Digital transformation – embrace it or be chasing it!

It is 2017, and digital technology arrived and stayed. As with every other sector, Charities need a Digital Strategy if they want to sustain their work in the longer term and boost their impact. However, the Charity Digital Skills Report shows that the sector is struggling to keep up with technology.

Charities reported that they fear missing out on fundraising opportunities if their organisations do not get to grips with digital, and could lose touch with their supporters. A significant number of staff are considering leaving if progress isn’t made. 

The reason why some charities don’t have a strategy seems to be partly because they don’t see digital as a priority. A lack of digital strategy is hampering charities’ progress: 50% of charities don’t have one. Yet 80% of respondents to the survey want their leadership team to provide a clear vision of digital and what it could help them achieve, while 66% want a good digital strategy – so it seems the sector is willing but is it able?

Without a digital strategy in place, time and money can be wasted on digital activities that become an end goal in themselves. A good strategy involves thinking more comprehensively about how digital can help achieve your charity’s goals and how to get there.  

There are some resources available to support charities on this matter: 

  • DataCorps brings together teams of pro bono data scientists with social change organizations on long-term projects that use data science to transform their work and their sector 
  • CAST is accelerating the use of technology for social impact   
  • And if you want to find out about your charity's digital maturity, you might want to check this Social Sector Data Maturity Framework (pdf)
  • Hack it Forward is a 3 month programme supporting teams of programming students to create tech solutions to community problems put forward by charities, social enterprises and community group. From data- based websites to apps, students will build your briefs from January to March 2018

In addition, several conferences and training courses related to this topic are popping up all over London.  On the 20 November, Superhighways will hold ImpactAloud 2017, their fourth annual event on how to boost your data collection, better evaluate what works in your charity or community group and tell your amazing stories using the best in digital technology. You can book your space HERE.

Civil Society will be delivering a digital training for charity trustees on the 21 November.

Community Southwark is also in the digital loop! On the 28 November, we are offering a FREE Cyber Safe Southwark workshop. The workshop will be delivered by The Integrate Agency CIC a social enterprise that bids for and delivers outsourced public services contracts on behalf of the social sector. Click HERE for further information.  

If you want to learn more about this subject, following are some articles which are very informative: