Not for Profits Falling Behind in New Technology - Research
19 April 2012 at 4:05 pm
New research reveals that 25 per cent of Australian Not for Profit organisations are behind the curve, or face trouble, in keeping up with technology and communications such as social media.
The research, commissioned by Not for Profit technology organisation, Connecting Up and conducted by Digital Business Insights, found that only 5 percent of NFPs use social media to complement or replace their existing methods of marketing and fundraising.
Connecting Up says the research highlights the lack of Federal Government support for the Not for Profit sector’s digital literacy.
The Government’s National Digital Economy Strategy, launched in May 2011, recommended that by 2020 Australia should aim to rank in the top five OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in the percentage of businesses and NFP organisations using online opportunities to drive productivity improvements.
Connecting Up says currently, no significant funding has been allocated to the NFP sector to achieve this goal.
It says that despite the importance of the NFP sector to the economy, contributing $43 billion to Australia’s GDP, the adoption of new technology and communication methods continues to be out of reach for many NFP organisations unable to cover the cost of updating software and hardware.
The research found that many NFP organisations also lack the appropriate skills and knowledge in terms of utilising new technology with 56 percent either not having the capacity to train staff at all or only doing so as a reactive measure, particularly as grants for increased technology capacity do not allow for staff training.
“Contribution by the NFP sector to the Australian economy is pivotal and the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is a step in the right direction. However, it is important that the Government follow up with action to ensure each Department and government agency provides the same support to the Not for Profit sector as they provide to business,” Connecting Up chief executive, Doug Jacquier said.
The research also discovered that NFPs experience double the amount of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issues reported by SME sectors.
“It is imperative that NFPs are adequately equipped to change and adapt to integrate technological advances into their marketing and communications efforts,” Jacquier said .
Connecting Up will bring international keynote speakers to provide best practice insights to Australia’s NFP sector in learning and networking sessions at their upcoming conference “Unleashing the power of your not-for-profit”.
The 2012 conference program will emphasise social media, marketing and communications, and technology tools as avenues to reach new audiences and build capacity in Not for Profit and charitable organisations.
The Connecting Up Conference, “Unleashing the power of your Not for Profit ”, will be held Tuesday May 1 – Thursday May 3, 2012 at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney.
For more information visit connectingup.org/conference
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