Benefits to non-profits of using digital, and why they don’t.

Person holding an iPhone taking a picture under a pier at the beach

Benefits to non-profits of using digital, and why they don’t.

Recently I spoke at a NetSquared Midlands meeting. These (free!) meetings happen once a month, for people interested in using web or mobile technology for social good. To find out when the next one is and book a place to come along, have a look at NetSquared Midlands on MeetUp.

At this months’ meeting, I spoke about the benefits to non-profits of using digital, and why they don’t. Here’s a video of my slides and talk. Have a look and then in the comments below let me know what you think are the main barriers to charities making more use of digital and how we can begin to overcome them.

Office for National Statistics (August 2016) Social Media in the UK

Technology Trust (May 2015) Digital Uptake in the Charity Sector

Briony Gunstone and Susan Pinkney, YouGov and CAF (July 2016) Appetite for donation

Institute of Fundraising and fast.MAP (2016) Fundraising media DNA 2016/17

Austin Clark, Charity Digital News (24th May 2016) Phone payments on the rise as people shun cash

Susannah Birkwood, Third Sector (21st April 2016) Fundraising Week: ‘Almost half of donations will be made online by 2020’

Austin Clark, Charity Digital News (18th July 2016) Charities urged to adopt mobile payments as usage rises

Rob Weisz, Third Sector (21st July 2016) Charities and the quiet revolution in digital

Equimedia (February 2016) Charities Missing Out On £Millions

Lloyds (March 2015) UK Business Digital Index

Digital by Default (15th June 2016) What are the main hurdles to digital transformation?

Claranet (April 2015) Charities need to embrace new technology to avoid losing out on donations

Hugh Radojev, Civil Society (9th September 2016) Pennies has now raised £7.5m through 32 million micro-donations

Austin Clark, Charity Digital News (24th February 2016) Leftover data donated to charity programme

Charlie Lyons, Third Sector (7th April 2016) How mobile is helping charities to boost engagement

Julia Unwin, quoted in Guardian (25th April 2014) How charity chief executives can use social media to help their organisation

Kirsty Weakley, Civil Society (14th July 2016) Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and Brooke use Pokémon Go to encourage fundraising


Austin Clark, Charity Digital News (4th August 2016) Tech innovation used to save lives

Zoe Amar (26th July 2016) Getting vulnerable people online improves health – and saves money

Warwick University (October 2013) Assistive Technology

Tech4Good Awards (July 2016) Finalists 2016

Eduserv and Charity Comms (March 2014) Delivering Digital Transformation

Oliver Capel, Third Sector (22nd April 2016) ‘Qualifications aren’t always important’

Nesta (October 2014)  Going Digital: Five lessons for charities developing technology–based innovations

Virgin Money Giving and Third Sector Insight (2015) Digital Fundraising Report: Are you innovating with online fundraising?

Charlotte Simmonds, Guardian (15th October 2014) From volunteers to workplace culture: how charities can fill the tech skills gap

Open laptop displaying Fancy Guppy's January 2018 social media calendar.
  • Helen Cammack
    Posted at 19:25h, 13 September Reply

    Great stuff Michaela – love the presentation!

    From my own interactions with charities (mostly on the smaller end of the spectrum) I’d say it’s partly lack of skills but quite often they don’t lack basic digital literacy, but just don’t know how to translate that into using digital effectively and efficently for their charity.

    It’s very different using Facebook as an individual versus using it in earnest for an organisation, and different skills are required.

    I’d say that a lot of small charities I meet are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. They have a variety of target audiences and so it’s not obvious to them how to choose which digital channels to focus on. They may not require convincing that they need to “do digital” and they even have some of the skills they need, but they fear they will do “the wrong thing”.

    So I’d say it’s lack of confidence, and fear of wasting their time because they’re not sure exactly where to focus their effort. Hope that makes sense!

    • Michaela
      Posted at 18:08h, 15 September Reply

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!

      Thanks for commenting as well, it’s great to have your perspective, and I completely agree about the difference between using digital for personal or professional use and about organisations feeling overwhelmed.

      I think what you’ve said is very interesting too in terms of then thinking about how we begin to overcome barriers, as you’ve said if people have the skills but are worried about doing it ‘wrong’ maybe just skills training isn’t enough, maybe what’s needed is stuff on strategic use of digital, crisis planning, etc.

      Lots to think about!!


Post A Comment