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In 2022, working in the digital world is essential.
It seems like a no-brainer that all social purpose organizations should have the digital tools, capacity and resources to flourish in this new reality. But, over two years into the pandemic that accelerated the pace of digitization and hybridization of every aspect of your work, this just isn’t the case.
According to Canada Helps, only a quarter of non-profits rate their knowledge of office software as “very good”, 54 percent do not have enough funding to make greater use of software, data and digital tools, and only 38 percent have integrated use of computer technology, data, software, and digital processes.
Whether you work in fundraising, DEI, communications, grantmaking, program delivery, advocacy or community engagement, data and technology is becoming core to how you work.
The pandemic also exposed and amplified major digital disparities in Canadian society — from helping newcomers find work to helping the elderly access services to keeping kids learning.
Although there has been notable progress in addressing data skills, digital inequities and funding digital transformation, the work is far from complete.
The good news is that there are initiatives, solutions, changemakers and progress from coast-to-coast-to-coast driving data skills and digital transformation.
That is why Future of Good is thrilled to announce that we’re deepening our coverage of data, digital transformation and technology for social change with a dedicated journalist.
Supported by Mastercard Changeworks™, Mastercard Canada’s social-impact program that helps Canada’s not-for-profits harness the power of technology and data to create positive change, we’re launching the Future of Good editorial fellowship on digital transformations in the social purpose sector — and we’re excited to introduce you to our reporter and fellow, Sharlene Gandhi (she/her).
Mastercard Changeworks™ exclusively focuses on, and funds data skills and digital transformation in the not-for-profit sector. In order to thrive in a digital world, not-for-profit organizations need access to capital, digital payment solutions, data insights, cybersecurity solutions and the tools to run operations more efficiently and securely. Through Mastercard Changeworks™, non-profit organizations have access to various direct grants, partnerships, hackathons and volunteer resources to help them scale and thrive.
“We are thrilled to have Sharlene as the inaugural recipient of this fellowship, where her skills and passion will shine through in her reporting on digital transformation and the not-for-profit sector. At Mastercard Canada, we believe it is important to use technology and data for good to create positive change for organizations that make our communities stronger.” – Jennifer Sloan, Vice President of Public Policy, Mastercard Canada & Executive Sponsor, Mastercard Changeworks™
“We’re breaking ground here; it’s the first time that there has been a journalist covering data, technology and digital transformation for the social purpose sector. Data and technology are increasingly integral to how changemakers do their work everyday, but gaps in skills, capacity, infrastructure and funding remain. Sharlene’s journalism will shine a light on the stories, insights and developments from coast-to-coast-to-coast to inform and accelerate progress across the sector. We’re thrilled for this partnership.”
– Vinod Rajasekaran, Publisher & CEO, Future of Good
Soon relocating to Canada, Sharlene is currently a UK-based journalist with a specialist focus on the intersections between business, work, technology and environmental sustainability. Her reporting has spanned a number of topics within that umbrella, including agricultural and environmental justice, technology ethics, small business and the circular economy. She has been published by the likes of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, gal-dem, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy and AIGA Eye on Design, as well as speaking on the topic of climate justice for IKEA, Social Enterprise UK and Global Action Plan.
Most recently, Sharlene was an Editor and Reporter at Courier Media, a global media company dedicated to all things small business and entrepreneurship. She hopes to bring her knowledge of new business models, social entrepreneurship, and community ownership to Future of Good, where her reporting and fellowship will focus on data and digital transformation across the non-profit, charitable and social purpose sectors in Canada.
Help us congratulate and welcome Sharlene to the team!