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Digital Empowers Global Insights Report
 

Enabling non-profits to create greater impact through technology

Recommendations on how technology can support organizations at the forefront of the community’s impact


 

PREFACE

The rise of digital technologies has transformed industries, companies and consumers, opening up numerous possibilities for all. At TCS, we believe Business 4.0™ is the next wave, bringing in transformations for people, communities and organizations across the world. Digital technologies such as cloud, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are vital enablers of this transformation, but it is not enough to use these only for business growth. 

At TCS, we believe that the use of our intellectual, technology expertise and human capital has the power to create exponential impact across the globe. TCS’ core belief lies in building greater futures for people and communities through innovation and collective knowledge. 

Non-profits are at the core of creating direct impact for the communities they serve. These organizations have deep knowledge of local issues, but may not necessarily have an understanding of technology, its use to reach and scale their solution or solve related problems efficiently. Resources to develop an understanding of technology to be able to apply it to community outreach programs are either limited and/or expensive. As a result, while non-profit organizations are developing products or services that will have a positive impact on the community, they have limited access to resources related to new technology, exposure to the use of technology in large scale transformations and its use to re-define their product impact. 


I THE ISSUE

In this digital age, non-profit organizations need to have a digital presence to become sustainable. From sharing their mission, values and initiatives to revenue and event management, technology plays a key role in the success of organizations and their ability to run a lean operation by automating their day-to-day activities. Although this is a need for non-profit organizations, they often do not know where to start this journey and may not have the resources to tackle this problem. It becomes a lose-lose scenario, where they need revenue to leverage technology to reduce costs that would generate revenue. Non-profits start small, find a niche and grow very fast, but at some point in their journey they need to move into the digital space or pivot because they have met their initial goals. 
 

II The TCS SOLUTION

With expertise in technology, human centered design and philanthropy, TCS is well placed to provide advisory services to guide organizations on where they need to go and technology services to take them to the next level. 

TCS’ advisory and technology services are valuable in increasing their reach while ensuring efficiencies of cost and resources for the organization. With countries going through one or more crisis that affects their economy and, by proxy, threatens the non-profit organizations ecosystems, it is important for them to automate as many processes as possible.

Taking what we do best in class and for our customers to social organizations is the core of TCS’ corporate social responsibility strategy. Leveraging our human, technology and intellectual capital, TCS takes non-profit organizations at the forefront of community impact on a transformation technology enabling journey that helps create greater efficiency, scale and value to their stakeholders.
 

III LEVERAGING THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSFORM COMMUNITY BASED ORGS

The Process

Understanding that organizations come with varied sets of technology expertise and resources, TCS has designed an agile, seamless process to address diverse needs while ensuring growth, transformation, efficiency and impact.

What this process looks like in operation:

1) As a first step, TCS works closely with key decision makers in an organization to understand all their stakeholders

  • Examples of key decision makers are a combination of executive staff, like the Executive Director or Chief Operating Officer and leaders who work directly with beneficiaries. 
     

2) This is followed by a prioritization of the key three to five stakeholder groups to carry out a deep dive and bring out the critical needs of their key personas.

  • Examples of key personas are those that directly impact the mission of the organization. For example, at a foodbank, the key personas would be the people donating food, the (volunteer) staff organizing the supplies and the food kitchens that will be receiving the food.
     

3) These personas and their engagement journeys are then mapped in detail with the beneficiary organization. 

  • An example of such a journey mapping would include an industry professional looking to volunteer with a community-based organization but does not know whom to reach or how to get himself involved. This individual would typically get on a search engine to explore the opportunities available to them. They would search for: “I want to help clean up the ocean”, taking them to a list of organization that tackle this issue. Once they have identified the organization that aligns with the needs the best (geographic location, value alignment, types of opportunities offered, time commitment – among other parameters) the individual would sign up on the platform to volunteer. Understanding this end-to-end journey of each stakeholder, typically, helps the organization translate stakeholder needs into actionable targets through diverse need aligned touchpoints (apps/in-person/virtual).
     

4) With the Journey Maps of key stakeholders in place, TCS brings in their industry experts to translate those into a technology solution that will elevate the organization’s engagement with their stakeholders as well as perform a heuristic analysis of their current digital tools. This journey from analysis to user experience to design to development to delivery is a rigorous and agile process to ensure the end users’ experience is optimal. 

  • An example of this would be an educational organization with a 5-year-old website built on WordPress that was designed to host lesson plans and collect donations. However, less than 5% of their annual donations came from online fundraising, which is why they would come of an organization like TCS. TCS would both map out the journey of a potential donator and analyze the current website design/content to understand how it is enticing donations. This would take into account historical knowledge and the journey map of donators (created in the earlier step) to create user stories like building a new page that highlights the work put in by the organization, the donations button and where the money from the donations will be used. The next steps are to work on designing, developing and delivering on these user stories. 


