keep-calm-we-re-going-digital-2It’s one thing to talk about ‘going digital’, but what does this mean in practice for a charity? And why go digital?

The statistics make interesting reading. According to the recently published Lloyds UK Digital Index 2016:

  • ‘Digitally mature charities are 28% more likely to report an increase in funding than those that aren’t.’
  • ‘52% of charities cite cost savings due to being online’
  • ‘47% charities say increased donations are one of the main advantages of using digital’
  • ‘87% saying that saving time is an advantage of being online.’

However, despite these advantages only 102,000 (51%) charities have basic digital skills and only 53% are now accepting online donations and 34% accepting online payments. This suggests there are significant opportunities here for charities.

The research showed that charities are focusing digital transformation on 3 key areas:

–      Delivering services

–      Raising funds

–      Gaining active engagement of volunteers

So, what is our take on digital transformation at Economic Change?

Well, at Economic Change we focus on helping non-profits to improve relationships with their stakeholders through creating solutions that allow for increased visibility, intelligence and efficiency to serve customers needs better.

We focus on putting the stakeholders at the heart of the organisation by putting in place a [highlight dark=”no”]Client Relationship Management (CRM) System.[/highlight] We specialise in Salesforce CRM as they offer charities 10 free user licenses via

A CRM is the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ of your stakeholders, otherwise known as a database. The place to store contact information about stakeholders, track all interactions and transactions with a person and/or organisation. This provides a 360 degree historical view e.g. whether a phone call was made, if they donated, what support has been provided, what outcomes have been achieved.

It provides the basis for your relationship with any stakeholder so you know if they are a customer, donor, supplier and/or volunteer. It also gives you a secure place to store data, that can be analysed and used to evaluate performance and shape, deliver and market new services.

We work towards integrating wider digital solutions with a CRM, so all data is retained in one place to retain this big picture. Some of our other solutions include:

[highlight dark=”no”]Online communities[/highlight] – a community should bring together a target group of individuals who have a common interest to give a sense of belonging, and enabling them to connect, view and share information within a space that is safe and familiar to them. Organisations can create a secure branded space within their CRM, to bring together employees, volunteers, customers, learners, members, beneficiaries, trustees of an organisation to share knowledge, thoughts, ideas or issues with their peers. Ideally this online community should be accessible via smartphone or tablet app or computer. We use Salesforce Communities to achieve this with clients.

[highlight dark=”no”]Web-chat[/highlight] – it’s becoming evermore popular in the age of instant customer service, otherwise known as ‘immediacy’. Web-chat functionality is appearing on many more non-profits websites to provide instant access to support and guidance to beneficiaries and clients who are looking for immediate access to tailored information. All web-chat functions can be recorded within your CRM. Solutions that integrate with Salesforce include Livechat and Snapchat.

[highlight dark=”no”]Online Forms[/highlight] – with a trend towards reducing administration costs, online forms are becoming an increasingly particular popular alternative to paper-based forms. Self-administration allows beneficiaries, volunteers or partners (and other relevant parties) to complete online forms that automatically synchronise the data collected into a CRM for further use. We build online forms using Salesforce technology or we use integrated solutions such as Form Assembly, Clicktools, or Fastforms with clients.

[highlight dark=”no”]Social Media Tracking[/highlight] – embracing social media channels such as Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now considered the norm, but to be effective, you need to track who you are following, who is following you, influencers and any interactions that happen via social media, alongside your standard contacts within your CRM. This allows for social media to be properly tracked, and for you to report on its impact, alongside your other marketing metrics.

[highlight dark=”no”]Integrated Payment Solutions[/highlight] – adopting integrated online payment tools can speed up the sales process and reduce admin for your staff, providing a quick way to take payments for events, workshops, donations, and products. The best practice solution however will take payments, and then automatically update your CRM with the contact information and sales transaction information so you keep a 360 degree track of all interactions with your organisation. With Salesforce, we adopt integrated payment solutions such as IATs, Payonomy, Form Assembly, Asperato and Zapier that provide a personalised payment gateway.

[highlight dark=”no”]Knowledge Hub[/highlight] – it can be valuable to provide an online resource area with information documents or a Q&A functionality to provide self-help content online. This type of solution can again reduce internal administration, for example by collating answers to frequently asked questions, and also provides a quicker response to the stakeholder. We use Salesforce Service Cloud functionality to achieve this solution for clients.

uprising-imageClient Case Study – UpRising

“I am delighted that we have taken the step to embed Salesforce as our Customer Relationship System. We are a rapidly growing charity with thousands of relationships with our young people and stakeholders to maintain. We also use it for a range of our Corporate Services functions. Salesforce is already making a huge difference to how effective and efficient we can be”. Alice Memminger, CEO UpRising – Read the whole case study


Take Action

[checklist type=”eg. checked, dotted, arrowed”]

  • [highlight dark=”no”]Watch our free webinar [/highlight]from Trustees’ Week to learn about Salesforce CRM and what it could do for your charity. Click here
  • [highlight dark=”no”]To read more [/highlight]about what Salesforce and integrated apps can do for your organisation around service delivery, fundraising and volunteering, amongst other things click here
  • [highlight dark=”no”]To speak to Heather at Economic Change[/highlight] about the digital solutions we offer, or for a free digital health check, please contact
  • [highlight dark=”no”]Check out our special offer for small charities[/highlight] to go digital with 50% free support – click here to find out more 


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