06 June 2022

Why NGOs must adopt a Digital Transformation Plan?

Submitted by: Gerrit Davids
Why NGOs must adopt a Digital Transformation Plan?

With many civil society organisations battling to keep their doors open, it has become imperative for its custodians to start having a mind shift change, in the way they could create additional revenue streams.

Perhaps, it should be a mind shift change from being primarily, a grantee, and slightly turning the “wheel”, to becoming more self-sufficient, through additional self-generated revenue streams.

One of the key changes within such a mind shift change should be the realisation that an organisation is perhaps, more than its singular focus area.

Organisations must come to appreciate the fact that they are true game-changers not only for their ring-fenced constituencies but also for society at large.

Funding will always be a major challenge for many organisations and perhaps it is time for them to broaden their scope of activities in addition to the type of services they are already offering.

This is where the need to create additional revenue streams becomes a critical shift in the thinking of how to survive in uncertain times in a disrupted digital economy.

Disruption is not always bad in the sense that most digital platforms are merely changing the way things have been done since the advent of computers and the Internet, respectively.

Organisations are best advised to deliberate and eventually adopt a digital transformation strategy since they could face extinction, if they don’t move to where their constituencies, are spending most of their time, i.e. on digital platforms.

A digital transformation plan will offer organisations a perfect tool from which to expand their existing services to the same constituency and others, by primarily offering additional interventions. 

In the takeaways sector, it’s called an “Upsell”, where you buy a certain food item and the cashier will enquire as to whether you would be interested in a secondary product at a special price and a large percentage of consumers would usually accept such an “Upsell”.

Organisations could use the same concept, to expand on their current bouquet of services and perhaps start off, with a short survey amongst their stakeholders and beneficiaries, asking them what their top 3 critical needs are.

From the results of the survey, the organisation could select one “need” and add it to its existing range of services.

These “Upsells” could be in-person or online classes like sewing, baking, fitness and even soft skills for those looking to enhance their own career prospects.

Most courses are nowadays available as “White Labels” and an organisation would not need to design one but it could merely buy a license for it.

An organisation could also easily get into “Drop-shipping”, where it sells products, supplied by third parties.

The way it works is that people will place orders via the organisation’s digital platform and the supplier will send it directly to them, without the organisation essentially having to store or transport it. 

Organisations must also take note that funders are shifting their focus toward supporting a new trend in corporate responsibility, i.e. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

ESG offers vast opportunities for organisations dependent on funding in that it could create or align their own programs, supporting the social goals of these corporates.

A local organisation could through a digital platform become a grantee or partner of a corporate based somewhere else in the world, where they would both have the same focus areas or aligned ESG-intervention programs.

In essence, such a new mind shift requires that the custodians of these organisations are open, to creating a new dimension to ensure their own survival.

Of course, no one should just jump into a new venture since an assessment must be made as to what are the available resources as well as, which ones must be outsourced, to launch any new service or project.

That’s where the need for a digital transformation plan comes into the frame.

Safe to say, despite, which hurdles must be crossed when the organisation have decided to adopt and embark on such a digital transformation plan, such a mind shift change will require lots of enthusiasm.

Sadly though, it is a stark and cruel reality, that those organisations, which does not have the enthusiasm to start thinking out of the box, will be ones, which will have to close their doors.

If that's to happen, we know who the real losers are.

So, go ahead! Be brave and take that bold step to make your own digital transformation plan a reality.

For more information on how to create a digital transformation plan, contact: Gerrit Davids. Lead Advisor | TaranisCo Advisory CC  Mobile. +27 (0) 82 496 1657 or Website: www.taranis.co.za E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.