Over half of charities are currently lacking “basic digital skills”, compared to less than a quarter of small and medium sized businesses, according to the UK Business Digital Index 2015 report published by Lloyds bank.
The report highlights the gap between SMEs and charities in terms of digital skills, and whilst over 70% of charities have the skills to use digital platforms to communicate, less than a quarter use them to secure transactions.
Additionally, over half of the charities surveyed don’t believe a website will boost their funding.
More than 50% of charities are receiving less than a fifth of their total donations by digital channels and less than 10% receive more than 80% of their funding via a digital platform, in comparison a third of SMEs process 80% or more of their payments online.
In the last year, amongst the most digitally ‘immature’ charities, those not understanding how their website can boost revenues has risen from 70% to 78%, whilst those neglecting social media rose from 73% to 83%.
Within this group, 36% have access to technology to make their organisation more digital but nearly a half say they do not have the skills, knowledge or experience to implement it.
The report concludes that although the declining performance of charities, especially compared to SMEs, is disappointing, “this also represents a key opportunity, as charities are a clearly identifiable sector [for improvement].”
Martha Lane Fox, chair of Go On UK, a charity associated with the report, said that whilst the report is encouraging, a “large issue uncovered by this year’s report is the intelligence that charities are being left behind in this shift, and we must do more to ensure that this doesn’t continue.
“The UK has a proud tradition of giving and charitable work, and surely supporting charitable organisations to achieve their digital potential must be part of this,” she added.
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