Covid-19: Driving Digital Transformation in NGOs
July 23, 2021 | Contributed by Monisa Nadeem
Since March 2020, Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of our life in India. From the way we interact with people, to the way we shop, the pandemic is making us adapt and change our lifestyle. I mean no one really knows how to cope and it’s something none of us have ever experienced before. To the extent that sometimes it’s difficult to understand the irony of the ‘new normal’ as it’s conveniently called, because absolutely nothing about this current situation is normal.
Nonetheless, we all have accepted and adjusted if I may say, to the presence of all the growing variants of Coronavirus. And working as a Communications Manager at an NGO providing heart treatment for under privileged children, brainstorming every piece of information/activity from a Covid lens is an absolute necessity.
Strategies after Covid-19
Personally, it reminds me of the legend of the phoenix. For those who don’t know about it, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians described a mythical bird called the Phoenix, as a magnificent creature that was a symbol of renewal and rebirth. According to legend, each Phoenix would live up to 500 years. And just before its time was up, the Phoenix would build a nest and set itself on fire. Then, a new Phoenix would rise from the ashes.Covid-19 has done the same to us, driving us to renew and reinvent ourselves.
Suddenly every company and organization, big or small is looking for the best digital marketing agency in Delhi NCR or their respective cities to cope with the pandemic. Not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations are doing the same, even though it is a forced conversation for many, and not necessarily on a timeline that non-profits and donors would have chosen on their own.
As our own Foundation implementedclosed offices, and everyone prepared to work from home, none of us felt confidently equipped for it. Our biggest concern was how we would orchestrate heart treatment for under privileged children from home? Afterall, working with hospitals in the healthcare space in the midst of rising cases of coronavirus, we had to brace for that impact. Moreover, meeting families and providing them assurance, physical comfort, emotional support is a part of the work we do, but it proved be another challenge.
For us, luckily our working model is such that our beneficiaries continued to visit the hospitals and we continued to support them. But for many organizations that were not alreadyon their way to a digital-first journey, the pandemic forced a significant, “emergency” digital transformation — mostly unplanned.
Most people who hadn’t used Teams, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, WebEx etc. before, began to learn the a-b-c of technology. Suddenly, the integration of modern information and communications technology became everyone’s necessity.
Changes within the Foundation
It also meant changing gears for the Foundation as well, since we could no longer have any of our screening camps or meet patients and their families in person. So, we became more dependent on regional and local media to take our voice to the masses. Not only that, through phone calls, Whatsapp audio and video calls, we have been connecting with our beneficiaries to see how they’re faring.
However, the biggest dampener was the cancellation of the Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival, which is our flagship annual fundraiser. Our musically enthusiastic donors were equally upset about the missed opportunity of their favourite music festival. But all our donors continued to support us in every capacity possible, helping us raise money on Mother’s Day, sharing videos on Father’s Day, taking part in our online campaigns to raise awareness and more.
Their support pushed us too, and with the best digital marketing agency in Delhi NCR on our side, we organized a virtual Christmas concert called ‘Come Home Christmas’ with the winners of India’s Got Talent 2010, Shillong Chamber Choir to raise funds and awareness for Congenital Heart Defects.
Readapt, readjust, renew and reinvent have been our 4R’s as an NGO to drive all our communication. If you believe in our vision, you can get in touch with us on [email protected] for any collaborations.