In today’s digitally-centered world, technology is affecting charities in various ways. In fact, the use of technology is having an impact on the entire charity sector.
According to recent research, nonprofits with a digital strategy outperform those without. In addition, 92 percent of digitally-focused charities predict greater donations and productivity. Furthermore, their efficiency is higher as a result of investing in technology.
Here are some of the main ways technology is affecting charities and impacting the entire charity sector.
Homelessness and Technology
Many organizations have invested in contactless payment technologies in recent years. This is partly to compensate for a cashless future and the subsequent effect this has on donations. Organizations like Cancer Research, Sue Ryder, Macmillan, and NSPCC are using cashless fundraising in store windows, hospices, and street fundraising.
Homeless charities are also using contactless technology to help people whose lives are affected by having fewer cash transactions. Several new organizations were created specifically for this purpose. TAP London, for example, is a non-profit that uses contactless payments to support homeless people in London.
Cashless payments aren’t just helping homeless charities. Beam is a crowdfunding company using technology to help homeless people get off welfare and into work. Anyone can join the online network and make a one-time or monthly donation to help homeless individuals.
Beam is innovative because it removes hurdles that restrict individuals from donating to the homeless. With Beam, users can send money quickly and track how it’s used.
Apps To Simplify and Streamline
Along with fundraising, digital technology is helping nonprofits streamline and enhance processes. Employees and volunteers use apps to speed up and simplify administrative activities as well as support.
One of the greatest examples is Age UK’s Steps app, which helps employees engage with older people. It allows them to take notes, establish action plans, and share them. By streamlining formerly complex and time-consuming procedures, the app ensures personnel provide complete and conscientious service.
This is significant. Technology is typically thought of as replacing or harming the human touch that charities rely on. However, apps like Steps show how technology can strengthen human interactions.
Other digital projects, like an online chatbot, have also been effective. According to Webcredible, the agency behind Age UK’s digital transformation, digital projects have increased volunteer sign-up conversion by 50 percent. Again, this illustrates how investment in technology may benefit charities internally, not just externally.
Blockchain Technology Advantages
Blockchain is another technology with major ramifications for charities. To clarify, this is a peer-to-peer electronic database of transactions, not a central database administered by a third party.
One of the key benefits of blockchain for nonprofits is that it increases transparency. It provides for payment monitoring from donor to beneficiary.
Ethereum, a more ambitious application of blockchain than Bitcoin, is one of the most interesting examples. Ethereum can distribute and execute code, allowing you to transmit digital currency to another user on the network. In addition, you can also transmit the conditions under which they should be paid.
Alice is another blockchain platform for charities. Homeless charity, St. Mungo’s was one of the first nonprofits to use Alice to track donations. Donors could request a refund if they felt their donation did not achieve the desired outcome.
Because of its unfamiliar and sophisticated nature, some charities tend to be suspicious of the technology. However, some well-known charities, including the Red Cross and Save the Children, have begun using blockchain and accepting Bitcoin donations.
Technology To Teach
Aside from direct assistance, a lot of charity work focuses on providing skills and knowledge to help people adjust to or sustain a normal life. Charities like Beam, which helps rough sleepers transition into society, use technology to empower individuals.
Another organization, Help Refugees, uses technology on the ground, giving out iPhones to refugees in danger. It also funds non-profits like Code Your Future, which trains refugees to code.
Paper Airplanes is a similar nonprofit. It teaches linguistic and professional skills to young people affected by war in the Middle East and North Africa. It can educate those who cannot afford or attend expensive or long-distance training programs to help them find work.
With a stronger focus on digital strategy, charities may improve practically every element of their operations. This includes internal efficiency and online user experience. Using technology is a simple example, but it shows its true power in the charity sector.
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