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Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Your Nonprofit’s DX Until 2023

Double your mission’s impact next year by launching a digital transformation now.

First, if you’re reading this in the new year of 2022, happy New Year! And if you’ve stumbled here later, it’s still relevant, so keep reading.

The most important takeaway is that a digital transformation doesn’t have to be painful or an expensive gamble. I’m hoping this gives you the confidence to take your nonprofit or social impact cause to the next level.

To ensure we’re on the same page, a digital transformation—or “DX” as it’s often called—is the process of adding new technology or upgrading technology to improve how a company works, communicates, measures, and analyzes to meet business needs and grow.

Your team is ready for a DX if growth has fractured workflows, if you’re missing key data points or unable to make sense of all the data you do have, or if you’re trying to build better relationships with your donors, customers, or prospective audiences.

I’ve spent my career helping nonprofits and cause-driven missions grow their revenue exponentially in one to three years. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that the best way to increase returns is by implementing the right technology efficiently on the first go-around.

When I say “right technology” that’s not to say the most “expensive” or “premium” technology. Don’t buy a Ferrari when a Honda will get your team exactly where it needs to go next.

Having the correct technology configuration that enables you to unlock potential specifically for a nonprofit’s purposes is a game-changer. Avoid the time and money suck of having to start over with a costly reconfiguration

Let’s hit pause and reflect on how the majority of us live and work. 

A lot of life happens digitally. A certain worldwide event made this even more true. Right now, I’m writing this from my home desk, and my team is also working from home.

Our digital-first world has become even more digital

The pandemic has altered how people across most industries work forever.

In a 2021 global survey commissioned by TechSoup, 59% of nonprofit leaders said they began transforming their digital systems during the pandemic.

That’s a good thing even if it was prompted out of urgent necessity. With so many people around the world facing added hardship, many of these organizations were able to meet the surge in needs by implementing new technology.

My team at CauseMic had the opportunity to help our partners at the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley (CRCTV) launch their DX, increasing their annual revenue by 235%.

CRCTV saw a 400% surge in cases brought on by the pandemic and their intake capacity quickly flattened. By integrating a nonprofit CRM system with SalesForce Form Assembly—their fundraising platform—we optimized the intake process, boosted email communications output to donors, and were able to meet the urgent need. (Dropping the full case study, if you’d like to learn more.)

Digital-first is as much about streamlining work as it is meeting people where they... well, live—online.

Imagine the growth potential from getting your mission in front of new audiences. Think social media and multichannel storytelling.

Today, younger donors especially are expecting a high-quality, personalized digital experience from the causes they choose to support. The potential giving levels of younger donors as a whole might not match up to that of your current major donors, but to the future-looking nonprofit leader like yourself, they’re just as valuable as an investment in the longevity of your organization.

Investing in a digital transformation today is building for your nonprofit’s future. And those in the nonprofit industry who ignore the reality of an increasingly digital-first society risk falling behind. 

A comprehensive DX is a marathon, but returns are speedier

Something to keep in mind: You may not know what you need right off the bat.

Which CRM will best fit your team's existing platforms? 

Are there simple integration solutions that can cover multiple needs for less? 

Every company, mission, and team is different and will discover what tools they need and (better yet) don’t need throughout the journey.

Each stage of the journey acts as a trial run, improving everything from routine business functions to donor acquisition and marketing campaigns, and this approach will help identify blockers and successes in real time.

Hitting snags during your DX is totally normal, don’t worry. Your team is undergoing a culture change as much as a technology change.

Think of it as controlled growing pains, like getting your braces tightened as a kid—you know it’ll hurt the next day but purposefully so.

And those returns?

Let’s use a CRM upgrade as an example. Implementing a new CRM platform, like Salesforce, can be customized and personalized continuously, but on the first campaign run, you’ll already compile new data about your audiences’ (ideally segmented) engagement. Those insights provide you with an opportunity to adjust your messaging, timing, or communications strategy.

Though the road ahead is not a single sprint, you can tell more stories, inspire greater support, and build better relationships immediately. And that adds up to revenue and impact.

My team at CauseMic has helped dozens of nonprofits and cause-driven missions—from startups to established organizations—in their technology discoveries and would love to hear what roadblocks and dreams your organization has.

Don’t roll the dice; partner with an expert you can trust. Schedule a free, one-on-one conversation with me, and be sure to bring your goals and challenges, so we can strategize immediately.