Digital Teams Benchmark Study Provides Nonprofit Insights
Social change strategy firm Communicopia has published a Non-Profit Digital Teams Benchmark Report that surveyed 67 nonprofits on their social media habits to find “how non-profit leaders manage digital and online initiatives in their organizations.” The Stanford Innovation Review presents a three-part series of lessons from the study on how digital teams - staff in organizations that deal with their online or web presence - work.
- The first post in the series is on the five common dysfunctions of digital teams. The key point is that these ills are usually merely reflections of issues that run into the nature of the organization itself. The five dysfunctions they describe are silos, personality fit, overload, lack of digital vision and lack of organizational vision. The first step is recognizing if your organization is suffering from these common issues, and then looking at how they can be mitigated.
- The second post describes four management philosophies for overseeing your digital presence, and overcoming those five dysfunctions. The four (nicely illustrated) management patterns are Informal, Centralized, Independent and Hybrid, each with its own patterns of flow and control between the digital experience and the digital team members. They consider the efficacy of each model, and the reasons they usually come to be, (Hint: It’s rarely a strategic decision.) before recommending the Hybrid model. That model has a strong central digital team partnering with digital leads in each department. The central digital engagement managers take on the most critical projects, but leave enough authority for others to fully implement lower-risk initiatives.
- The third post covers the “seven patterns of nonprofit digital teams.” These are the salient points that the Communicopia team gathered from their survey of the senior online leaders from 67 nonprofit organizations. The seven patterns illustrate areas that show positive trends - digital teams are increasingly proactive - and others that will quickly become problematic. Not surprisingly, one of these seven points is that digital teams need more full-time, rather than contractor, help. That may be a tightly constrained factor for many organizations, but investing in user experience improvements and a better team structure - two other points on the list - could help existing resource go further.
The report contains illuminating material that could help your organization dramatically improve its online engagement. These three posts give a hint of the material. For a more detailed presentation of the report itself, check out this webinar, “Digital Teams: Your Smartest Investment to Manage a Multi-Channel World”, moderated by Care2.