Digital Code of Practice for UK charities opens consultation

Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation behind digital guidelines initiative that aims to increase capacity for digital engagement for the UK’s 160,000 large and small charities.

Chloe Green | 3rd Jul 18
Image of people using a laptop. The proposed UK Charity Digital Code of Practice aims to help charities increase impact, develop skills and improve sustainability – all charities are invited to contribute to the Code's consultation. Unsplash/John Schnobrich

Charities of all sizes have been invited to input into a consultation on professional guidelines that will aim to enable them to improve their digital skills and increase their take up of digital activity.

The UK Charity Digital Code of Practice – due to launch in November 2018 – is being funded by Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation. Adoption will be voluntary and free to access.

The Charity Digital Code of Practice will aim to be relevant for all charities and benefit those with ‘limited capacity for digital engagement’, and will include best practice guidelines as well as practical tips and advice. Its overall objective is to increase’ digital motivation and confidence in activities including fundraising and engaging with stakeholders’, its steering group said.

Early user research and testing has been carried out in advance of the consultation with more than 30 organisations of all sizes across the country to help shape the initial draft and ensure that the voices of all kinds of charities are represented.

The main consultation will be open from 3 July to 25 September 2018. Interested parties can join the conversation about the code by using the hashtag #CharityDigitalCode.


Why the code is being created

“We often hear from small organisations worried about a lack of budget or skills to carry out digital activity,” said Zoe Amar, Chair of The Charity Digital Code of Practice Steering Group. “The new code will aim to increase the digital confidence of all charities and give practical advice about where they can make improvements in digital engagement with their beneficiaries and funders, as well as increase collaboration with other charities.”

The Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2017 showed that only 48% of charities have full basic digital skills, and that the more digitally-mature charities are twice as likely to see an increase in donations. A recent Co-op survey of local charities and community groups also found that 35% of respondents feel that they would benefit from a better online presence.

The Charity Digital Code can be read and reviewed here.