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Study: NFPs must better prepare for the digital age

Not-for-profits understand the importance of the digital age, but most are still trying to understand the risk and opportunities that digital presents, a new study from Perpetual and Stanford University has shown.

A study of more than 120 NFPs found nearly three quarters (73 per cent) aren’t sure or don’t feel their board is well placed to effectively manage their digital governance responsibilities.

The study shows that while the majority feel they have the right staff in place to take advantage of the opportunities digital presents, 34 per cent don’t feel their boards have the right skills to optimise digital in the same way.

Lucy Bernholz, Co-director of Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab said, “Digital tools and data hold tremendous promise for how we do our work in the social sector, but they also present new challenges with respect to how we work.

“Digital data for example, should be managed and governed as both an asset and liability, and NFPs and foundations should think about them the same way they do their financial and human resources,” said Bernholz.

Perpetual National Manager Philanthropy and Non Profit Services, Caitriona Fay, said the results of the survey and the work Stanford and Perpetual have done will help NFPs further understand the opportunities and risks of digital.

“It’s clear from the work Stanford has done in Australia that NFP boards and management are trying to understand how best to manage digital tools and the data they create ethically, safely and effectively,” said Fay.

“Pleasingly, most NFPs are already exploring how they can improve their use and management of digital tools within their organisation. Perpetual’s partnership with Stanford will help ensure all NFPs, regardless of size in Australia, can access to the tools, resource.”



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