New online tool launched to help charity leaders and trustees improve digital skills

A new online tool has been launched to help charity trustees and leaders touch up on their digital skills.

The tool comprises a digital checklist, developed by experts from across the sector, and is designed to help support leaders in making effective decisions about digital during the coronavirus crisis – and beyond.

The free-to-access service includes best practice advice to encourage ongoing improvement in digital activity for charities.

Trustees and leaders will be able to refer to the checklist for tips on developing digital services, setting up remote working and people management systems, optimising digital fundraising platforms, digitalising governance processes, incorporating digital activity into strategy and making the most of resources.

The launch of the checklist follows the publication of the Charity Digital Code of Practice, which was launched in November 2018 and received sector-wide praise.

A need for the Code was recognised following the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2017, which showed only 48 per cent of charities have full basic digital skills, and 50 per cent of charity leaders lack confidence in introducing digital change.

It’s managed by a steering group of representatives from across the sector and chaired by independent digital expert Zoe Amar.

The steering group said it was inspired to develop the digital checklist in response to the increased pressure on all charities due to the current climate.

It added that while many charities have long recognised the need to be more digitally ambitious, the effects of Covid-19 have meant many charities have had to adapt their business models to make greater use of digital an urgent priority.

Earlier this month, findings from the Charity Digital Skills Report survey revealed that during the pandemic, one in three charities has cancelled services due to a lack of digital skills.

“The last two months have been extremely challenging for the charity sector and it’s crucial that digital activity is prioritised if we are going to adapt and respond to the ‘new normal’," chair of the Digital Code of Practice Steering Group, Zoe Amar said.

"Upskilling charity organisations of all sizes must include our charity trustees and advisors so they have a clear understanding of the threats and opportunities facing their organisations.

"I’m delighted that we can share this checklist as part of the wider Charity Digital Code of Practice to help boards tackle this challenging environment and inspire them to embrace digital activity. This ultimately will not just benefit the charities they support but also the service users and beneficiaries who rely on them.”

Charity trustees and leaders from organisations of all sizes can access the checklist here.

The Code’s steering group is also encouraging charities to nominate trustees, leaders or staff who are following best practice from the Charity Digital Code of Practice to be 'Code Champions' by tweeting their nomination @charitydigicode or emailing charitydigitalcode@zoeamar.com.

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