Today’s charities are using technology to increase donations, identify new opportunities and carry out campaigns. However, even with the uptake of this new technology many charities aren’t using it to its full potential. Previously on the Work Out Loud blog we’ve explained the concept that name inspired our name. In short, working out loud involves working collaboratively – staff members make their work observable to others in the organisation and narrate their working processes in order to encourage feedback. It’s not only businesses that can benefit from working out loud, however – nonprofit organisations will find plenty of advantages in adopting this way of working too. Here are just five of them.
The process of working out loud isn’t effective unless your organisation is using online collaborative software such as Google Apps. This software allows multiple users to access documents at the same time, without those documents having to be downloaded. Essentially, software such as this enables efficient remote working – saving on office costs. Cloud-based software is usually relatively inexpensive when compared with traditional software packages, and furthermore, the costs of buying and maintaining hardware are almost completely eliminated.
Charity workers don’t stay in the office all day every day. Many of the charity’s most important operations take place outside the office. With today’s tablets and smartphones, these workers can stay connected wherever they are. Working out loud enables these remote workers to remain involved with other members of staff and volunteers. Using the cloud lets these staff produce, edit and comment on content from any location. Flexible working and working out loud go hand-in-hand.
If your charity has a small army of volunteers, it may seem a logistical challenge to ensure that they work together on your latest campaign. Working out loud is based on teamwork. If you embrace the concept, your workplace should become an open environment where staff can generously assist one another with their work-based problems. In addition, the narration of work encourages staff and volunteers to create an online community – connecting staff members who have never met in person.
Investing in and maintaining company servers can be an expensive challenge, but you must also think about their security. Using collaborative software means that your data is stored in the cloud. In all likelihood, Google’s or Microsoft’s servers will be far more secure than your organisation’s. Of course security threats won’t be completely eliminated – you’ll still need to ensure that users don’t download sensitive charity data to an external device.
As we mentioned above, volunteers may only work for your organisation for a few weeks at a time or for a couple of hours a fortnight, but working out loud enables them to feel part of the team. Collaborative software makes it easy for you to set different permission levels for different groups of users. You can still give volunteers access to company blogs and groups, but you may wish to restrict financial information and other sensitive data.
Working out loud is an effective solution for many charities. It requires your organisation to have the right tools for the job, such as Google Apps, and the right culture. Contact Work Out Loud to begin.
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