Seven reasons why NGOs and foundations must be digital in the immediate future (or they will not be)

The smile of a child who manages to go to school is analog. The relief of a homeless when receiving something that killing hunger can not be scanned, the grat

Seven reasons why NGOs and foundations must be digital in the immediate future (or they will not be)

The smile of a child who manages to go to school is analog. The relief of a homeless when receiving something that killing hunger can not be scanned, the gratitude of an old man when a volunteer helps him get up from bed, and shower and get dressed ... You can not express in zeros and some .

However, so that all these sequences may occur, the digitalization of NGOs is increasingly essential, the non-profit foundations and the rest of social entities are around closing the open wounds of inequality, helplessness and exclusion .

It is not that the videoconferences will replace the hugs, or that the company is changed by whatsapp messages, but rather on the contrary: using digital tools reduces the time dedicated to management, allows to give greater visibility to the work they perform These organizations and facilitate the capture of funds and hands to sustain their activity. The consequence of all this is a greater disposition of people and resources to attend to those who need it most.

"We are a Chiquitin organization that is beginning to grow," explains Maika Sáenz, project manager of the Frannsol Foundation, an NGO that promotes children's sponsors from developing countries so that they can go to school. "A volunteer and me, that I am the only hired, we have to take care of everything and we do not give supply: the time we dedicate to writing news or keeping up social networks up to date is time we do not dedicate to seek godparents."

And something similar happens to the Candelite NGO. "Social entities have a big problem, and is that we lose time of social intervention in tedious administrative tasks," explains Pilar Reifes, his responsible for fundraising, which is self-defined as a center for personal promotion and collective development.

In fact, the reasons why the entities of the third sector must be digital or will not be able to be grouped mainly in seven large blocks, although they are all closely related:

Both Candelite and the Frannsol Foundation saw it very clear that its survival went by completing its digital transformation and did not hesitate to submit its candidacy to the Santander Social Tech program, with which the financial institution presided by Ana Botín, through its foundation, favors from three years ago the digital transformation of the entities of the third sector.

In that period, 380 organizations have benefited from training, advice and aid provided by this initiative. Specifically, 38 workshops have been taught to some 38 different entities (about 500 people); It has been advised to 128 and 160 aids have been granted. All this, worth of almost one million euros, of which 252,504 euros were distributed among the 54 entities benefited in the III edition, whose names have been made known this week.

And the truth is that those will continue to grow thanks to the IV edition of the program, which will allow 144 NGO to participate in 12 online workshops between the months of April and November, as well as to benefit from a personalized advice and receive economic aid of up to 5,000 euros to complete your digitization. For all this it will be necessary to enroll before March 3 on the SANTANDER SOCIO Tech program website.

"It is about continuing to support the third sector of social action that has been very punished by the crisis generated by the pandemic, and which in turn has more fronts to attend to and less resources," says Borja Baselga, Director of Banco Foundation Santander, committed to making these organizations "take advantage of the opportunities offered by this transformation and can improve the impact and efficiency of their actions in society."

Santander Social Tech tries to continue supporting the third sector of social action that has been very punished by the crisis generated by the pandemic, and that in turn has more fronts to attend to and less resources

According to the Life Conditions Survey of the National Statistics Institute (INE) corresponding to 2020, that year the percentage of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AOPE rate) rose in our country to 26.4% (about 13,000 of Spaniards) From 25.3% of the previous year, and it is not expected that circumstances have improved in these two years of restrictions on economic activity, erte and uncertainty and by the pandemic. So the entities of the third sector are more necessary than ever, but it has cost them more than other organizations get on the train from the digital, vertiginous transformation from the arrival of the Coronavirus.

"I worked in technology companies, but it was voluntary at the Frannsol Foundation for a long time and four years ago they hired me with the goal of digitizing their activity," explains Sáenz. So they were already doing the duties when the Covid entered the scene, and even so, they are still choking for the lack of resources and training. "For example, what to make online events to raise funds caught us totally out of the game, and it is a shame, because with the pandemic people have become more solidary," he adds

And something similar happened in Candelita: "We had not raised in life that could be done non-face-to-face social intervention, but in March 2020 we had to make a lot of telephone intervention, and since then we include a telephone attendance on all projects to alleviate The digital divide, "argues Pilar Reifes. In the opinion of it, one of the biggest problems of NGOs with digitization is that the infinite narrative and diffusion possibilities offered by the new channels are not used. "We work a lot and in many fields, but then we do not know how to tell it," she explains.

The II digital barometer prepared by Isdidigal Foundation and the Botín Foundation, a number of social entities operating in our country, in two million the number of jobs generated with their activity and by 1.45% the weight From it in Spanish GDP. Well, this study made a survey in the sector and concluded that 80% of social entities claim not to have completed their digital transformation due to lack of resources, while 41% assured not having done it due to lack of talent and knowledge.

Therefore, Candelite and Frannsol Foundation did not hesitate when the possibility of participating in the Santander Social Tech program was presented, an experience that has changed their lives. "We are going to be a totally different NGO," says Sáenz, who emphasizes the fact that the passage through this initiative will "help help". "It came to us well to learn to prioritize, not to get into the nonsense multimedia vortez, but to breathe, think and analyze how to focus on the present and what challenges we should mark more face to the future, when we have more resources."

And resources, precisely, was another of the joys that led them through the Banco Santander's program: "With the money they have given us, we will be able to pay for several years a safe server in which to have the data of Fransol". So far, dedicate 600 euros to that chapter facing a huge dilemma: "Until now, paying the server, supposed that four of our children will stay without going to school." The price of digitization, make accounts.

We are going to be a totally different NGO. Santander Social Tech has helped us help

In addition, the Foundation's Facebook account has been audited as part of the advice provided by the program and the advice received are providing its fruits: "We are getting many more followers," celebrates Sáenz with enthusiasm.

But, above all, digital immersion has served them to rethink everything they did in the organization and look for new more efficient ways to do so. "Our greatest value is that the godfather know that the child of Peru, Colombia or Africa to whom he is helping really exists and facilitate communication between them," says Fransol's marketing project manager. "Until now, the children sent them photos and letters by mail, but it took several months to arrive and the godfather did not receive the Christmas letter up to three months later, now we are working so that all our coordinators in those countries have a mobile phone to be They can send the photos and letters by whatsapp ".

Very similar is the assessment they make in Candelite from its passage by Santander Social Tech. "The change that has been experienced is living in a spectacular way," Confies Pilar Reifes. In its case, the Organization is dedicated to helping vulnerable groups in very diverse issues: people with severe mental illnesses, female empowerment, young people with difficulties, home care to older ...

"The workshops we attended, I liked a lot, because they were focused on social entities, while others I have attended were thought for great companies and they spoke to you all the time of sales, which is something that does not have much application in our Case, "he emphasizes the person responsible for capturing Candelite.

It would be necessary to work together from all areas to reduce the digital divide, because there are already too many gaps in society

Regarding the aid received in the program, where appropriate they have meant to implement a CRM (a software that allows to optimize and centralize the database) that has changed their lives. "Especially we are applying in the area of training and employment and my colleagues are delighted, because before we worked with Various Excels and then we had to cross data and centralize them manually, while now all that work is done alone."

Once again, time of bureaucracy that is released to attend more and better to people who need it. But however convinced they are from the advantages of this digitalization ("that has come to stay"), they also do not lose sight of the risks: "It would be necessary to work together from all areas to reduce the digital divide, because there are already too many gaps in society". I said, that being more digital allows us to be more human than ever, and not the other way around.

Date Of Update: 09 February 2022, 15:31

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