September 26, 2017

Digital Adoption: How workforce development nonprofits can accelerate employment and entrepreneurship outcomes at scale

Written by Lisa Neuberger and Svenja Falk

This post originally appeared on the Accenture website. Reposted with permission.

The technology revolution is transforming our world and is occurring at an unprecedented speed. According to our research, nonprofits that have embraced digital are experiencing tremendous gains in their effectiveness and societal impact; nonprofit workers reported efficiency gains of up to 91 percent through the adoption of relevant digital accelerators.

However, despite near consensus that technology will positively impact both beneficiaries and service delivery, many nonprofits are slipping behind on digital adoption. Nonprofits have a responsibility to use digital tools to improve employment and entrepreneurship opportunities but also to mitigate any friction that technology advances may present to job seekers and entrepreneurs.

Our research has unearthed key opportunities, common challenges for digital adoption and four accelerators that have the potential to support workforce development nonprofits in attaining operational excellence and driving greater impact for beneficiaries. We hope that this report will serve as a roadmap for launching and accelerating a digital journey, and will help to guide informed decisions on digital tools and opportunities that are best suited to the different aspects of nonprofit organizations. In addition to recommendations about how workforce development nonprofits can leverage digital to create meaningful, lasting change, we have provided case studies and proven Hacks from industry leaders.

Our human-centered approach involved more than 45 interviews with technology organizations, nonprofits and Accenture experts, a survey of over 265 nonprofit leaders, workers and beneficiaries from the nonprofit sector and a series of prototyping sessions and design thinking workshops. Our research was conducted on a global scale, with input from over ten countries.

We want to thank the Skills to Succeed practitioners from Accenture, as well as each of the representatives from nonprofits and other technology organizations who participated in this research and helped us identify a pathway for nonprofits to start their digital journey. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the members of our Learning Circle.

As emphasized in our Accenture Technology Vision 2017, we are committed to exploring how to use technology to improve our world. The process of conducting this research and listening to multiple stakeholder perspectives has strengthened our conviction that digital adoption is a key component of workforce development nonprofits enabling beneficiary success, one that will drive economic growth for millions of people worldwide.

Click the image for the full report.