Six predictions about how charity technology will develop in 2016 by Tom Ellis, Managing Director of Harlequin
1.Best practice in IT will be showcased by progressive charities.
In response to the intense scrutiny of the sector in 2015, progressive charities will embrace the opportunity to demonstrate best practice in IT in 2016 – and they will increasingly shine a spotlight on this internally and externally. Technology projects will become more newsworthy to stakeholders, serving to enhance trust and confidence in operational performance, fundraising methods and charitable accounting.
2.Charities will revisit their use of CRM to build donor and beneficiary centric processes.
Data protection regulations, direct marketing guidance and the envisaged Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) will drive many charities to examine or revisit how they use CRM systems to underpin donor and beneficiary centric processes, and ensure that they manage data sensitively, securely and legally.
3.More collaboration and API integration between technology providers.
Application providers will offer more API integration and work more collaboratively to deliver the best solution for charities – in particular database providers will need to consider how they can help charities to streamline the administrative challenge the FPS may create.
4.Wider implementation of the new SORP.
The revised Charities SORP will see many charities implementing the new framework in 2016, relying on their finance software to help facilitate this.
5.Mobile and remote working, and training will remain key themes and cyber-security will be high on the agenda.
Mobile and remote working will remain key themes as charities strive to attract talent, reduce overheads and empower an on-the-go workforce. Training staff and volunteers and documenting clear IT processes will be prioritised to ensure that charities truly lever the value of technology – consistently and with confidence. As with any organisation – charity, public sector or private company – cyber-security will rank high on the list of IT priorities.
6.Demand for more strategic insights from data.
Robust reporting features within CRM and finance systems will become must-have tools – empowering charities with strategic and performance insights.