UK’s third sector slow in digitisation, says Charity Digital Skills Report

Charity Digital Skills Report says that 52% of UK charities are yet to have a digital strategyImage: Charity Digital Skills Report says that 52% of UK charities are yet to have a digital strategy. Photo: courtesy of rawpixel/Pixabay.

Charity Digital Skills Report, a survey of the digital skills landscape across the third sector in the UK, reveals that charities are lagging behind in terms of digitisation, with more than half of them (52%) not even having a digital strategy.

Although more than half (53%) of charities are aware of emerging tech developments, they are yet to have plans to utilise them. Only 12% of the surveyed charities said that they are planning for how the emerging technology can change the way they operate.

Furthermore, the 2019 report found that the pace at which charities across the UK have been adopting digital technologies is actually declining based on certain measures. Compared to the previous two years, there has been an increase in the number of charities that are yet to formulate a digital strategy.

However, over two thirds of charities, at 67%, want to leverage digital technologies to increase their impact, as per the Charity Digital Skills Report, which was developed by charity training hub Skills Platform and Zoe Amar, a digital expert in the charity sector.

The survey got feedback from 450 charities across the UK, with the participants having a mix of digital, fundraising, communications, marketing, and leadership roles at their organisations.

Over half of the surveyed charities, at 56%, cite funding as the biggest hurdle in going digital, which has come down slightly from the figure of 58% in 2018.

The survey found that less than a quarter of charities, at 23%, have a clear strategy on how to leverage digital solutions to meet their goals. The Charity Digital Skills Report 2019 said that this suggests that most charities have not synced their digital and organisational strategies.

UK Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said: “Charities and social enterprises continue to amaze us with the inspirational work they carry out within their communities but boosting the digital skills capability of these organisations is increasingly necessary.

“Not only is this essential for the growth of our digital economy, but it also forms the foundation for growing the UK’s thriving ‘tech for good’ sector and we look forward to this great work continuing.”

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