The third sector is heading for its biggest ever organisational shake-up, according to charity leaders quizzed in the sector’s most comprehensive, independent digital engagement report yet.
Looking at how digital technology will deliver its next step-change, and how best to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, The New Reality includes contributions from the likes of Baroness Martha Lane Fox, British Heart Foundation CEO Simon Gillespie and Steve Rogers, Google’s Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, plus views from the Government Digital Service and Comic Relief.
- More than 80% of those interviewed admitted to a lack of clarity in leadership when it comes to digital issues.
- Too often, the sector’s idea of digital is stuck in a social media groove, with an over-emphasis on Twitter, Facebook and online engagement instead of embracing the ever-evolving possibilities of new mediums.
- Many charities are fearful of ending up with a workforce that’s not fit for purpose unless digital adoption is more ingrained and widespread.
- The economic crisis, along with a lack of credible best-practice examples, is to blame for the slow progress in digital transformation to date.
Kay Boycott, CEO of Asthma UK and one of those interviewed for the report, said: “Charities, like many other organisations, need to rapidly evolve how they use digital to meet the constantly changing expectations of beneficiaries and donors. This report highlights how delivering this change within typical charity structures and resources brings additional challenges, and most helpfully gives some clear advice on how to address.”
Digital strategy consultant Julie Dodd, who authored the report and led the research, adds: “We’re teetering on the verge of a revolution in social impact enabled by technology, but without some clearer guidance organisations in the sector just aren’t going to get there. The New Reality aims to fill that gap.”
Jonathan Simmons, director of digital agency Zone, which has worked with leading UK’s leading charities on digital strategy, said: “In the same way that mechanical innovation made the industrial revolution possible, digital innovation is fuelling the information revolution that is changing everyone’s lives. Charity leaders must embrace this digital gift for what it is: a means of delivering faster, cheaper and better services to those most in need.”
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