Introducing Latin America's First Social Sector Digitalization Study

Discover more about the Digital Profile of the Social Sector here.

Digital Profile ofthe Social Sector in Latin America 2024

In an increasingly digitized world, with nearly double the growth of the technology sector in the last 20 years, the day-to-day has transformed. For social organizations, "emerging technologies can drive greater innovation" as a powerful tool to facilitate processes (Forbes). That's why Propel spearheaded the first study on digitalization of the social sector in Latin America alongside impact measurement company, 60 Decibels.

Through surveys and interviews, over 800 social leaders in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile shared their experiences and needs with digital processes. The goal: to analyze the current state of the social sector, understand the challenges they face, and identify the impact of using digital tools for social leaders in advanced states of digitalization.

Here are some key findings:

Digitalization Impact: 3 out of 4 organizations claim that digital tools have improved the impact on their participants. Introducing technology also allowed them to enhance user experience, optimize efficiency, and boost fundraising.

Digital Priorities: 2 out of 3 organizations aim to primarily use data for decision-making. Sector leaders recognize the potential of technology to accelerate their measurement and create informed strategies.

Resources and Barriers: While 44% of beginner organizations identify technology as an essential resource for growth, they still face significant challenges. The main ones being limited budget and lack of technical expertise in the team.

Level of Digitalization: There is still a long way to go. 50% of social organizations have a beginner level of digitalization. There is an urgent need to increase efforts to facilitate access to new project management tools, data management, and other areas in Latin America.

Find more details in the full study here.

Digitalization is a key pillar in every sector, especially for those working to close social gaps in the region and dealing daily with fundraising, impact measurement, communications, and more. As mentioned by the social organization Movilizatorio, a fellow of Cohort 4 of the Propel Fellowship:

"We believe that technology is a great tool to expand visibility and connections".

How to take action to digitalize nonprofits?

Now is the time to use these learnings to continue impacting communities across Latin America. For Propel, this study represents the urgency to continue working to empower more social organizations in the region.

For now, check out these recommendations on where to start implementing technology from your organization:

To measure your impact: you can start with Tableau Public to visualize your data and find benchmark indicators.

To automate your communications: try ZIGLA Chat to speed up your WhatsApp communications.

To optimize your donations: use ChatGPT to draft your applications and tailor them to your specific donors.

Find more about the digital profile of the social sector in Latin America here.

Written by Alexandra Guerra with support from Carla Grados.