Why Digital Isn’t Everything

by J.B. Maverick

3 min read

While your nonprofit may rely heavily on software and applications in the digital space to help it move forward and prosper, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that a very real human factor is necessary to keep your organization vibrant, relevant, and engaging. There are a variety of reasons why this human element is actually necessary to prevent your nonprofit from straying too far from its mission, a move that could ultimately close its doors. It’s important to recognize there are a variety of human-powered, “old-fashioned” elements necessary to keep your nonprofit going. Below, learn about some of these aspects, why they are so important to your nonprofit, and how to avoid completely eliminating these elements in favor of digital replacements.

Snail Mail

Snail mail is the affectionate slang term given to traditional post, or letters, documents, packages, or anything else sent through Canada’s post office. Before computers and the advent of email, messenger services, and video telephone calls enabling you to speak “face-to-face” with someone over the phone, all communication was sent by transferring written messages from one person to another. It goes without saying that computers, technology, and digital tools have made operating your nonprofit significantly more efficient and much easier to manage. The problem your organization faces, then, is not that it can’t operate in a time and cost-efficient way, but rather that by shutting out all forms of traditional mail, your nonprofit begins to slip away from more personal forms of interaction and communication with customers.

Creative and Personalized Thank You Cards

Personal communication with donors is another important part of the human element piece that digital tools threaten within your organization. Your nonprofit thrives and succeeds, in large part, because of the generous funding and gifts given to your organization by donors. You most likely have found several occasions when sending donors a “thank you” email or text message was warranted. Consider instead giving your donors handwritten “thank you” cards. This option can benefit your organization in multiple ways. First, the most obvious benefit is that donors will recognize the time and effort put into “thank you” notes and cards that you actually take the time to write. This extra effort and any personal touches you add to the card or note indicate your dedication to your organization and to the donor who’s financially helping your nonprofit reach its goals.There is another less obvious benefit of “thank you” cards: the potential for strengthening interoffice relationships and time for bonding. Instead of buying premade thank you cards that you and your staff simply fill in and hand out, consider making the cards and notes from scratch. Get together with members of your nonprofit, either in the office or at someone’s home. Design cards and put them together yourselves. This makes the cards even more personal, and gives you, your staff, and board members the opportunity to spend time together outside of your typical organizational duties. Working together on a fun, creative project is a great way to nourish and strengthen relationships among co-workers and between employees and management. This benefits your nonprofit by promoting a sense of team spirit and helping the members of your organization work together more effectively.Don’t neglect the personal touch by relying solely on digital communication. You can better engage and strengthen relationships with your nonprofit’s supporters by making the extra effort to connect with them on a more personal level. Find creative ways to let donors know you see them as individuals, not just a name signed to a cheque.

References & Resources

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