Not-for-profits more plugged into tech after covid-19 shocks

Posted on 27 Nov 2021

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

16:9 Data tech computer

Not-for-profits are accelerating their digital transformation in the wake of the pandemic, but nearly half think they aren’t doing enough, a new report by sector tech specialists Infoxchange reveals.

The latest Infoxchange report
The latest Infoxchange report

Key findings of the Digital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector study, which surveyed 600 NFPs, include:

  • 95% of organisations said the pandemic had affected service delivery, with Victoria and NSW facing the most significant impacts
  • 69% of the sector are committed to the cloud, increasing from 35% three years ago
  • 47% are unsatisfied by the way they are using technology
  • 38% of organisations say their primary information system gives them the power to understand the impact of their service
  • 44% of organisations don’t have a security incident response plan
  • 25% are still “completely or largely unprepared” to support staff working from home
  • on average, 6.4% of operating expenses go to digital technology.
Infoxchange study
Key findings from the Infoxchange study.
David Spriggs

Infoxchange Group CEO David Spriggs said groups should not wait to invest in digital tech.

“The covid-19 pandemic has really emphasised how important it is for not-for-profits to have effective, reliable technology in place so they can better support communities and make the biggest impact possible.

“While we did witness significant acceleration in digital ways of working over the past 12 months, there is still room for improvement … particularly when it comes to the use of digital channels to reach vulnerable community members,” he said.

Infoxchange’s previous report showed just 3% organisations were unaffected by the pandemic, prompting groups to fast-track technological changes so they took days or weeks, where previously they would have taken months.

This year, many of those changes appear to have bedded down, with fewer groups nominating video conferencing (12% down from 53%), team collaboration tools (14% down from 46%, or staff digital skills (14% down from 48%) as key covid-19 adaptations.

But the key priorities for not-for-profits mirrored last year’s findings, with the top five being better websites (44%), better social media and digital marketing (38%), improved data and IT security (24%), improved staff capability (23%) and implementing new info tech systems (20%).

The top five challenges for groups also haven’t changed in two years, comprising funding (43%), access to technical resources (37%), staff capability (36%), keeping pace with technological change (28%) and making the most of the cloud (23%).

Mr Spriggs said the study would inform the work of its Digital Transformation Hub, aimed at helping the sector with technology transformation.

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