Two thirds of UK charities feel threatened by lack of digital knowledge

| 17th Mar 14

UK charities will hit a ‘digital brick wall’ which will reduce fundraising capability, undermine service delivery and limit their ability to operate efficiently due to a widespread lack of investment and digital literacy, according to new research from Eduserv, a provider of IT services for the charity sector.

The research conducted among 100 digital and IT leaders from some of the leading UK charities has been published in a new report: Delivering Digital Transformation in UK Charities.

It found that 73% of those surveyed thought their organisation would raise less money if they did not fully embrace digital channels. A further 71% said their reputation would suffer and 59% said they did not think their services would keep pace with the needs of those they support.

Although budget was cited as the biggest barrier to digital transformation among 70% of charities, two thirds (66%) said a lack of knowledge of what digital could do for the organisation was a major issue for those surveyed. A risk-averse culture (58%) and lack of understanding at board/senior management level were also cited in the top five barriers to change.

The research found that three quarters of charities (75%) had no IT strategy to support their digital ambitions and that half of digital leads (52%) surveyed said their job was harder because of grey areas around structure and responsibilities in the organisation.

According to John Simcock, Charities Director at Eduserv: “The charity of the future will have digital at the heart of everything it does: from the way it gathers and uses data to the way it improves existing services and creates new services. This won’t happen unless organisations commit to building greater digital capability and orienting their strategy and operations to deliver digital transformation.”

It is good news that 57% of charities plan to address this issue in the year ahead and we hope the report we have published today will help charities navigate this and other challenges they face on their digital journey,” he added.