Lakeside

Non-Profit Leadership: Adapting to a Digital World

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Most non-profits struggle to keep up with the changing trends in technology. I am inundated with technology companies who are wanting to assess us, provide technology services, market us, handle our HR department and provide all kinds of digital options to improve our quality. I find it difficult to even sort out all the opportunities. I also realize that my time, resources and capability to embrace all of these services are limited. It is confusing in a world that is emerging digitally to keep up with the many current trends.

Since a large part of our mission is to provide trauma training, we have been confronted with the importance of relating to a video and digital world. The impact of COVID-19 pushed us to be totally virtual when we formerly provided our training on a live basis. Since our training is filled with relational activities, we were compelled to use new tools to create that sense of process, even in such a vital and complex topic as trauma. We moved quickly to provide our video training with live trainers. But transferring our activities and other modalities of training that allowed some of the same values in our training became quite a challenge.

It also meant that we had to become producers of video material of our own and needed to add all the learning management system interfaces and programming required to stream video to those we train. We now have video studios, filming staff, editors and a full production system for trauma informed care. We have even designed and filmed other trainers in other organizations wishing to provide trauma-informed training, advocacy and other related streamed content.

This was a long and tedious process. I had to depend on some of our funders to help launch this new adventure. Now we are in the process of using digital marketing support for some of our training and search engine optimization providers as we move into asynchronous training forums for our training and certification programs. This has been a very formidable and arduous process but a necessary one for us to adapt our training to this new world of streaming technology.

I recognize not every non-profit is providing training, but every non-profit is or will be confronted with how to embrace a digital world of technology that becomes part of their culture, affecting how they provide services. Our dependence on technology will only increase as we embrace social media, digital services and emerging software to help us manage our non-profit organizations in a progressive way. I hope that it will not be overwhelming to our non-profit communities but will be a way to enhance our presence, our impact and our mission.  This will be one of the most significant adaptations in the future growth and development of any non-profit.

Gerry Vassar

President/CEO 

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