X4U Nonprofit Focus – exploring opportunity after challenge | Unit4
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X4U Nonprofit Focus – exploring opportunity after challenge

from  November 11, 2021 | 3 min read

Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at what we’re offering for each of our primary customer industries at our upcoming global virtual event Experience4U. In keeping with our theme of A Better You, this track will focus on preparing your organization and your people to find the right conditions to accelerate your impact with smoother operational processes and modern flexible technology.

Our 4 nonprofit sessions include an industry keynote courtesy of DataKind CEO Lauren Woodman, a use case from our customer Oxfam America, a panel discussion on the nature of digital transformation and the journey, and an outside analyst perspective from Third Stage Consulting.

Nonprofit Industry Keynote: The digital nonprofit: achieving greater impact.

Mission-driven organizations can accelerate their impact through digital transformation. This is something we all already know – but change is difficult, even in predictable and stable times. So how can nonprofit organizations – whose funding is more precarious than at any point in history and who face the twin challenges of mounting administrative bloat and reticence towards multi-year transformation projects – undertake and navigate this journey successfully? And what does a “successful” transformation look like?

DataKind CEO Lauren Woodman has 25 years’ experience of working with tech for good. In this industry keynote she’ll be exploring how nonprofits can leverage technology effectively – even in times of extreme uncertainty – to:

  • Improve their operational efficiency and reduce administrative creep.
  • Expand their influence through increased accountability to donors, regulators, and the communities they serve.
  • Achieve their goals effectively by ensuring every dollar spent is spent with purpose.

Nonprofit case study: Building flexible, resilient operations in the eye of the storm – a digital transformation case study

Oxfam America began their ERP transformation journey with a clear vision. They wanted more than just the most efficient or cost effective solution – they wanted to break down corporate silos, unify elements that had long been separated by different processes and tech solutions, and bring together the whole organization to work more collaboratively and enable data driven decision making.

In this session, hear them tell the story of how they did it. Join Oxfam America’s Director of Technology Farah Abbas, Chris Fibbe (Managing Partner at our implementation partner ITK Solutions), and Unit4’s Global Nonprofit Lead Chris Brewer for a detailed discussion about Oxfam’s implementation of our solution during COVID, and their learnings on:

  • Building resilience in times of crisis by focusing on business process improvements first.
  • The need for flexibility in adopting new technologies and ways of working.
  • Moving to the cloud and committing to configuration over customization.

Panel discussion: Digital transformation. It’s a journey, not a destination – or is it? Nonprofits in the never normal

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many organizations that had previously found themselves agonizing over digital transformation strategy – and making slow progress in their journeys – have been forced to make huge strides in upgrading their operational technologies and processes.

We often talk about digital transformation as a journey and not a destination. But is that still true in a world of seemingly overnight increases in complexity and sky high expectations from your people, your funders, and the regulators?

In this session, we’ll be joined by two very different nonprofit organizations – Medical Teams International and Habitat for Humanity – going through their own transformations. We’ll be asking them about their journeys, and their destinations. Including:

  • The current state of nonprofit digital strategy.
  • How that strategy has changed since pre-pandemic times.
  • The main challenges and benefits of upgrading so-called back office technologies.

Digitizing the higher education, nonprofit, and public sectors: what are their unique needs and what too often goes wrong?

Public sector, higher education, and nonprofit organizations have unique needs to be considered during their digital transformations. People, process, and technology strategies that work in the private sector are not necessarily applicable to the third sector, so it is important to navigate these nuances carefully.

Since digital transformations often fail to deliver the expected business value, public sector organizations need to go into these initiatives with eyes wide open. 

In this session we’ll be joined by Eric Kimberling (CEO, Third Stage Consulting) for a discussion outlining the things most unique and important to digital transformation initiatives in these sectors. It will also address the 7 things that most commonly lead to failure in transformation projects – as well as what organizations can do to avoid these common pitfalls.