We explore the current state of charity boards and how they can digitise, with the help of Shaparency’s Nonprofit’s Guide to Boardroom Digitisation
We all know how vital digital technology became during COVID-19, and we all know where the charity sector would have been without it. In fact, one in three charities found themselves in that unenviable position, having to cancel key services during lockdown because they lacked the digital skills necessary to continue them.
Charities who have yet to embrace digitisation, then, are running a little late. Hybrid working, online fundraising, and remote service delivery all depend on an organisation’s successful digital transformation and the charity sector is answering the call. More than two thirds of charities now see digital as a prime concern, with many saying they plan to invest in digital infrastructure in response.
But it seems boardrooms are yet to get the memo. According to The Non-Profit’s Guide to Boardroom Digitisation, by board management software firm Shaparency, only 32% of conversations in the boardroom are about digital transformation, despite its growing importance in a post-COVID-19 world.
Of course, digital transformation is just one challenge facing charity boardrooms in 2021, but they are all interlinked. Take diversity, for example. The average board member in the UK, America, and Australia is a 59-year-old white male. In some cases, the racial and gender diversity among board members is actually decreasing. If the boardroom remains dominated by only one type of person, and conversations are continually led from one perspective, making progress is more difficult.
But it’s not too late. No matter where an organisation is on its digital journey, the best thing to know is where to start. Shaparency highlights lack of digital education as a major barrier for boards embracing digitisation. The Non-Profit’s Guide to Boardroom Digitisation points out the key benefits of going digital, and offers tips on how to communicate these successfully to a hesitant audience.
The guide also provides step-by-step instructions on how to kickstart the board’s digital journey, with pointers on what to look for in boardroom technology, how to measure competency and meeting efficiency, and how to properly benchmark performance. Benchmarking can help charities to understand and improve performance and strengthen governance effectiveness.
Ultimately, no matter what the cause, a charity’s performance can only be as good as its leadership. Missing the boat on digitisation and its many benefits – saving time, money, and keeping your records safe and accurate, to name just three – means that charities are being held back from their full potential.
As charities prepare to implement measures that will protect against future crises, digital transformation will be a key part of that. Shaparency’s guidebook will ensure that the process extends all the way from the top.
To find out more about how digital technology can help your charity and improve its leadership, download Shaparency’s handy guide