Today, the digital transformation affects all organizations: from local trade to CAC 40 companies through VSEs / SMEs. And non-governmental organizations (NGOs), perhaps less publicized, have also started their digital transformation …
Why should an NGO set up a digital strategy?
According to the LIMITE-IFOP e-donor barometer, in partnership with IDAF and AFF, online donations represent 7.2% of annual donations (increasing) and online donors are more generous with an average donation of 104 € against 63 € by check. The interest is therefore economic.
Beyond that, NGOs must transform themselves to bring more transparency to their donors. Communication is essential and they must therefore be present where the potential donors are, namely on the Internet, especially on social networks.
What types of digital projects for NGOs?
NGOs face the same problems as businesses, namely that they must gain visibility. They have thus adopted social networks, work their semantic field in depth to promote SEO and create sites with an e-commerce approach to develop donations.
According to NGOfacts, there are around 1.3 million NGOs in England. Visibility is therefore a priority. NGOs take a very professional approach when it comes to digital transformation and they call on providers who know how to guide them in their evolution.
What particularities in project management?
Despite a degree of maturity close to business, in any case for those I have encountered, NGOs have specificities that should be known and which are both a source of constraints and opportunities.
It is indeed a specificity, even more than a business. They must use the funds they have in a reasoned and responsible manner because the majority of their budget comes from donors.
These donors aim to contribute to the achievement of concrete actions. The sums dedicated to digital transformation have a strong vocation of return on investment to justify that they are not directly invested in actions on the ground.
This is an important specificity that I have experienced during projects with NGOs. Indeed, the approach is based on consensus and approval by a multidisciplinary project team. Decision-making is slowed down because everyone must contribute and validate the directions that are taken.
Management manages the project with a set of resources which are not directly linked or whose profession is quite different. The result is rich exchanges and a large panel of ideas, but the decision process is longer. The deadlines of a project must absolutely take into account this environment and type of operation so as not to penalize the retro planning defined in advance.
Little feedback on a personal experience: during a workshop, I asked each participant to intervene only when he was concerned with the subject. It was a proposal that surprised at the start, but made it possible to move forward efficiently and satisfy the sponsors 🙂
In projects that require the drafting of restitution documents such as specifications, it is relevant to add to purely functional elements business information and statistics, for example, which justify this or that functionality.
These data are not necessary for the technical teams who will develop the project, but do not forget that the specifications also aim to help the client to visualize his project and to be validated …
If it is only functional, your contacts will ask you questions that you can anticipate with a slightly richer document. Then, a bit of formalism is welcome: minutes of meetings, attendance sheets, etc.
All this should be taken into account in the costing phase as far as possible.
NGOs have enriching projects, with their codes and operating methods. The digital transformation is for them a real challenge that should be addressed with a touch of “diplomacy”.