Year in Review: 3 Most Important Social Service Sector Trends in 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, let us recap and reflect on three important trends that shaped the sector this year. Lest you think they remain in the interstices of this year, we posit that they are set to linger well into 2022, so read on to see what the new year holds!
#1 Multimedia storytelling’s here to stay
Multimedia storytelling, which includes the likes of photographs, videos and podcasts, had gained currency this year — and for good reason. Depending on the objective, the integration of multiple forms of media allows organisations to draw audiences in, convey the right emotions, communicate strategic priorities and galvanise them into action. Local non-profit Breast Cancer Foundation, for example, ramped up its multimedia content on social media platforms. Videos promoting the cause as well as Pink Ribbon Virtual Walk 2021 were published and shared with thousands via their Instagram account alone. To express their support for women with breast cancer, many participated in the Walk and shared photographs of themselves with the Merlion bathed in pink.
Come 2022, social organisations will continue to skillfully generate stories that cut through the noise and touch the hearts of their target audiences. To create interesting conversations as well as introduce their mission and brand to more people, non-profit organisations may consider tapping on the affordances of Clubhouse, an emerging social network based on voice. This social audio app enables users to participate and create meaningful conversations in audio chat rooms that accommodate groups of thousands of people.
#2 Get your cybersecurity on
The threat of cyber attacks continues to loom over both governments and organisations. According to a report by Sonicwall, 2021 is set to become the most costly and dangerous year on record for the volume of ransomware attacks. American-Israeli multinational IT security provider, Check Point Software Technologies, also pointed to the alarming frequency at which Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) operators develop and sell ransomware, providing less sophisticated threat actors with unprecedented access to dangerous malware. Moreover, the global transition to remote and hybrid work arrangements amid the enduring pandemic had left many painfully exposed to glaring security gaps in remote access solutions and endpoints, and by extension, exploitation by cybercriminals.
Social organisations, which have been collecting sensitive data more than ever before, have increasingly become a likely and popular target. Proper cyber- and data security measures to safeguard important information such as credit card and healthcare details are thus badly needed to be implemented, reviewed and maintained. For starters, ensure that all levels of staff have received comprehensive and updated cybersecurity training so that they are able to react appropriately and timely in the event of a data breach or cyber attack. Also, consider high-level encryption when it comes to your donation platforms — multi-factor authentication would also prove an important implementation for donors on their end. Finally, do not neglect your post-recovery plans!
#3 The need for capacity building
The lack of skilled personnel could be said to be a perpetual challenge afflicting players in the social service sector. With shrinking budgets, many social organisations have found it tough to secure a pipeline of talent needed for their expanding operations. Especially amid the pandemic, many have struggled to recruit committed and dedicated volunteers with relevant skills to support their organisational needs.
We are here to help plug this critical gap by deploying skilled volunteers from our community. With diverse specialisations such as digital marketing and technology, Skills For Good takes pride in matching the right skills-based volunteers to support the capabilities of your organisation — and at zero cost. Simply list your projects with us here and we’ll help make them take flight.
About Skills for Good
Skills for Good, a local volunteer-matching organisation, with a base of eclectic volunteers with skills ranging from marketing and communications to information technology to fundraising. We seek to empower volunteers through convenient and meaningful skills-based volunteering opportunities that help social organisations to achieve their mission. Volunteer with us today and wake up tomorrow with the warm and fuzzy sensation of ‘volunesia’.
Authors: Lim Jia Ying and Gerald Peh