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Western Region Working Group (WRWG) Environmental Scan Report

Posted on:
December 12, 2019

The WRWG has pursued completion of an environmental scan in advance of strategic plan development. As a point-­‐in-­‐time snapshot, an environmental scan is intended to explore and capture current trends, successes and challenges at the immigrant sector’s system level, generate a coherent narrative supported by facts, and set the foundation for dialogue, strategic planning, and stakeholder influence.

Technology trends and advancements and their increasing uptake in the nonprofit sector have implications for increasing service effectiveness and improved work processes. Cloud computing, social media and mobile technology can increase the number of clients served and also improve service quality (Boles, 2013). Further, another trend focused on what is delivered through technology as opposed to mechanisms for delivery, is a growing demand for dynamic data. This type of data or reporting is distinguished from static data in that users can really explore and work with the data by watching, clicking and sharing. In turn, the data/site owner can collect valuable user information and statistics.

Hsu identified 3 best practices which are critical to nonprofit success in technology use:

  1. Content Marketing and Curation: with the volume and constant connectedness to information, marketing and curation enables the development of brand loyalty and engagement that can distinguish a nonprofit by the content it produces.
  2. Targeted Communications: segmenting their base of supporters and using the delivery channels that the segment prefers is a good way to develop relationships and loyalty. Some considerations to be aware of include a segment’s history or affiliation with the nonprofit and their particular interests.
  3. Data Informed Decisions: decisions that are made on relevant and reliable data enable better marketing, operations and overall performance.

Opportunities

  • Technology - Advance a case for technology and its use to increase sector effectiveness and efficiency
  • Information Access - Differentiate the data and information offerings of umbrella organizations from that of government websites in a way that provides greater value.
  • Technological Competency - Provide support to member organizations to increase their technological effectiveness as related to service delivery and organizational effectiveness

Summary

As a point-­‐in-­‐time snapshot, an environmental scan is intended to explore and capture current trends, successes and challenges at the immigrant sector’s system level, generate a coherent narrative supported by facts, and set the foundation for dialogue, strategic planning, and stakeholder influence.
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