Criticism of Lords’ digital advice to charities

A number of charity sector organisations have publicly criticised the House of Lords’ digital advice to charities

Chloe Green | 8th Dec 17

A number of charity sector organisations have publicly criticised the House of Lords’ digital advice to charities.

Simply encouraging charities to set up websites and social media profiles is outdated and fails to help them to become truly digital organisations, according to Mandy Johnson, chief of the Small Charities Coalition.

Speaking at Navca’s annual conference in London this week, Mandy criticised certain recommendations that featured in a report from the House of Lords Select Committee regarding the use of digital technology by charities.

She commented: “What they are advising small charities to do is to get a website and get on social media, but that’s what we should have been advising small charities to do 10 years ago. The world has moved on…”

Ed Gairdner, COO of The Good Exchange has made the following comments in response: “The third sector is currently operating five to ten years behind the commercial sector when it comes to utilising digital technology, particularly where it can be used to enhance fundraising and grant-making.

“Rather than focusing on the basics, such as websites and social media, we should be harnessing the power of digital to enable fundraising and grants to reach their end targets by facilitating new ways and enhancing current ways of doing things. As an organisation that strives to challenge the industry, with a solution that tackles issues commonly faced by grant-makers and fundraising charities, in our view, until grant-makers accept that they are part of the digital problem and that they need to be part of the solution, digitising the sector will continue to be an uphill struggle.

“With this in mind, a more strategic and targeted approach to grant making is needed that will enable charitable projects to be found and auto-matched against the grant-makers giving criteria coupled with more collaboration between grant-makers, the general public and corporates, allowing the burden of risk to be shared across society and encouraging further charitable giving.”