Does Your Nonprofit Have a Digital Divide?
Once a nonprofit introduces case management software into their day-to-day operations, everything changes, especially if they were using manual processes. It’s very common for nonprofit employees and volunteers to experience a sort of transitional period – especially if the switch was from a spreadsheet platform to a web-based one. Eventually, that digital divide will close itself. Unfortunately, it might feel that it’s not connecting quickly enough and that it might slow down your operations.
Saying that your organization will shoulder the transitional burden is easier said than done. There’s a lot that goes into implementing a new technology. There will inevitably be some sort of knowledge barrier that gets in the way. How can your organization close the digital gap? What are some protocols your organization can put in place to ensure that the divide is not only crossed, but effectively bridged? Continue reading for tips, tricks, and best practices.
Tips and Tricks to Bridge the Digital Gap
Training your team on how to use your new case management software is a process. They will need to guidance that will stick with them
Make a plan
You are starting a complicated journey, so it only makes sense to have a plan. Think of it as a physical journey; if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there? Your organization needs to develop a comprehensive road map so it can stay on track. Research the most effective ways to train individuals organization-wide and book some time to train your team. Don’t underestimate the importance of the decision you’ve made and the importance of a smooth transition. Planning for research and training will make sure the rest of the process continues smoothly!
Start with your leadership
Once you put your plan in place and are ready to begin training, start with your leadership team and work your way down. It’s far easier for teams to pick up new technology and tasks if their leaders have a firm grasp of the new information. Leadership should be responsible for learning the product and also continuing to teach it to their teams after formal training it complete. This way, after formal training, there will still be in-house resources for teams to lean on. If your leadership get trained and can champion the use of new software, their teams will follow suit. This step really encourages high levels of “buy in” within your organization.
Have a mixture of online and hands-on training
In order to integrate new technology into your operations, especially if your organization was using manual processes, use different forms of training. Online training is a great way for your team members to get used to using electronic systems on a day-to-day basis. Further, it allows them to relate this technology with their jobs in a more fluid way. Take a more traditional approach to training by also providing hands-on education. Slideshows and visual aids are still very effective and necessary when online resources aren’t available to everyone in the organization. With both of these approaches, your training initiatives can be incredibly successful.
Rely on your software account manager or project manager for help
Don’t forget – the software you decide to invest in has resources available for you to lean on when it’s time to start training your team. These resources may vary from self-guided training to full fledged project managers who help implement your software (and provide ongoing training). Once you invest in software, you aren’t alone. You’re able to obtain the support you and your team need to get through this transition with ease.
Bridging the digital gap does not have to be the daunting task that is sounds like. Your organization can handle this transition with a few simple tricks that you and your leadership team can implement. You should not underestimate the importance of having a smooth transition for your team and organization. This does not have to be a daunting task. This can be a breeze if you plan, commit to, and execute your new software in an effective way. If you’re thinking about making the jump for your reporting, check out our Reporting Best Practices guide!