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Responsible digital leadership – Skills that every charity leader needs

Posted June 20, 2019
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Do you have what it takes to lead your charity into the future – a future where digital reigns king?

By Rushad Billimoria, Information Systems Manager: Not-for-Profits and Aged Care

Do you have what it takes to lead your charity into the future – a future where digital reigns king? It’s not just about promoting your cause on social media or getting volunteers to sign up on digital channels. It’s about overhauling processes and systems within your organisation for streamlining, ongoing success, and intelligent insights into your operations.

Being a responsible digital leader in a field where fund spend always needs to be justified requires careful consideration. Today we take you through some skills that you’ll need to be the most successful digital leader you can within your organisation.

Don’t just educate yourself – educate your team

It’s not enough to create an IT strategy and start convincing your stakeholders about the benefits of digital transformation within your charity. As much as you educate yourself about the digital changes necessary to stay relevant in the future, you need to instil this education within both your employed team as well as in your volunteer force.

Creating educational packages, meetings, emails, etc., about both the benefits and changes necessary in the digital space within your organisation should be a top priority.

This needs to be approached with careful consideration as to your audience as well as have a persuasive voice. Utilise the same approach that you do when convincing others of your charity’s mission to convince others of the power of a digital-first approach.

Remember your audience and design accordingly

As a charity, you are different from a commercial enterprise, which means that your audience and messaging will be different. This acknowledges that a different approach is necessary when introducing digital marketing efforts – one that may vary considerably from a lot of the information you might find online.

The best way to guide your digital marketing efforts is to create personas for each of your contributor classes, both in terms of donors as well as for volunteers, too. These may be large enterprises, with corporate programs, socially enterprising 20-somethings, through to retirees looking to give back to a good cause.

Be smart about your data handling and gathering

Just because you are a charity leader, doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from rules and regulations surrounding data handling and use in your organisation.

Data security is more important than ever, with steep penalties in place in the case of data breaches if not handled correctly.

You can read all about the relevant rules and legislation surrounding Australia’s Data Protection here. Keep in mind Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme about your obligations in the event of a data breach, as well as the GDPR rules if you have any interactions in the EU.

Beyond rules and regulations, you should also think about how you’re processing and dealing with data within your organisation. Read our article about Analytics for Not-For-Profit Organisations to learn how you could be doing more with your internal data.

Utilise new digital channels and apps to forward your NFP mission

What digital channels and apps are you currently using to forward your mission?

Just a website, email system? Do you have a (monitored and managed) Facebook page? Instagram, Twitter, perhaps? A presence on Google Maps? Are you listed on Go Volunteer?

What apps are you using to streamline these operations? Social media and newsletter scheduling software? Volunteer scheduling software? Workflows like Microsoft Flow?

Are you able to access all this from anywhere, or just within your building?

There are more promotional avenues and helpful apps for charities than ever before, and the advent of cloud computing means that you can have access to these systems from anywhere.

As a responsible digital leader, it’s your duty to realise which of these are particularly useful for your charity, as well as keep an eye on new technologies in the space which can help out.       

And more…

Other skills you need to keep in mind as a responsible leader include:

  • An understanding of the current state of cybersecurity and which of your systems may be at risk (including risk mitigation plans)
  • Collaborate with others in the space. These days, it feels more and more like we’re all in this together. Network and collaborate with others in the space for mutual benefits.
  • Be prepared to show stakeholders the business benefits of digital initiatives!

Know when to partner with the right company

We all need a little help sometimes. Implementing completely new digital systems without the relevant expertise can involve hundreds of hours of (unpaid) self-education, and a considerable amount of trial and error.

Knowing when to partner with the right company to help in your digital journey is just as important as realising the power of digital transformation itself.

If you are at the stage when it’s come time for a helping hand, then get in contact with us at Bremmar. We are leaders in the not for profit space when it comes to helping organisations with their digitisation. Call today on 1300 991 351 or fill in the form below to start the conversation!

Get an initial consultation with Bremmar!

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By Rushad Billimoria, Information Systems Manager: Not-for-Profits and Aged Care

As a Client Information Systems Manager, I’m the go-to person for Bremmar’s NFP and Aged Care customers.  I help charities, non-profit and Aged Care partners of all sizes transform their digital capabilities and modernise their workplaces, using a targeted and industry-specific approach.

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