Blog > CSR

Social impact tech supporting philanthropic transformation in 2022

by Optimy

Digitalization has been raised as a top priority at European level and became the main topic on the agenda of decision makers of corporate organizations. The pressure for digitalization is real and this can only be achieved through sustainable operations. Achieving this demands transformation. 

To understand how organizations have embraced digitalization when it comes to social impact and sponsorship activities, we have reached out to our own customer community across a variety of industries. These organizations are located in different parts of the world, and are significantly involved in conducting grantmaking, sponsorship and employee giving programs at their organization.

Helping social impact leaders turn objectives into action

How a social impact platform helps 

Our customers are conducting social good activities in unprecedented times. Being successful, beyond profit, requires resilience and social impact agility to achieve sustainable business practices that cater for both long-term and short-term participation. If sustainability used to be seen as a nice-to-have, the past two years proved it is now a strategic must-have

Optimy can help social impact leaders and their teams plan a better, sustainable giving path with the support of a platform that addresses your operational challenges and goals in different areas of expertise: grantmaking, employee giving, sponsorships, scholarships and research grants.

2021 was the year of organizations and companies finding what the new normal means for them. Lots of conversations related to best practices in this unpredictable world. While most organizations have a social impact program in place, only a few can manage to roll it out and put it into practice on a scale where it actually brings impactful results. 

Digitalization is the critical element of organization towards sustainability and more social impact. Digital technologies support a broad range of social impact initiatives. And top social impact leaders have implemented a software solution to help them achieve their sustainability objectives.

Focus on your core challenges that keep you from being more productive 

Our customers shared their challenges before having adopted a software solution. These challenges have a direct impact on both the teams responsible for implementing the projects and the organizations’ capacity to build sustainable social impact programs. In terms of identifying the challenges, here is a short list: 

  • Overwhelming workload that comes from running too many programs at the same time or the number of causes they are trying to support 
  • Time spent on low value tasks that still require a manual process
  • Lack of automation for repetitive workflows or usage of different tools that do not communicate with each other
  • Lack of collaboration between internal and international teams when the program caters for different markets

Using a software solution and driving efficiency for your team and processes is key to business operations. At the same time, full digitalization in 2022 is necessary. Overcoming these challenges is essential to tackling the most urgent social impact initiatives in today’s society. 

A lot of talking but not enough actions 

Social impact, whether launching it or scaling it up, has become a major topic for boards and corporate strategy discussions. Although many organizations are transitioning toward a company-wide social impact (grantmaking, employee giving, corporate sponsorship) strategy and execution plan, some are still not ready to act. It’s not only action that has been limited. But accepting the transformation. In fact, leadership buy-in is one of the biggest challenges in creating social impact as a core element of their value, which comes at the expense of profit. 

  • Where do you stand? Think about the following statements. Which one best describes your organization today? 
  • We have some ideas of how to roll out our giving programs but have yet to incorporate the operational side
  • We have a strategy, but we can’t seem to get past the execution plan 
  • We have the strategy and execution plan but we are missing a solution to support the team 
  • We have a strategy and a plan, and have taken steps to research digital solutions to help support us 
  • We have fully implemented our strategy and plan but we are not 100% happy and would like to see what else is out there

Becoming a social impact leader and helping communities in need is not easy. The mindset needs to shift from viewing a digital solution as a nice-to-have to an opportunity, and the missing piece to start the full transformation. Such a transition can lead to significant changes and may disrupt your current way of working. It could also mean some restructuring (HR, processes, departments). However, the benefits are endless. 

Reporting is the most important element of social impact

Many companies today have initiatives in place to improve reporting and try to come up with the most accurate data to satisfy their stakeholders. Some of the best practices we often hear about are: using known frameworks or standards. However, implementing a solution just to be able to follow up on reporting activities is not sufficient. Working to reduce manual work and operational hazards is another way to improve your numbers. Looking to improve your impact lags behind reporting efforts. Streamlining operation is the very first step into having effortless reporting for any stakeholder at any time at the click of a button. 

  • What kind of areas must you look at to streamline in today’s business environment?
  • Reduce all manual tasks when it comes to data collection of your grantees, employees or any other groups that apply for your social impact program 
  • Adopt automated workflows that match your internal processes
  • Monitor the incoming applications and their status 
  • Improve the application review process for all the stakeholders applicants, administrators and reviewers
  • Increase capacity to open new social impact programs 
  • Optimize the overall efficiency of your team
  • Change old tools that limit your impact
  • Collaborate easily with all your stakeholders

Use data to fill the gaps in your community 

Social impact programs can cater to a certain number of causes that are either relevant in today’s society, relevant for your organization or your employees. A new data-centric approach may help shift your efforts to greatly improve the balance between the three. This will serve for better relationships between industry and nonprofit organizations and for better impact offered by industry to local, national and international communities. 

Closing the gap between your community’s needs and your organization could create, in a sense, a new approach with the primary goal to form long lasting relationships and your organization taking up a proactive role in the accountability and response mechanism, enabling your social impact to grow and scale over time. Mature social impact programs could not exist without the potential of digital technologies supporting them. Advanced reporting, an online automated data collection system that is compliant with current data protection laws is essential in today’s world. Social impact teams have integrated their social impact and digital technologies to align their processes to the desired outcomes. 

The most important tools in social impact: pros and cons  

  • Email 
  • Spreadsheets
  • Advanced analytics 
  • Project management tools 
  • Survey collection tools
  • Reporting tools

Optimy: all-in-one platform for social impact and more 

It’s in our name. We transform your operations while empowering your teams with more time to focus on what matters the most. With over 300 customers globally, Optimy is the European leader in social impact and sponsorship management, as well as the most efficient solution for generating more impact. Optimy’s core values are embedded in our strategy that focuses on putting customers first, being transparent and honest and doing social good. Optimy is transforming organizations to increase efficiency and reduce manual process (time, thus cost).

  • Social impact commitment - strong alignment from board and C-suite 
  • Social impact operations effectiveness - re-designing your processes to gain high levels of effectiveness 
  • Social impact tools - high alignment on the need for digitalization 

Using a digital all-in-one platform to tap in on the potential of your social impact 

  • High performing teams can 
  • Reduce manual work by 50%  
  • Process 100 applications in less than 7 minutes 
  • Collaborate with a large number of people on social impact while still keeping data accurate

Who is it for?

  • Corporations looking to give or volunteer
  • Foundations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Educational institutions
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Our partners

Join our community today and see how your organization can improve its social impact!