Digital for Charities

Exploring the opportunities Digital presents is essential for charities and there is a wealth of free advice and guidance available to get us started.

The Charity Commission, Grant Thornton and Zoe Amar Communications have created a new resource, 12 Questions about digital for trustees . The tool outlines what questions charity boards should be asking about digital and aims to facilitate conversations between trustees as well as between the board and charity staff, and to raise awareness amongst trustees of the strategic importance of digital.

The resource sums up what they mean by 'digital':

"At its simplest, digital means using technology, covering everything from software to hardware to communications. Many charities are also exploring the opportunities that digital presents for creating value, (whether that’s generating income or strengthening key relationships), or enhancing their services. In short, it’s about new ways of working, using digital to deliver your charity’s vision, mission and strategy"

Whilst this tool is broadly about Governance, covering: induction of new trustees; people; strategy; culture; sevice delivery; brand; reputation; fundraising; cyber security; evaluation; and resources, others have published further guidance to help charities keep pace with digital change.

Flagship Consulting has created a a free guide to digital marketing for charities, Digital Giving: a 12 step response to the Charity Commission’s Making Digital Work. The guide provides advice on brand development and digital fundraising and points out that Digital presents a number of advantages for charities, including:

  • Far more cost-effective (or free) marketing and fundraising than can be achieved offline.
  • Enhanced ability to reach donors and beneficiaries
  • Unprecedented access to useful information

Trying to keep on top of changes in digital resources and how we use digital tools is time consuming and sometimes bewildering. I have found that Charity Digital News (in partnership with the Technology Trust) is a good resource for news, information and guidance about using digital. They provide a monthly round up that does not include too many items. LEAN also trys to highlight interesting digital stories relevant to our sector such as infographics on 'who is giving'.