3 min read

The Art Of Nurturing Successful Technology Relationships In Nonprofits

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the right technology can be a game-changer for nonprofits. But as we discussed in our article "The Human Stack: The Tech Stack Isn't Enough For Nonprofits," it's not the tech stack that determines success - it's the people. Regardless of an organization's size, the key differentiator lies in the individuals driving its digital journey.


The Executive Director and Digital Voluntold

A high-performance sports car on a racetrack provides a fitting analogy. Your organization is the track, and technology is the vehicle. No matter how cutting-edge or powerful the car may be, as noted in "There is No 'I' in Tech (But there is in Isolation)," it requires a skilled driver and a supportive team to win the race. Enter the two key figures: the Executive Director and the Digital Voluntold.

Think of the Executive Director as the team manager who provides the resources (fuel) for the race. They allocate funds, time, and staffing, ensuring the driver is well-equipped and ready to take on the journey. Their role is instrumental in creating a supportive culture that embraces and adapts to technological changes, a point we elaborated on in "Nonprofit Professionals: Talent, Technology, and Tradition."

Meanwhile, the Digital Voluntold plays the role of the skilled driver. They are comfortable with tech, passionate, and dedicated to learning and navigating the organization's digital journey. They are ready to take on the wheel and drive the organization towards its mission, transforming technology from a challenge into an opportunity.

Together, they create an unbeatable team that is surviving and thriving in the digital race. Their symbiotic relationship is the backbone of a successful digital transformation. Their shared vision, with the right resources and skill sets, sets the course for their organization's digital success, a concept we explored in "User Expectations: Good Tech Fest 2023".


Our Six Digital Health Vitals And These Roles

Now, let's look at the digital health vitals we've identified for both the tech and human stack and how each role contributes to them:

Digital Health Vitals

Leader's Role

Guide's Role

Solution Fit
(Tech Stack)

Decides on the overall tech direction

Ensures the tech aligns with organizational needs

Data Quality
(Tech Stack)

Allocates resources for data management

Oversees data integrity and usage

(Tech Stack)

Ensures tech investments are fully utilized

Trains and supports staff in tech utilization

System Sustainability
(Human Stack)

Champions continuous improvement

Monitors and adjusts system as needed

Digital Strategy
(Human Stack)

Sets and communicates the digital strategy

Executes the digital strategy

(Human Stack)

Sets a culture of positive recognition

Holds self and others accountable


When the Executive Director and Digital Voluntold are well-aligned on these vitals, it sets the stage for successful technology implementation, nurturing a strong sense of belonging within the organization. Want to know more about your individual digital health vitals? Take our Nonprofit Digital Health Quiz!

So, if you're a small nonprofit struggling with tech staffing, remember: it's about creating a strong, effective relationship between your Leader and your Driver. Appoint your driver, train them with Digital Driver's Ed™, and work together towards your digital goals.


Digital Driver's Ed™ Toolkit for Executive Directors

Are you an Executive Director or an aspiring Digital Voluntold? We have a tool to help you realize this vision: The Digital Driver's Ed™ Toolkit for Executive Directors. It is a comprehensive guide to identifying, supporting, and nurturing the role of a Digital Voluntold in your nonprofit organization. It includes detailed instructions, helpful tips, ready-to-use templates for job amendments, invitations, recruiting, and monthly meetings.

Harnessing this toolkit, you will be able to:

  • Understand and define the role of a Digital Voluntold within your organization.
  • Create a supportive environment for your Digital Voluntold.
  • Foster a culture of digital readiness.
  • Enable your organization to navigate the digital landscape effectively and sustainably.

This toolkit provides a roadmap for a successful digital journey led by the Executive Director and the Digital Voluntold. It focuses not just on technology but on the human elements that ultimately drive digital success.

Technology doesn't lead to success; people do. Are you ready to take the driver's seat in your organization's digital journey?

To get your hands on the Digital Driver's Ed™ Toolkit for Executive Directors, provide us with your info below. This toolkit could be the key to unlocking your organization's full digital potential, so don't miss out on this opportunity!

Together, let's drive your organization toward a successful digital future.