Charities Commission Recommends Drive Towards Digital – Why Charities Should Take Note

12th December 2016 by Kevin Mullaney

The fast-developing digital world offers unprecedented opportunities for charities. Outreach, access, campaigning, and fundraising have never been easier! Yet an astonishing number of charities still have little to no digital capacity. It’s thought that only one in five British charities even has the facility to accept online donations – let alone full digital capabilities. A lack of digital proficiency is threatening to leave many worthy charities out in the cold – something the Charities Commission is very serious about addressing.

Earlier this year, the Charities Commission released a series of recommendations aimed at bringing charities up to digital speed. For charities that have long conducted themselves along traditional lines, these recommendations may seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide, which should help charities to understand and implement the Commission’s recommendations.

How can charities benefit from enhancing their digital capabilities?

  • Outreach: 42 million Brits own smartphones, and about 40 million have an active social media account. Of these, many get their news and media almost exclusively through digital sources. As such, many beneficiaries and donors are far easier to reach online than otherwise.
  • Engagement: Surveys show that young people are 16 times more likely to engage with online approaches from charities than they are with street-based or door-to-door approaches.
  • Fundraising: Online donation facilities are not only preferred by the public, they allow donations to come in quickly and easily, as well as making admin and transparency a lot easier for the charities themselves.
  • Profile: Clever campaigning can quickly take off online. When something goes ‘viral’, it can reach millions upon millions of people in a very short space of time. Medical charities have raised enough money via viral online campaigns to make major breakthroughs in their areas – something that would never have been possible without digital!

Of course, the great advantages of the digital world do come with certain challenges of their own. Digital backlashes can go just as viral as digital fundraisers, so a certain amount of comprehensive digital management is required for any charities who are taking their digital platforms seriously. However, developing digital proficiency isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think. If you’re interested, but unsure how to proceed, have a look at our guide to digital for charities, or get in touch with us for our digital auditing service.

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