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Karina Fernandez, CIO of The American Society of Hematology

Challenges to Digital Transformation in the Non-Profit Sector

Last week Cludo had the pleasure to attend “Transforming Your NPO in the Digital Age,” a networking and giving event hosted by GeekHive at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. It was a great opportunity to mingle with representatives of organizations such as the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Air Force Association, and to learn more about their technological needs. When it comes to streamlining and modernizing their technology, non-profits face a unique set of challenges, the three most critical of which are money, personalization, and interoperability.

Woman stands at front of conference room at Geekhive event
Karina Fernandez, CIO of The American Society of Hematology


For organizations that subsist primarily on donations and membership dues, access to enterprise-grade software can be difficult to budget. Karina Fernandez, CIO of ASH and the first speaker of the evening, discussed her organization’s ongoing journey toward digital transformation, and how she carefully vetted partners like GeekHive, Sitecore, Rackspace,, and Cludo—ensuring that the ROI of each was well worth the cost before proceeding. Thanks to each organization’s competitive advantages, Fernandez was able to feel confident in the partners she picked to facilitate ASH’s transformation. “I know what we need,” she said, “and I believe in the choices we’ve made.”

Man stands at front of conference room at Geekhive event
Peter Ladka, CEO of Geekhive


Figuring out who your visitors are and what they want is a big piece of keeping them involved, and encouraging them to support your cause. It’s also notoriously difficult to do on your own, let alone to do in a GDPR-compliant fashion. The second speaker of the evening was Peter Ladka, CEO of GeekHive and founder of the non-profit organization Beautiful People. Ladka discussed his experiences running an NPO and working with NPOs to track and leverage user data in order to create personalized retargeted marketing, encouraging visitors to return to your website, engage with your content, and support your mission.


One thing that arose in both speeches, as well as in discussions I had before and after with various attendees from different NPOs, was the need for disparate technical systems to talk to each other, making it easy for NPOs with limited resources to manage all the technologies they use, to provide a unified customer journey, and, in the case of site search, to ensure that users looking for, say, your Donate page, can find it even if it’s hosted on a completely separate microsite outside your CMS.

With a platform-agnostic solution and plugins built for several CMS’s (including Sitecore), plus several more in the works, Cludo has you covered from an interoperability perspective. We offer competitive discounts for non-profits, and have a few neat personalization projects coming down the pipeline—stay tuned for more news on those soon! If you’re at the digital, marketing, or administrative helm of a non-profit and are looking to provide your visitors with the sharpest site search on the market, please contact us or request a demo today.

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