We are all in this sector because we want to bring an end to the problems we see around us.
The key word is end.
If we want the problems around us to end, we need to ensure that we are doing more than working hard, we need to be working smart.
Bringing about an end to the problems we see around us, requires us to be heroic because invariably it will require us to go beyond the comfort zones of our current abilities.
If every problem in the world being tackled by charities could be solved using our current abilities, there wouldn’t be any problems left.
The continuing existence of problems tells us that we need to go beyond our current abilities. Which means going beyond our current ideas, our current insight and our current ways of working.
But that is difficult to achieve when we are focused on putting out fires and desperately struggling to meet the needs we see presented to us. Where are we meant to find the time to go beyond when we are having enough trouble dealing with things are they are?
I believe that the answer lies in digital technology. We use digital technology to learn everyday; we explore articles and follow people whose work we find inspiring. Digital technology can help us develop better ideas, gain truer insights faster and adjust the ways that we work.
This is what Makerble has been designed to do.
1. Using digital technology to learn
On Makerble you receive expert tips from peers about how to achieve the particular outcome you are working on. If your progress on a certain outcome with a certain beneficiary or cohort is below average, Makerble will automatically send you practical tips that can help based on the expertise of people who have been in similar situations across the sector. Think of Makerble as your personal coach and mentor, helping you overcome your challenges, right when you need it.
2. Using digital technology to gain truer insights, faster
On Makerble every project you work on has its own Change Process, which is similar to a Theory of Change but a lot more practical. It splits the work of your project into changes to how people think, changes to what people do and changes in what people have. One leads to the other. Using this framework it becomes much easier to understand why you aren’t achieving the change you want to see. And Makerble enables you to capture survey results, interview notes and focus group insights and tag them to each of these steps in the Change Process.
3. Using digital technology in our ways of working
While many of us in the charity sector now use email, there is a lot more that we can digitise and in doing so, make more efficient. By using online booking systems instead of phone calls we can save hours, days and thousands of pounds a year in time spent coordinating processes inefficiently. By using central databases instead of disparate spreadsheets we can free up multiple days per month of people’s time as well as provide a better service because of the smoother running of our programmes.
We certainly aren’t in the charity sector for the money. And we’re not in the charity sector selfishly so that we can go home and feel good about ourselves. We are in the charity sector because we want to end the issues we see scarring our nation. As such, we cannot afford to be mere problem helpers, we need to be problem solvers that end problems, period, forever. That level of ambition requires us to take the heroic step of going beyond our comfort zones to acquire the abilities that are currently beyond us. But help is at hand. Makerble is our ally in this fight. It is free for the smallest of organisations and accessibly priced for the rest. Together we can end every issue.