From recruitment, technology systems, and engagement strategies, to the cost-of-living crisis and external factors that are challenging us all on an individual and organisational level. It’s fair to say that 2023 is going to be another busy year for non-profits.
We’ve taken some of the challenges and themes facing the sector this year and taken a closer look at some of the things to consider across three key areas – People, Technology and Strategy.
- Digital literacy – The demand for digital skills in the workplace and specifically projects have never been greater. But when we talk about digital literacy or digital skills, what do we mean? Consider the range of digital skills staff need to have to contribute to the present and future digital workplace. How might you survey your staff to check what skills they have, and how would you fill any skills gaps?
- Delivering more projects with less – There is a continuing pressure to do more with less! So, knowing what skills your staff have will help you to ensure that you have the right people in the right roles. Where you do have gaps, consider the best way to fill them – is it backfilling, upskilling current staff, or bringing in external resource?
- Staff driving the change – Having the right technology is important but it doesn’t tell the whole story and isn’t the only element of change. If you only focus on the technology, you’re not bringing people along with you – Your staff are key to driving the change.
- Culture and change management – If your organisational culture is right from the start and is already well-embedded, then this will naturally lead to better employee-wide buy-in on any new technology adoption. Consider who is leading and managing the change on your project – do you need a change manager or someone responsible for the change and comms?
- Technology provider landscape – There have been a lot more mergers and acquisitions in the marketplace recently. One impact from this is the reduction in the number of options out there when you’re selecting a new technology partner to work with. There’s also the capacity and skills challenge for technology partners themselves and trying to recruit the best people for their jobs.
- Systems and tools to increase efficiencies – Streamlining and bringing in staff efficiencies has always been a driver for any organisation. But over the last year, when organisations are talking about their projects and strategies, we’ve seen more of a focus on the benefits of using tech to increase efficiencies – whether in staff time, automation between systems or better personalisation and audience targeting.
- The cloud – Moving away from legacy systems and moving to the cloud is a project yet to be tackled by many organisations. We know that by staying on older systems, it brings about issues around security, data, and inefficiencies. With hybrid working here to stay, it’s increasingly important to ensure your systems are fit for purpose and that everybody has what they need to do their jobs wherever they’re based.
- Online interactions – Community platforms and Learning management systems (LMS), aren’t new. However, over the last year, and driven by covid and the drive to provide online education, and online interactions, we’ve seen an increase in discussions around these types of systems. Organisations are thinking more about how they can benefit your stakeholders and the way they interact with you and each other.
- Socio-economic factors – There are several external factors and pressures affecting us personally and on an organisational level. It’s a challenging market out there with political changes, funding cuts, a highly competitive employment marketplace and funding cuts. Generally, there is a pressure to do more with less.
- Achievable strategic planning – Having a clear and documented strategy is vital, especially one that can stand up to scrutiny and that people have bought into. The challenge is often keeping this realistic and achievable, so not trying to do too many things at once! Consider what’s realistic for your organisation, the effect on resourcing, and how it affects current staff – including their goodwill and preventing burnout.
- Strategic drift – This is when you have a strategy in place, but it no longer fits with the external environment. Therefore, your plan might be around delivering certain services or products but if external factors are preventing you from delivering these, strategic drift occurs. When reviewing your strategy, you want to avoid any strategic drift – does your plan still stand up to scrutiny, can it still be delivered, or do you need to review or bring in a process to change your direction of travel?
- Planning for the future – Understanding your IT landscape is important and just because you’ve had something in place for a while and it still works, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to change it! But reviewing your current systems allows you to assess if they’ll meet your future needs, what steps you need to take if a change needs to be made, or simply to check-in on your current processes.
If your non-profit organisation is aiming to tackle any of these challenges throughout 2023, do get in touch with us today to find out how we may be able to support you.