to continually and quickly sense and respond to the changing needs of communities.
Constraints on Funding
Lastly, any objective examination of the state of the charity sector will quickly reveal that government for charities is getting more meagre by the day, while demand for services only increases. Charities must, therefore, rethink how to use and maximize available resources. There is an increasing need for brand new digital models, which can enable more self-help for example. The continuous challenges of limited housing and low incomes also call for new and collaborative solutions, which make use of resources in a more efficient and creative manner.
The good thing is that modern digital technology is now opening doors to new and exciting opportunities for social enterprises and charities to be more responsive to the needs of communities, offering tools which come in the form of data analytics, free collaborative software, and development approaches to put people at the centre – in ways that can make a big difference to their daily lives. All of this aside, in times when politics and corporate life can seem uninspiring, technology has given rise to enormous ambition and energy for change, particularly among the tech-savvy youth who are looking to make a big difference in society.