Author: Erin Mulligan Nelson, CEO of Social Solutions
We are at a momentous inflection point as a society and as an industry. The demand for social services continues to soar—outpacing the capacity nonprofit and public sector organizations have to help and leaving too many of our neighbors in need.
Something must change. Innovation is a cornerstone of inflection points throughout history, and our current circumstances require bold new thinking allowing us to bridge this gap between demand and capacity to serve. I firmly believe that technology and data are the answer.
With relief efforts underway in small and large ways all around the world, this is the time for every social good organization, regardless of size or mission, to harness the unmatched power of technology and data to transform operations, improve outcomes, maximize impact and recover stronger.
We are seeing change happening right before us. We’ve all heard stories throughout the pandemic of communities coming together, individual donors stepping up and funders changing annual grant requirements. Earlier this year, an unprecedented influx of government funding aimed at relieving the burden of this crisis was announced through programs like the American Rescue Plan Act, the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan, the George Floyd Plan, the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Act and more.
The US administration is calling our current situation a “once-in-a-generation economic crisis” and is making a “once-in-a-generation investment” to ease the burden for as many people and organizations as possible. I believe this is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for social good organizations to utilize additional funding to propel programs and operations forward.
Technology and data are simply unmatched in their ability to help scale quickly so that nonprofits and public sector organizations can help more people across their communities while collecting impactful insights, tracking progress against outcomes and accelerating lasting social change.
During the pandemic, our clients have relied on Social Solutions more than ever; our technology has allowed them to quickly adapt to a highly virtual environment—in some cases, overnight. When they’ve adopted our technology, our clients on average see a 35 percent reduction in time spent on data capture, a 40 percent reduction in time spent managing service delivery and a 40 to 75 percent reduction in time spent on reporting and analysis.
A foundation of technology and data allows individual organizations to partner together to power impact. With powerful tools to enable them, nonprofits and public sector agencies can create a network of care that is coordinated, connected and data-driven to better meet the needs of both individuals and communities.
Together, we will break down barriers so that all community-based organizations are equally able to harness the power of technology and data to amplify the impact of their work. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to work together and create lasting change.