How can your nonprofit organization make a bigger impact in 2023? The Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report is out, and the answer is clear: Digital maturity!
Salesforce surveys found organizations are 3.5x more likely to achieve their mission’s goals and 1.9x more likely to see improvements in organizational efficiency if they rank high in digital maturity. What exactly is digital maturity? It can be defined as an organization’s ability to take advantage of current opportunities in technology and staffing resources to transform people, culture, and processes.
Clean data, centralized systems, and defined processes are all elements of a thriving organization capable of tackling mission-critical work and retaining a dedicated workforce. These organizations are often further along in successful fundraising initiatives, climate action, and DEI programming and put their technology to work to help progress their commitments and demonstrate resiliency.
So, the question is, “How can your nonprofit organization improve its digital maturity?”
Get Ready for 2023
Answering this question around digital maturity seems reminiscent of other rituals and mantras that are popular at this time of year. For example, as the new year draws closer, we see many people setting a New Year’s resolution to “get healthy.” While it sounds great—who can object to better health?!—the ambiguity can make it incredibly difficult to get started.
Should I join a gym? Buy an exercise bike? Start counting my steps? Go on a diet? Cut out sugar? Go to bed earlier?
Faced with too many options about what it means to “get healthy” and how to start, one might end up with analysis paralysis. Without a clear plan and accountability partner, many lose focus and give up entirely after a few weeks.
But, what if you narrowed your decision to just one area of health that appeals to you? Instead of “get healthy,” your resolution might be to simply start exercising. Perhaps, taking a walk during lunch each day? And, with a clearer path, you could even hire a personal trainer to help create an action plan and hold you accountable.
Your New Year’s Resolution: Digital Maturity
So, what does this have to do with digital maturity and your organization’s goals for 2023? Improving your organization’s digital maturity is an admirable goal, but without an actionable plan, it could end up like that New Year’s resolution; one that lacks a path toward realization.
So, here are Attain Partners’ recommendations for avoiding common pitfalls and elevating your digital maturity in the new year.
How to Achieve Digital Maturity in 2023
Step 1: Choose Your Focus
The first step to building your organization’s digital maturity is to decide where to focus your efforts.
Is exercise your thing? Do you want to run a marathon this year? Or, is a mile more your speed? Are you ready to analyze organizational data to plan 2023 fundraising, or do you need to start by collecting and organizing the data first?
If you’re unsure where to start or feel overwhelmed by the options, consider enlisting the help of an expert. At Attain Partners, we’re experts in working with nonprofits to identify goals and design paths to help you achieve them. Meeting you where you are, we can start with an audit, a conversation, a plan to implement a new dashboard, or whatever feels best to you. From there, we can assess your needs and draw out an actionable plan with clear milestones, timelines, and team investment required.
Attain Partners can help your organization:
- Define goals
- Create roadmaps
- Focus your DEI efforts
- Organize and manage data
- Improve digital engagement to reach stakeholders
See how Attain Partners worked with The WNET Group to streamline its subscription process, empower the customer, and ultimately increase its email list by 25%.
Step 2: Build Your Support System
Anyone who has set a New Year’s resolution knows that starting is the easy part—it’s showing up and working towards a goal that requires daily dedication and accountability. If you were working towards an exercise goal, you might hire a personal trainer or get a workout buddy; someone to help ensure you show up for yourself each day.
How does that translate to your organization?
You need a support system in place to sustain and motivate the efforts of your digital transformation. Joining a community of like-minded organizations that are also working towards digital maturity is a great start. Here are some ideas of where you might find those support systems:
Salesforce User Communities
Attend your local Salesforce nonprofit user group, take time to attend the Salesforce World Tours, or carve out time to join a topical webinar. Learning from and networking with others can provide new resources, partnerships, and the confidence to keep up the hard work.
If you’re using Salesforce already, what products are you using? Do they have a community of users you can join?
For example, Attain Partners is a formal partner and implementer of Amp Impact. Amp Impact is a Salesforce-based solution designed specifically for organizations to manage their portfolios and measure impact.
Our Amp Impact clients are part of a larger global community of 150+ organizations, including Habitat for Humanity International, World Vision, and Conversation International. In these communities, they discuss best practices, share stories, and learn from other organizations using the same suite of tools that may be further along in their digital maturity journey.
Invest in a Support System
Whether you’re a lean team struggling to keep pace with your system or a mature team looking for specific expertise, hiring someone to drive the improvements may be the answer.
Attain Partners Managed Services goes to work for nonprofit organizations to continually move the backlog forward, fill capacity gaps as they arise, provide a second opinion when needed, and simply support your team with the daily work. Managed Services can provide advice as you map out your next steps toward digital maturity and/or take tasks off your plate so that you have the time to work on new tasks and strategies.
Step 3: Just Do It.
Take that first step. Trust the technology and experts you’ve hired to help your nonprofit mature.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report shared that in the next 12 months, 39% of digitally mature nonprofit organizations are planning to focus on improving their cybersecurity and privacy, 27% are planning new programs and services, and 26% are putting effort into remote working models that improve employee retention and empower them to hire the right people, regardless of physical location.
Try something new—big or small. We’re big proponents of innovation and our team is always working to Be Bold and Invent the Future. We want that for you, too!
Here are some of the ways that Attain Partners supports nonprofit organizations:
- DEI and IDEA Transformation
- Strategic Planning
- Change Management
- Business Process Modernization
- Salesforce Roadmapping & Planning
When in doubt, research what successful organizations are doing and fake it until you make it. Attain Partners is here to support, hold you accountable, help you take new risks, and teach you how to manage day-to-day improvements.
Mission Success is Dependent on Your Nonprofit’s Digital Maturity
Regardless of your mission, improving your technological infrastructure will help you better achieve your goals and scale comfortably. 74% of nonprofit leaders say digital transformation is necessary for their organization, but only 12% of nonprofits score high on the Salesforce for Nonprofit Digital Maturity Index.
The data is clear. Digitally mature nonprofits perform better than their less mature counterparts, and technology can improve:
- Workplace culture
- Mission achievement
Are you ready to set a New Year’s resolution to further your mission?
Like starting a new exercise routine, it all begins with putting on your shoes and taking a single step. Attain Partners is ready to take that first step with you! Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Read the whole report: The Fifth Edition of the Nonprofit Trends Report (salesforce.org)
About the Authors
Kristi Phillips leads Attain Partners’ nonprofit practice to help organizations leverage technology for social change. Kristi has been working directly with nonprofits to accelerate their impact and deliver creative solutions on the Salesforce platform since 2013.
Before diving into the world of consulting, Kristi worked at Teach For All, where she served as its Director of Data Management. There, she supported 30+ international organizations with their design, configuration, and implementation of Salesforce. Prior to Teach For All, Kristi was at Education Pioneers as their Director of Strategic Site Support and Operations where she led new site development, new program integration, technology development, and program operations. Kristi began her career as a Teach For America Corps Member in Phoenix, Arizona, where she taught elementary special education. Kristi earned her Master’s in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School for Education and her undergraduate degree in International Relations from Boston University.
Laura Bourland is a Manager at Attain Partners with over 12 years’ experience helping education, nonprofit, and technology organizations better connect business goals to the human experience. She holds a BS in Advertising from San José State University and is passionate about using data to drive digital transformation.