NFPs in the digital age

Bullet train


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There is no aspect of our modern life immune to the reach of digital technology – and that includes the Non Profit sector.  

Perpetual Private National Manager Philanthropy & Non Profit Services, Caitriona Fay, says: “Many Non Profit organisations are still coming to terms with how the digital revolution changes how they work with communities.”

Ms Fay says this change includes…

  • How they fundraise.
  • How they capture, store, secure and manage data.
  • How data can be used to extend impact.
  • What the digital age means for privacy – of donors, beneficiaries and other stakeholders.
  • What boards need to be examining from a governance perspective.
“These are big issues that NFPs face day-to-day,” says Caitriona, “but the impact of digital revolution affects everything they do. From how they interact with business, government and their clients, to how they measure their effectiveness in driving social benefit.

As we’ve worked with the individuals and organisations in the sector we’ve realised that one of the most valuable things we can do for them is help them succeed in the digital age.”


The view from Palo Alto

In an Australian first, Perpetual has sealed a new global partnership with the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) to raise awareness of the risks, challenges and opportunities of operating in the digital age.

The three-year partnership will give NFPs, philanthropists and sector leaders in Australia access to Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab, the world’s first research and policy program dedicated to understanding how private resources can be used for public benefit in the digital age.

Caitriona Fay says working with Stanford’s lab will help NFPs by:

  • building awareness of issues around digital data governance and management
  • provide ready-to-use resources for organisations
  • creating distribution and implementation partnerships
  • enabling scholarly collaborations
  • engaging organisations in developing digital policies and strategies.

“We’re seeking to give NFPs and philanthropists the resources, knowledge and skills to utilise digital tools ethically, safely and effectively,” Ms Fay said.


NFPs in Silicon Valley

In addition to providing Australian leaders with an opportunity to benefit from globally significant research, the partnership also includes practical workshops for philanthropists, social innovators and NFP Boards on issues from digital philanthropy through to non-profit-leadership in the digital age. The program will also see ten non-profit leaders from across Australia spend time in Palo Alto at Stanford’s Non-Profit Management Institute.

Stanford PACS Executive Director, Kim Meredith, said: “We are proud to partner with one of Australia’s largest independent distributor of funds to the Not‑for-Profit sector.

“Having worked with major organisations in the not-for-profit sectors across the globe, we’ve seen the importance of a sound understanding of the evolving digital landscape.

“We look forward to working with Perpetual, to meeting Australia’s non-profit leaders and helping raise the bar in this field. Digital Civil Society is inherently global. This partnership with an important Australian player in this space will build knowledge and resources that will benefit us all.”