Embracing New Technology

Don’t go out and buy a Lamborghini when all that’s needed is a Commodore – Clint Bertenshaw, The Centre for Volunteering techxpert

Where do we start when it comes to embracing new technology? Digital literacy, work/life balance, and volunteers’ comfort zones are just some of the factors that can make transitioning to new and better systems difficult for an organisation. But not impossible.

Inspired by the VIO Online Accessibility Survey, which revealed a definitive need for greater digital inclusion across the sector, we hosted a Volunteer Spotlight on Embracing New Technology.

This was your opportunity ask your burning questions, discuss among peers, and learn from our in-house techxpert, Clint Bertenshaw, who facilitated the discussion.

Thanks to this free workshop, we now know the commonly asked questions on embracing new technology. Check out their answers:


How do I get my volunteers involved and engaged?

You need to take them on the journey and talk to them…If there is an appetite for new technology, start to explain the way it is going to make things better for them – Clint Bertenshaw

  • When convincing anyone to embrace something new, the best way to be successful is through a change mindset. What are your volunteers’ problems, and how can new technology benefit them?
  • Consider bringing young people to volunteer to teach your volunteers.
  • Engagement can be a challenge, but an effective communication system can help…

How do I communicate with my volunteers?

Talk to your volunteers…The best way to find out what suits your organisation is to find out what your volunteers are comfortable with – Clint Bertenshaw

  • You have plenty of options when it comes to which communication system to use, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger, direct text messages or Mailchimp for mass communications.
  • Decide on a communication system based on your volunteers and when you onboard them, explain where important updates will come through. The key is to be consistent.

What apps or systems should I use?

Make sure you’re getting not-for-profit rates…When in doubt, email them – Clint Bertenshaw

  • Technology is evolving all the time, so it’s important to make decisions based on what works for you and your volunteers.
  • Social media apps are a great way to attract people to join or support your organisation. Apps that can make content creation easier include:
    • Biteable: create striking videos in an easy, beginner-friendly platform.
    • Canva: create anything from posters to social media posts to Instagram Reels with a platform used by professionals, made easy for befi
    • Pixlr: quickly edit photos with more advanced tools than your average in-built editor.
  • To promote events, you could try:
    • Eventbrite: a popular event promotion site with great organic reach.
    • Humanitix: designed specifically for events with a social impact focus.

What do we need to know about AI?

Approach AI with caution – Clint Bertenshaw

  • AI can help complete tasks, reduce time and ease our workloads, but there is still much to be learnt about this new area of technology.
  • While AI can provide a really good basis for our work, be careful with how you use it and the information you provide.
  • Do you want to see a Volunteer Spotlight Session specifically on AI? Reach out to us as online@volunteering.com.au to let us know!

Resources for Embracing New Technology

To support you in embracing new technologies, we’ve created free resources on our Knowledge Base, including information on using social media, popular messaging apps, Microsoft products and more.

Consult our Digital Resources Guide for an overview of what’s on offer or check out our library of free Digital Literacy resources for full access to any one of our 14 resources.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question about embracing new technology that hasn’t been answered? Contact our Volunteer Manager Help Desk or Get In Touch with us for personalised advice or feedback on how we can best support you.