Two young heroes of our time, Greta Thunberg and Boyan Slat, recently went viral on Facebook due to their passionate efforts to combat climate change. With their activism comes a vital question: What is the ‘right way’ to fight for the environment (if there is one), and what role should technology play in solving a problem it helped create?
There are many different approaches out there, but they all have one thing in common: the ever-growing passion of younger generations to fight for the future of our planet.
Volunteer work is trendy: time for NGOs to go digital
Nowadays, more and more people are volunteering, while awareness of social issues can spread like wildfire at the click of a mouse. Entire fund-raising campaigns are organized all over the world using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Thanks to the internet, everyone has a real chance to make an impact.
Younger generations – or digital natives – are actively shaping this global phenomenon. They’re hungry for jobs and hobbies which give them a sense of purpose. Accordingly, their life goal isn’t just getting a good salary, but also extends to making true social impact.
Of course, none of this would be possible without digitalization, which drives the change. It creates new platforms for social participation and enables volunteers to discover and take part in philanthropic projects.
And that represents a huge opportunity for NGOs – if they can bring their strategy up to speed with the current technological landscape.
The key to kickstarting that process is migrating to the cloud. The cloud enables easy information access, convenient collaboration and project management and can be useful in a myriad of ways. But the question is: where to start? With solutions for storing and sharing data, NGOs can truly revolutionize their everyday life in the office from one day to the next as these solutions are quickly deployed to boot.
Here are the top 5 ways NGOs benefit from moving to the cloud:
#1 Cut down on admin
Cloud storage and collaboration can make your employees’ lives significantly easier by simplifying many aspects of administrative work. Forget worrying about handling printed documents, getting lost in endless versions of them, or sending them by post. When it comes to donation invoices, the personal data of beneficiary parties or the financial data of donors can all be organized nicely in virtual vaults, which are accessible anytime, anywhere. This frees up a huge chunk of time for supporters to focus on more meaningful work.
On the IT side, your inhouse experts don’t have to waste time on implementing and maintaining file servers if you migrate to the cloud. They can focus instead on innovating and acquiring more digital assets for the organization.
#2 Boost civil engagement
Whether it’s tackling an urgent domestic social issue, providing medical support in a war zone or giving free legal advice to people in need – an NGO’s power lies in the social awareness of its members. To attract more volunteers for their missions, NGOs should provide a working environment and infrastructure that is familiar to digital natives.
People who are already storing pictures and documents in the cloud won’t be motivated to organize and copy documents as volunteers. Since they use different communication platforms to collaborate with others, they would rather not undertake unnecessary journeys and appointments. The more NGOs align their processes with modern ways of working, the easier they make it for new members to join their cause and spread awareness of their work.
#3 Break down borders
Digitalization breaks down many of the barriers which stand in the way of voluntary work. Cloud storage serves as a central source of information for NGOs, which is available anytime, anywhere, on any device. With this mobility at their fingertips, volunteers can better support people in need. And on top of that, since location and time zones don’t need to be a limiting factor anymore, volunteers from remote regions can also be involved too.
Apart from involving more people, mobile working and file sharing enables communication between members in a secure and efficient way. For example, locally deployed resources and domestic co-workers can access vital information and files through central storage in the cloud, creating well organized collaboration. A humanitarian organization can use this method to work just as effectively in a war zone as they would in their home country and stay on mission the whole time.
#4 Protect member confidentiality and security
All companies need to ensure that they safeguard highly confidential data, and NGOs even more so. As the people they support are often in very vulnerable life situations, keeping their information private can be a matter of life or death. For that reason, and also because NGOs need to satisfy legal regulations like the GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, etc, secure data processing practices need to be in place.
The best way to guarantee data security and compliance is to use a solution with Zero-Knowledge, end-to-end encryption like Tresorit. You can protect your privacy and sensitive data from malicious actors as well as data breaches caused by human error, helping you avoid hefty fines too. Your team can operate at full speed to bring support to those in need, when they need it most. And the great part is that NGOs are able to use Tresorit’s cloud solution for secure file sharing and collaboration at a special discounted price.
#5 Reduce your carbon footprint
Did you know that on average, using the cloud requires less electricity than running your own server? A Microsoft study shows that switching to the cloud can save up to 93% of energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 93% as well. With their efficient model, cloud solutions are considered to be more environmentally friendly, as their operation uses necessary resources in line with actual demand. Apart from that, providers are willing to swap over to sustainable energy sources to power their data centers, in order to take part in environmental protection.
Digital breakthrough with file sharing tools
In an age where the amount of data in the world is increasing exponentially, NGOs can no longer afford to avoid going digital. If they do, they will miss out on many key opportunities. The first step on that digital transformation journey is moving to the cloud and taking advantage of secure collaboration services, and all the benefits they come with. With frictionless file storage and sharing, easy collaboration and uncompromising security, NGOs can successfully reach their goals and ideal audience, making a real impact on the future.