Survey Identifies Major Digital Transformation Challenges for Nonprofit Organizations

Press Release from UNIT4 Business Software

Independent research finds widespread consensus at nonprofit organizations on the benefits of cloud
solutions, but barriers such as resistance to change, data silos and integration issues remain

NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for people-centric organizations, today announced the findings of new research which reveals significant barriers still remain in the digital transformation journey of nonprofit organizations.

City of Campbell River Selects Unit4 ERP (PRNewsfoto/Unit4)

Nonprofit organizations recognize the potential benefits of adopting the latest technology, with the vast majority having taken some steps to implement cloud-based solutions. However, new research of nonprofit leaders found that major challenges remain, including internal obstacles to cloud solution adoption.

"Emerging technology presents a vast opportunity for nonprofits with the potential to increase their impact and overcome security and fraud challenges that have historically hindered them," said Chris Brewer, Nonprofit Strategic Industry Architect, Unit4. "However, in order to realize these gains, nonprofits will first need to find new solutions to achieve digital transformation."

Key findings

  • Digital transformation is a major priority: 60% of respondents identified digital transformation as a key priority, and approximately 90% have already implemented cloud-based solutions or have begun deploying cloud assets. 86% of surveyed nonprofit leaders say their organizations anticipate completing their digital transformation within two years

  • Privacy and security are the primary drivers: More than half of respondents — 54% — say improving privacy and security is a major reason for digital transformation, followed by those who cited delivering a better customer experience (46%) and achieving greater productivity (44%)

  • There's an overwhelming consensus in favor of cloud solutions: 97% of those surveyed in the U.K. and 94% of U.S. respondents say cloud solutions will have a positive impact on their nonprofit organization, and nine in 10 survey participants agree that cloud solutions will improve accessibility for remote workers, increase collaboration, enhance flexibility and reduce infrastructure costs

  • Significant barriers to cloud adoption include internal factors: Approximately three-quarters of survey respondents cited key factors contributing to slowing technology adoption such as resistance to change, siloed information and issues with integration. About 70% said a larger budget and additional resources would help their organizations complete digital transformation.

Prioritizing digital transformation to amplify impact

The survey also identified customization, industry knowledge, value, support in implementation and features as areas of high importance to nonprofit leaders. Emphasizing this point, Chris Brewer, continues, "When organizations fully understand their options, nonprofit leaders who are focused on digital transformation can overcome the remaining challenges and obtain the cloud-based solutions they need to make a greater impact on the world."

Staying up to date on today's technological advancements is imperative to ensure nonprofits can continue their commitment to social causes and community impact. Intuitive, flexible cloud-based solutions will increase efficiency, optimize resources and build trust while allowing nonprofit organizations to deliver on a greater mission impact.

Further Reading

Survey methodology

The findings of this study are based on interviews with more than 200 senior HR, IT and finance professionals at nonprofit organizations with at least 250 and up to 10,000 employees in the U.S. and U.K. Unit4 commissioned independent market research firm DJS Research to conduct the survey.

About Unit4

Unit4's next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions power many of the world's mid-market organizations, bringing together the capabilities of Financials, Procurement, Project Management, HR, and FP&A to share real-time information, and deliver greater insights to help organizations become more effective. By combining our mid-market expertise with a relentless focus on people, we've built flexible solutions to meet customers' unique and changing needs. Unit4 serves more than 5,100 customers globally across a number of sectors including professional services, nonprofit and public sector, with customers including Migros Aare, Southampton City Council, Metro Vancouver, Durham Catholic District School Board, Buro Happold, Peab, North Sea Port Netherlands, Save the Children International, Global Green Growth Institute and Oxfam America. For further information visit

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Media Contact:
Lisa Stassoulli
Global Communications Manager, Unit4
Mobile: +44(0)7870 916827
[email protected]

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