Dear Ditto,

I think we’re sinking a lot of resources into websites and digital tools that just aren’t working. How do we do better?

Advice from:
Graziella Jackson
Partner & CEO

Thank you for this question. It is a complex one that we get often and which often spurs very engaging conversation. So let’s dive in!

The first challenge with this question, is that there really is no common definition of “digital.” To some leaders, digital means connecting with constituents online through marketing tactics. To others, digital means trying to automate some aspect of an organization’s work using web technology. To others, it means online campaign design.

To us, digital is about all of these things. It involves:

  • Understanding where digital technology has the potential to help you scale your work externally or to jumpstart, expand, or mature your work internally.
  • Mapping your customer experience and identifying exactly where and how audiences can be brought more centrally into the design and delivery of programs and services through web-based tools.
  • Developing team structures and support systems that drive leaner operations, more qualitative innovation, continuous improvement, and more highly performing digital channels and tools.

This foundation is important. As a nonprofit digital leader, you’re constantly dealing with external pressures. Degrading technical platforms. Shifting organizational priorities. Increasing competition. Limited funds. New campaigns. Tough-to-find talent. Growing user demands. In order to get ahead of the constant and demanding pace of change, you need to focus on performance and adaptation — improving the way you think, work, and deliver and replacing the concept of “done” with the concept of “do better.”

If you feel like you’re in a constant cycle of guesswork and rework when it comes to digital, it may be because the role of digital technology in your organization hasn’t come into clear focus. The first step to reinventing how you invest in and lead digital is figuring out exactly how it can be best applied to jumpstarting, maturing, or expanding your work — and marshaling support and resources to applying it to those areas. 

You can start solving this lack of definition problem by:

  • Mapping out your service models in detail,
  • Defining a customer experience journey across your touchpoints and data systems, and
  • Convening your best and brightest thinkers to connect the two. 

This is fun, engaging work that pulls together team members from across the organization to co-design a future where digital is seen as a focused, respected resource for organizational success. 

I love talking about this topic, so if reading on spurs ideas and questions — reach out for a conversation! We’ll dive more into this conversation in forthcoming posts.

Until then, be well.

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