Article:

Digital transformation through a not-for-profit lens

03 August 2022

Mark Cushing, Partner, Consulting |

Digital transformation provides the opportunity to optimise an organisation’s information technology (IT) systems and processes to increase profitability and drive improved performance. As a not-for-profit (NFP) entity, have you considered the range of benefits to be gained through modernising your technology and improving your customer’s experience?

As digitisation continually grows and evolves, the digital practices of an NFP entity should be regularly monitored to take advantage of these emerging technologies.

BDO’s Not-For-Profit experts explore digital transformation through an NFP lens, detailing how this can be applied to your unique business requirements. We do this by harnessing the power of your own data and leveraging technologies to ensure you realise the return on your digital investment.

Digital transformation and the power of data

It’s essential an NFP entity starts by identifying any key business challenges requiring a digital transformation solution and clearly understanding how these intended changes support the organisation’s strategic future. A key challenge for all NFP entities is to better understand how the services it delivers impact the community. By harnessing the power of digitally enabled data, you will gain evidence-based insights to understand and improve the ongoing community impacts of your service.

Transparent and accurate reporting for decision-making and planning

With growing customer service expectations and ongoing financial sustainability pressures, NFP entities should consider the benefits associated with minimising manual processes through digital automation. NFPs are subject to many reporting requirements, including regulatory obligations, stakeholder and customer needs, workforce monitoring, board reporting and performance reporting of ongoing projects in delivery.

Enhancing your entity’s reporting needs to take advantage of digitally enabled solutions will allow employees to redirect efforts into more value-add activities, such as improving service quality, support and organisational performance.

Workforce and people-related insights

Every business in Australia is experiencing workforce challenges and NFP entities are not immune. Understanding your people, predicting their future ways of working and the impacts organisational culture has on service delivery performance has never been more important. Having the ability to interrogate your workforce data and to identify capacity and capability gaps across the business are insights needed to build a workforce aligned to your organisation’s strategic objectives.

This level of workforce data assists organisational leaders with making evidence-based business decisions to best manage finite people resources. It’s important data which can be used to inform future workforce strategies, such as retention and recruitment plans.

Understanding customer behaviour

Whether your NFP entity is looking to expand or identify value-added services for clients, your own collected customer data can be used to help understand your customer’s sentiment and forecast their future support or requirements. Investing effort into undertaking customer analytical insights will provide you with valuable information to improve customer retention, attract new customers or optimise the current services your entity offers to better meet customer expectations.

Understanding the value of your services

Many NFP entities rely on external means of financial support from institutions such as government funding, grants or philanthropic donations from the community or organisations. Having the ability to utilise your own data to articulate the benefits your entity delivers, both economically and socially, in the community is a valuable message to be able to communicate. The better articulation of these economic and social impacts has been proven to help with retaining or attracting ongoing financial support. The advantages of digital transformation and harnessing the power of your data presents a transparent and accurate representation of the impacts you are having on the community.

BDO recommends

The development of a digital transformation roadmap will differ for each organisation and, once in place, should be monitored regularly to identify ongoing efficiencies to ensure it remains agile and continues to meet your entity’s strategic objectives.

Our NFP specialists recommend with any digital transformation journey, you understand a priority area of the business clearly needing digital intervention. For NFP entities, it’s important to initially take incremental steps and understand the return on the digital investment before investing further on your transformation journey.

Get in touch to learn more about digital transformation and how your NFP entity can leverage the power of data to improve your organisation’s practices in the future.