Calling NFPs to Speak Out on the Role of Tech
22 August 2017 at 8:43 am
Not for profits around the world are being called on to take part in an annual research project that seeks to gain a better understanding of how organisations use technology to engage their supporters and donors.
The Global NGO Technology Report, now in it’s third year, is the only research project dedicated to studying how charitable organisations worldwide use web and email communications, online and mobile fundraising tools, and social and mobile media to engage and inspire their donors.
David Spriggs CEO of Infoxchange, which has partnered with Not For Profit Tech for Good for the report, told Pro Bono News, the insights from the survey could prove critical for the sector as online engagement becomes an “essential skill for not for profits today”.
“Whether it be organisations finding and engaging volunteers, staff, supporters; or whether it be raising funds, advocacy, and in the age particularly of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, attracting and retaining clients in an online world,” Spriggs said.
“I think for a lot of organisations, really engaging online is still fairly new. The majority of Australian not for profits for example have only been engaging in social media for the last two years, so it is really quite a new area of research. But from our perspective it is one that is really critical.
“If not for profits are going to engage in the online world, it’s becoming more and more crowded for not for profits, so understanding really the state of the nation and how to best engage is going to be critical.”
Spriggs said he was particularly interested in looking at how social media was used for fundraising.
“Ninety two per cent of Australian not for profits have a Facebook page, but then only 39 per cent of them actually have a social media strategy,” he said.
“If you are not understanding the channels that you are using, then being able to reach those supporters is really difficult.”
He said the survey also provided useful insights for organisations.
“For example 73 per cent of all online donors are female and other stats, like Facebook, for example, triggers four times as many online donations as Twitter when using social media for fundraising,” Spriggs said.
Spriggs said they had seen a shift since the beginning of the project in how not for profits were using technology.
“We certainly saw last year a significant uplift in capability, I think we’re probably expecting to see that further this year,” he said.
“Last year for example there was a significant uplift in the use of social media and also in the mobile capability of websites for not for profits across the country.”
Researchers are expecting more than 5,000 organisations globally to take part in the survey, with between 200 and 300 not for profits in Australia having their say.
“I think that is really part of the value, being able to compare what not for profits in Australia are doing versus what not for profits in other parts of the world are doing,” Spriggs said.
He said it was important to use the insights from the study in future strategies.
“It is happening to a limited extent,” Spriggs said.
“It is incorporated into strategy but I think really only in an embryonic stage, as I said, we were highly surprised last time that only 39 per cent of Australian not for profits actually have a social media strategy in place. So it is critical that we start feeding some of these inputs into that strategy.”
The survey is open until the end of October with the Global NGO Technology Report set to be released 29 January 2018 in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
For more information or to take part in the survey see here.