"Is digital change a train everybody must jump on and the only question is when? Non-profits are guided by visions of how to make the world a better place. Your prime objective is impact. While we are convinced of the positive potential of digital change, we are critical users ourselves and know: Not everything should go digital, nor is everything useful that is fancy and expensive. We do not only build tools, but digital capacity in the non-profit sector. That includes understanding the associated risks, distraction and costs and being able to say "no, thanks". Digital change may or may not play a role in achieving your impact. Let's find out together."
Robert Heine, founder and CEO of energypedia nonprofit and energypedia consult GmbH
We maintain a Facebook page and use Skype instead of telephone - does that mean we have gone digital? Or does it have to be Artificial Intelligence and blockchain?
In our digital change department, we are aiming to build digital capacity among non-profit organizations. We believe that it is legitimate to look at digital change critically and not blindly follow a hype. At energypedia consult, first and foremost, we are development professionals and we know that the main objective for non-profits is to create positive impact. Will digital tools play a role in it? Maybe.
We started as software users like everyone else, then spent some years dealing with software in the international development sector. Hence, we are experts not by training, but by experience. We are mindful of (financial, technical, and environmental) needs of the non-profit sector. We believe that digital tools should help, not distract, devour the entire project budget or make things more complicated than they already are. But digital change is undoubtedly here to stay and every organization should establish an active attitude rather than being passive consumers. Digital change is as much about the digital tools we use as it is about digital culture, skills and, importantly, data. The interplay of these four define how ready we are to create a digital vision and strategy.
We Support You
To support you aligning digital change to your vision, we offer:
- Consultancy and workshops: We have designed a one-day workshop (German or English) to help non-profits assess their digital status quo and formulate a vision. Customization is possible depending on your needs. Just get in touch!
- Webinar: "Tsunami or water on a mill? Digital change in the non-profit sector" - join for free!
- Trainings: We deliver (online and on-site) courses on digital M&E and Excel
- Digital tools: We are offering some customized software ourselves (see WebMo) and can get you in touch with other providers. All tools that we recommend are based on Open Source, we prioritize privacy and as Digital Principles endorsers we follow the international software standards for the development community
It does not matter where in digital change process you are and what your attitude is, critical or hopeful. All sentiments are legitimate. Get in touch with us, if your team is wondering about some of the following issues and need help unpacking the digital change debate:
- Is digital change relevant for us or will it distract us from our actual work?
- What does it mean to work digitally?
- How will we work, communicate and design projects in 10 years?
- What does [blockchain, AI, Cloud, Open Source etc] mean (for us)?
- Do we even have the budget to use more software?
- What if we get hacked?
- What about older and tech critical staff, will they be able to adapt?
- We do not have any IT staff in our team - would it not be better to rely on paper/low-tech solutions?
energypedia consult is an official endorser of the Principles for Digital Development, nine living guidelines designed to help digital development practitioners integrate established best practices into technology-enabled programs. Read more about how we implement the Principles here!