 

MATURITY MATRIX

From TCS’ experience of over ten years in the Pro Bono Consulting space and over 50 years of industry experience, we have arrived at a maturity matrix of social impact and non-profit organizations that can benefit from the technology enablement and consulting that TCS offers. TCS provides different levels of support based on the maturity of the non-profit organization. As such, these organizations can be grouped into 3 categories: 

1) Kickstarters (New Organizations, <2 Years in Operation)

  • Key Characteristics - The organization:

- Has a defined mission and vision

- Leverages products as a service only for webpage development and hosting

- Has simple features for marketing, promotions and to garner donations

- Manages internal processes on Excel or similar tools

- No dedicated technology resources

  • Problem Scope - What the organization typically needs help with includes: 

- An engaging web presence, where the organization’s mission and values are clear, there is a clear call to action for the key personas and there are a lot of visual aids supported by short concise messaging 

- Digital tools to support their goals, like a donation’s portal or volunteer intent form


2) Start Ups (Young Organizations, 2-5 Years in Operation)

  • Key Characteristics - The organization:

- Has added a few features, but is limited by the software product

- Elevated internal processes but still investing in an out-of-the-box CRM

- One to two part time or dedicated technology resource

- Constantly searching for pro bono support for core growth, in technology and other areas

  • Problem Scope - What the organization typically needs help with includes: 

- Management/Business Advice on a new initiative, like an educational organization looking to go from working with middle schoolers to high schoolers and needing to understand the audience and how they can be engaged successfully. 

- Building a new digital tool based on a new initiative, like an educational organization looking to go from in person activities to online digital experiences.

- Looking for new donors as their return rate of investment is dropping as existing donor expect a greater ROI or have not renewed their interest, which can be attributed to changes in leadership, a shift in the donors’ focus or their financials. 


3) Trendsetters (Mature Organizations, Over 5 Years in Operation)

  • Key Characteristics - The organization:

- Very Stable organization with a high-quality web platform

- Continues to leverage partners for pro bono support, but with more focused projects to elevate and accelerate growth

- Most likely met their founding targets and is looking to pivot

- Small, dedicated technology team (in house or contracted)

  • Problem Scope - What the organization typically needs help with includes: 

- Review of their Stakeholders and Impact, for example an organization has been seeing their beneficiary count or donations go down. TCS can map out and analyze their stakeholders, their relationships, any exchange of services and the impact that each exchange results in. This will identify gaps and provide opportunities to grow the organization.

- How their technology will have to be adopted to support the updated targets, for example a mentorship organization that has a mission to collect corporate volunteer pledges needs to start measuring the impact of completed mentorships, which would require a new set of data records and visualizations.

maturity matrix


 


RECOMMENDATIONS 

How technology can support organizations at any stage of their maturity. Here are the steps they need to go through to deliver a successful proposition to their beneficiaries. 

Stage 1 - Understanding your Constituents

Non-profits organizations first need to focus on understanding their stakeholder’s goals and the reason they are interacting with your organization. Note that this is not what you think they want, its taking the steps to understand their core needs. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Create a board list of stakeholders that interact with your organization
  2. Shortlist the ones that your organization directly connect with (referred to as primary stakeholders)
    (a)If there are more than five, then you will need to prioritize the top five
  3. Create a list of questions to interview at least five people from each stakeholder type to understand:
    (a) Who they are
    (b)What they are looking for from the organization
    (c)Why are they coming to your organization
    (d)How they are currently recieiving this service/good
    (e)What could be better 
  4. Create one – two Persona Profiles based on these interviews that highlight each stakeholders’ key goals

By focusing on a handful of stakeholders, especially early in the journey, non profits organizations can ensure the beneficiary experiences are personalized and the organization is not spreading itself thin.

Stage 2 - Value Proposition

Once your have an undestanding of your persona goals, its important to compare it to the value you are currently providing and find the gaps in their journey with your organization. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Define the stages a persona goes through during the lifecycle of their interaction with your organization, from the moment they hear about you until they no longer interact with you.
  2. Understand what the persona wants to know at each stage of the journey. Ask what they are thinkiong about. 
  3. From the persona’s perspective, understand what actions can they take at each stage of the journey. 
  4. Define the experience, from the persona’s perspective, that they go through as they take an action and through what touchpoints (referring to whether its online, in-person, mobile, text, etc.).
  5. State if they have met the goal and define how are your organization can measure it, at each stage in their journey.
  6. Lastly, compare this to your current operating model, identify the gaps in the core areas and define a new/updated value proposition. 

This creates exponential value for their core stakeholders and by meeting their set objectives with the depth it deserves, they can message their successes well and back it up with hard data. Using these stories, they can drive revenue and expand in a sustainable trajectory.

Stage 3 - Technology Intervention 

With this foundation in place, organizations can leverage their partner ecosystem to build out technology solutions that will meet their constiuent needs and start embracing a bit more risk as they explore the infinite possibilities that technology brings. While there are several approaches to implementing tech solutions, TCS recommends leveraging a mix of Design Thinking, Lean UX and Agile to bring short incremental change to an organization. The target is to accelerate their maturity through technlogy interventions. 


 

Acknowledgments

This global insight report is published by Tata Consultancy Services while working with its strategic partners, using the information provided by collaborators on TCS’ Tech4Good project. The report has been published by Tata Consultancy Services as a contribution to a project, insight area, or interaction. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein are a result of a collaborative process facilitated between strategic partnerships on our Tech4Good program and the results are recommendations from the organization with the intent to build a knowledge base.

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