Center for Non-Profit Management

Digital change in social organisations

The Digitize Non-Profits Initiative presents its second study on "Digitization and Non-Profits".

The Digitize Non-Profits Initiative (WHU Foundation, Haniel Foundation, ZiviZ, Capgemini and fibonacci & friends) conducted its second study: "Learn. Understanding. Networking. Perspectives of Digital Change in Established Social Organizations."

Hardly any other topic is currently as polarized in the third sector as digitization. On the one hand, there is fear of direct communication being suppressed and human relationships weakened. On the other hand, there is the hope that digital projects have finally opened the big lever for real impact and unlimited scaling possibilities. No wonder that digitalization is becoming increasingly important in debates in the social sector, where it is meeting with a great response. The first Digitize Non-Profit Initiative study on "Digitization in Non-Profit Organizations", launched in spring 2017, was a fundamental step in analyzing and measuring the status quo.

The new, second study "Learning. Understanding. Networking." builds on these results. Dr. Peter Kreutter, Director of the WHU Foundation and one of the three authors, explains: "It was our endeavor to provide a more comprehensive insight into concrete practical examples and implementation experiences in digitization projects than in the first study. Furthermore, it was important for us to investigate the question of how established organizations in particular can address and successfully manage digital change. The presented examples come from, among others, apeiros, Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen, Deutscher Caritasverband, DRK-Wohlfahrt, Landessportbund Niedersachsen, Stiftung Haus der kleinen Forscher and Teach First.

Dr. Andreas Stiehler (lead analyst and author of the study, fibonacci & friends) emphasizes that there is no script that can be used to shape digital change. However, the experiences of the interview partners could be summarized in three guiding principles as an orientation aid for digital initiatives: "(I) Digitization is a learning process. (II) understanding one's own organisation is essential. (III) Working together is crucial: digitization builds on networking!"

The PDF version of " Learning. Understanding. Networking. Perspectives of digital change in established social organisations" can be downloaded here. For further information and questions, please contact Dr. Peter Kreutter.