Using Technology for Mission: Ontario 211 and NTEN Hear From the Arthritis Society

Posted on September 28, 2011. Filed under: Using Technology | Tags: , , |

Reading this Q&A with The Arthritis Society, it certainly strikes a chord and I think many nonprofits are experiencing a similar set of circumstances.

What I find most encouraging about how The Arthritis Society is handling the situation is that they are clearly aware of the changes in the technological landscape and are making moves to bring their organisation into the 21st century in terms of their implementation of the technologies available.

I also find it heartening to hear that they have identified the need to employ a dedicated Social Media Manager, which indicates how seriously they are taking this shift to online communications.

Congratulations to The Arthritis Society – I am sure you will see great benefit from your new strategies!

Kathie van 

Using Technology for Mission: Ontario 211 and NTEN Hear From the Arthritis Society

[Editor’s note: Ontario 211 and NTEN asked Ontario nonprofits about how they were using technology – and how they’d like to be using technology – for their work. We’ll share what they told us in this series of blog posts. If you’d like to share your stories, click here.]

The Arthritis Society

How would you compare your organization with other nonprofits, in general, when it comes to using technology effectively (from databases to social media) to achieve your mission?

Having recently attended a social media conference and through contact with individuals in other organizations, I would say that The Arthritis Society is in the middle of the pack. We are actually in the process of updating our archaic website, we’ve recently upgraded our database, and are actively participating in social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc), but we are not currently engaging in some of the newer, “hotter” technologies, such as cloud computing.

Where do you think your organization is particularly strong (a leader) when it comes to using technology effectively?

We are open to new ideas and technologies, but we certainly aren’t leading the way (yet).

Where do you think your organization is potentially lagging behind other nonprofits when it comes to using technology effectively?

I think our primary concern is our website, which is currently in the process of being updated. While I don’t think we’re a leader, I certainly wouldn’t say we are “lagging behind” in any capacity. We are slowly but surely trucking along trying to find the best ways to use technology in order to help us further our mission.

What’s the biggest technology change you’ve implemented in your organization in the last few years?

Updating the database and website (in process). We’ve also hired a Social Media manager, which is a new position for us.

Thinking about your answer to the previous question, or other recent changes that involved technology, please explain how this has impacted your organization? Your mission?

All of our changes have allowed us to better interact with our supporters and allies. We are using social media to connect to our longtime supporters, as well as attract new people into our community. Through better technology we are able to disseminte important and helpful information more quickly, and connect with our community members in ways we couldn’t before.

What are the driving factors or needs in your organization when it comes to technology?

Like any organization, we need technology that is easy to use and accessible. We need technology that allows us to be organized and effective in our communications, and in all aspects of fulfilling our mission.

Are there any innovative projects that you’ve seen other Ontario nonprofits implement that you admire?

I’ve seen some fantastic fundraising efforts through social media and SMS that I’d love to emulate.

If budget weren’t an obstacle, what’s the one technology project you’d like to launch to help you achieve your mission?

App development.


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