Only one in eight charities ‘digitally mature enough to thrive’ post-pandemic

Just one in eight charities are ‘digitally mature’ enough to thrive over the next 12 to 18 months, a report has warned.

Blackbaud’s Status of Fundraising 2021 report surveyed more than 1,000 charity workers earlier this summer, including chief executives and trustees.

It found that just 12% are able to describe their charity as ‘digitally mature’ and in a strong position to meet the challenge of falling income, which is blighting the voluntary sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minority of digitally mature charities are more likely to be gaining more supporters than they are losing and optimistic they will reach new audiences, says the report.

In addition, they are likely to be more effective at managing their organisation amid the health crisis and believe they will “thrive in the next 12-18 months”.

Despite only a minority of charities reaching digital maturity, the report found widespread support among voluntary sector organisations of the benefits of digital transformation.

More than 60% believe that digital transformation is critical to their success, improving their organisation and performance.

Most (79%) believe that digital maturity is good for the community.

The report also looked at how the pandemic had impacted on charities’ fundraising. The proportion of charities to report a fall in their income has more than doubled since 2019, from 21% to 40%.

Only 35% have reported an increase in income, down from 49% when asked in 2019.
Just a fifth (21%) of charities had met their fundraising target, down on 2020’s figure of 25%.

Despite financial concerns amid the health crisis, the report found that the pandemic had helped many charities to attract new supporters and income. Three quarters of those who saw their income increase attributed this to the health crisis.

It also found that 58% saw their income grow because overall donor numbers had increased.

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