In 2021, Blackbaud Pacific surveyed 134 organisations across Australia and New Zealand to explore how they had adapted and innovated throughout the many challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The results outlined in 2021’s The Dynamics of Change report made for encouraging reading. In the face of significant obstacles, the vast majority of social good organisations had pivoted with an impressive agility, and experienced immediate benefits from embracing innovation. The report concluded optimistically, “We are confident that the nonprofit and social good sector is well positioned to thrive as organisations continue to adapt, grow, and innovate their way to success in an ever-changing world.”

But what’s happened since?

• Have organisations continued to grow and mature in the last 12 months? 

• Has the pandemic-induced shift towards digital fundraising led to a broader increase in digital maturity throughout the sector? 

• Are digital strategies conceived at the executive level leading to tangible change on the front lines of fundraising?

• What digital opportunities should organisations be pursuing today as they focus on digital maturity for the future?

• Are there any barriers getting in the way of organisations achieving digital maturity?

These are just some of the questions Blackbaud Pacific explored as part of The Status of Digital Maturity: Benchmark Report. 

The acceleration of digital transformation

Digital transformation has become an increasingly important topic within the social good community. The conversation around digital maturity accelerated at a rapid pace during the pandemic, as the cancellation of physical gatherings, face-to-face fundraising, and the majority of peer-to-peer events led to a boom in digital transformation. 

From charities delivering vital services digitally, employees connecting and working remotely, to supporters pivoting to fundraising virtually, many organisations found themselves moving more rapidly than they had previously planned towards investing in new tech and digital tools.

The Dynamics of Change report found that the more digitally mature an organisation became during this period, the more successful it ultimately was in terms of income, service delivery and supporter growth. The new Benchmark Report continues the story, exploring whether local organisations are continuing to pursue digital maturity with the same enthusiasm, and if so, what challenges and opportunities they are experiencing along the way. 

The Status of Digital Maturity: Benchmark Report includes responses from a wide variety of organisations that tend to fall into four broad categories: Digital Sceptics, Digital Rookies, Digital Adopters, and Digital Experts.

While each of these four types of organisations approach innovation differently, the report indicates that the trend towards digital maturity in our region remains on a positive trajectory, with more organisations employing digital strategies than ever before. 

The report also shares a number of eye-opening insights for any organisation seeking to embrace digital maturity. For example, many Digital Experts have learned how to fully harness the power of Facebook advertising, to the point where this form of outreach is starting to provide comparable results to direct mail — something that was unthinkable only a few years ago. On the other hand, organisations that have experimented with newer technologies such as TikTok are having difficulties finding pathways to success, proving that not all digital innovations are equal.

Taking the next steps towards digital maturity

The Status of Digital Maturity: Benchmark Report illustrates why the pursuit of digital maturity is an ever-evolving but increasingly essential process for all organisations.

The report highlights some noteworthy challenges, including the discrepancy between the perception of digital maturity at an executive level and the perception of digital maturity at the practitioner level. This gap highlights that digital innovation isn’t just about improved technology, but also requires ongoing innovation in communication, training, and the use of resources.

The Status of Digital Maturity: Benchmark Report from Blackbaud Pacific explores the progress of digital innovation across our region and highlights key insights and learnings for organisations working towards digital maturity. 

To find out more and read the full Status of Digital Maturity: Benchmark Report, visit bit.ly/Digital-Maturity-Report

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