Blog articles

Digital transformation in a nonprofit world

By Lindsey Kneuven    |    October 22, 2019

The way we work is changing. Technology has fundamentally altered the way we solve problems and build for the future —and that’s true for enterprises, as well as nonprofit organizations. Digital transformation is knocking at everyone’s door, which for nonprofits and NGOs, adds to the cacophony of knocks they must respond to, many of which represent pressing human needs. To add to that pressure, organizations in the social sector often lack flexibility and resources to embark on this journey.

Digital disruption in the social sector

It’s essential that nonprofits can leverage the opportunities presented by modern technologies to improve the performance of their organizations overall. Digital transformation can improve processes, allow them to dig deep into data that can inform better solutions  and, most importantly, increase the impact of their work on team members and program participants.  

To be successful, it is important to work backwards and determine what outcomes are needed to drive through digital transformation, instead of choosing tools in a more ad hoc fashion. For example, an organization may want to move their donor list from paper-based to a database; this is an example of changing a tool, but not creating an outcome. But, if they were to build this database in conjunction with a marketing campaign that leverages digital channels like social media and email, they could guide donors on a journey that will drive more engaged behavior that they can track in their database. 

Successful digital transformation puts strategy and vision ahead of technology. Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to create value and realize an organizational mission. All organizations must ask themselves how technology can enable efficiency and amplify impact, and then determine what assets are needed to make that happen.


Creating a pathway to transformation

Pluralsight One is committed to helping nonprofits build the foundational skills needed to spark their digital transformation journey. Oftentimes, knowing where to start and which technologies will power their vision can be a huge barrier, and we want to simplify that process and help them take the first step. The social sector needs digital agility to solve the global challenges they face. And, because we believe this so strongly, Pluralsight One has built a new product offering, in collaboration with NetHope, TechSoup, Humentum and the Technical Literacy Track, to help nonprofits lay the groundwork for digital transformation.


So today, we’re excited to introduce Spark.


Building a foundation with Spark

Based on the findings of NetHope's Center for the Digital Nonprofit research and Pluralsight One's needs assessment into what skills nonprofits need to embark on digital transformation, Spark brings together 50+ curated courses developed by experts and focused on foundational technology skills like data, security and cloud. It also includes powerful analytics that allow organizations to benchmark skills and measure progress as they build a strong foundation of knowledge.

Spark works to guide nonprofit organizations and their teams by helping them 1) understand the technology landscape 2) get clear on what technologies fit their needs and 3) get started on building a technology strategy that will power their missions and accelerate their impact. It is the first step to becoming a digital organization, and is a solution that precedes our full platform offerings, Elevate and Amplify. Spark will help nonprofits and NGOs apply digital solutions to organizational missions, allow them to make more data-driven decisions and create a foundation of knowledge from the very beginning.

Driving greater impact through technology

We believe that an understanding of the foundational skills that enhance an organization’s operations and programming, and speed up the first step towards digital transformation is critical. When nonprofits can take their digital journey to the next level, teams will be able to enhance their programs, streamline their operations , keep pace with technology and create greater impact in the world. 

We want to help nonprofits do their best work and create as much impact as possible. Spark can help organizations embrace digital and change the world. 

To find out more about Spark and our collaboration with NetHope, TechSoup and Humentum

About the author

Lindsey Kneuven is the Chief Impact Officer at Pluralsight and the Executive Director of Pluralsight One.