Friday, 23 February 2024
Friday, 23 February 2024

Study reveals charities embracing digital transformation 

NFON UK, an entity of NFON AG, a European provider of voice-centric business communications from the cloud, has announced that charities are increasingly looking to digitally transform their organisations in response to new working models and the need to meet enhanced demand for services.

The survey of 250 charity leaders was conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by NFON UK. Charity leaders cite their current top challenges as being meeting demand for services (22%), followed by reductions in funding (20%) and difficulties in fundraising (15%). Over half of charity leaders (58%) also feel their staff are under increased pressure through having to work longer hours and at more flexible times.

Since the pandemic, 40% of charities have increased their levels of remote working. Nearly three quarters (71%) also want to drive new efficiencies through the way they are managed and raise funds. Consequently, 43% of charity leaders believe that the pandemic has increased their need for digital transformation, and 90% of charities are planning to increase their investment in communication technology in the next 12 months.

Myles Leach, Managing Director of NFON UK, said:

“The charity sector has been hugely impacted by pandemic, and as we continue to live with the virus, they are continuing to struggle with addressing increased demand for their services within existing resource. There is huge scope for charities to invest and deploy new communications technologies in order to enhance their service delivery and conserve costs – the key is knowing where to start and what technologies will provide the quickest return-on-investment.”

Many of the respondents indicated that the lack of technology investment is negatively impacting their organisations. Prior to the pandemic, 12% didn’t have the IT set-up/know how to successfully work remotely, which meant that the transition was much more difficult. However, once the transition was complete, over a third of charity leaders said that they felt it was easier for people to get in touch when their staff were working remotely. When asked whether they wanted to return to the office, only 22% said they preferred working in an office setting. The charity leaders cited additional remote working benefits included: a positive environmental impact (44%), better mental wellbeing amongst staff (40%), greater team spirit (39%), reduced costs (38%) and fewer sick days taken by staff (35%).

The vast majority of charities have started to adopt and use collaboration technologies to facilitate remote working. 50% of respondents said that they had increased their usage of collaboration technologies (such as Microsoft Teams and Slack), and 24% only started to adopt collaboration technologies during the lockdown.

Myles Leach concluded:

“The key benefits of deploying collaboration technologies is that they drive productivity and enhance the accessibility of staff and documents. However, they are not a panacea – for example, the Microsoft Phone System doesn’t provide enterprise-quality voice capabilities or CRM features, so charities need to ensure they are partnering with providers that enable them to take their collaboration technologies to the next level.”

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