Article

Faith into Action in the Digital Age

    Author:
  • Jim Daniell, The Center for the Digital Nonprofit, NetHope
  • June 5, 2018
Faith into Action in the Digital Age

This is the second post in a four-part series focusing on NetHope members participating in the Dream, Design, and Deliver program, a social impact accelerator of The Center for the Digital Nonprofit.

Called by deeply held faith, many NGOs use that foundation to help find solutions to the problems facing some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

But imagine if your faith called you to increase the number of people you help ten-fold or even one-hundred fold?

NetHope member Compassion International—with an almost billion dollar budget helping nearly than two million children annually—is using their calling to imagine a world where their impact reaches a significant portion of the 400 million children living in extreme poverty!

To take such a leap, Compassion will continue their emphasis in leveraging new and emerging digital capabilities using an agency-wide, digital transformation in the months and years ahead.

In mid-May, I was privileged once again to assist in a digital transformation workshop supported by Microsoft, Accenture Development Partners, and myself representing the NetHope Center for the Digital Nonprofit. A cross section of Compassion International senior leaders gathered for three days in Denver to grapple with both the enormity of the challenge and finding near-term practical solutions.

As noted in my previous blog post, digital transformation is mostly a mind-set shift and less about technology. It was fascinating to watch diverse team members reimagine operations, their culture, systems, and long-held assumptions all while feeling driven to achieve unimaginable heights. It was also humbling to see how the team kept coming back to their own personal faith to discover new ideas to explore.

There was an explosion of creativity that was matched by a finely focused set of first steps around data science. As the dream session came to a close on the third day, we all looked at the myriad of draft work products on the walls and at each other. It was both exhilarating and exhausting.

While hard work is still ahead, it is nice to see that even the most successful NGOs are working to keep the planetary safety net intact in a time of great need.

To quote Ray Davis, Senior Director of Architecture:

“In the bible we learn, ‘For the body does not consist of one member but many…’ This past week provided an excellent demonstration of this truth for Compassion International at our Dream Session for Data Science. We not only had a diverse cross section of Compassion team members dreaming together but also great people from Microsoft, Accenture Development Partnerships and NetHope working with us to innovate on how we can use data-driven transformation as a weapon to fight poverty!”


This article first appeared on the NetHope.org Blog.