2008 Australian NFP Technology Survey Results
16 February 2009 at 2:48 pm
A new survey has found that Australia’s charities and Not for Profit organisations are missing out on opportunities presented by the social web and are unhappy with software that does not meet their needs.
Those that have embraced the digital future are experiencing gains in productivity but some still face major challenges.
In October 2008, Connecting Up Australia surveyed over 1,000 organisations of all sizes and from all over Australia with the help of IT experts Digital Business Insights.
The survey found that those organisations that are ‘ahead of the game’ are using online banking and purchasing more than they were two years ago.
They are also taking up internet-based phone systems, raising more funds online, and adopting some new software.
However, the survey found that they are not moving towards improved Customer/Member Relationship Management (CRM) systems or significantly participating in the ‘social web’ revolution via sites such as Facebook, blogs, RSS feeds, and mobile technologies.
Connecting Up Australia CEO Doug Jacquier says this is worrying because it risks not engaging the next generation of donors, volunteers, employees, sponsors and supporters.
Jacquier says those ‘behind the game’ seem content to stay there and deliver ‘business as usual’.
He says while that may be appropriate in some specialised circumstances, the increasing trend toward lower levels of support from government and increasing reliance on public fund-raising, corporate sponsorship, and private philanthropy will mean these organisations will find it increasingly difficult to get on anyone’s radar when they need support.
He says the survey outcomes throw out a real challenge to software developers in that charities and Not for Profits are between two and four times more likely than other sectors of the economy to conclude that the software they have does not meet their needs.
However Jacquier says the most worrying result from this survey is that despite the sector spending up to an estimated $500m annually on technology, three out of five organisations are not spending a cent on technology-related training.
To download the two parts of the Report – one from Digital Business Insights reporting the main survey data (providing some case studies on technology implementation) and the Connecting Up Australia report that provides some analysis of the outcomes and some recommendations for the future go to: http://www.connectingup.org/NFPtechnologysurvey2008
The data from the survey has also been fed into a new service called Are We There Yet? (or AWTY for short). AWTY is an online tool that allows you to benchmark your technology capacity against similar Australian Not for Profits of your size and in your specialised area of service. This in turn makes the benchmark data even richer over time, as more organisations participate. Go to: http://www.db-insights.net/