Government launches £1m Digital Leadership Fund for charities

The funding will be used to expand and improve existing training courses that help improve charity leaders’ digital skills and ability to use technology to improve their organisation.

Joe Lepper | 19th Nov 18
Image shows people teaching digital skills

The government has launched a £1m fund to improve digital leadership skills in the charity sector.

The creation of the Digital Leadership Fund follows a commitment in August’s Civil Society Strategy to help charities build their digital confidence.

The funding will be used to expand, improve or rework existing training programmes to help charity leaders bolster their digital skills and understanding of how technology can improve their organisation.

Through the fund grants of between £10,000 and £170,000 are being made available, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport particularly keen on receiving applications that cover more than one location, involve areas outside of London or include a peer-learning aspect to the training.

“We want charitable organisations to thrive in the digital age and are committed to helping them get the most out of technology, which can act as an enormous force for good,” said Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright.

“Through this programme, charity leaders will have more opportunities to enhance skills and boost employee confidence while creating a greater and more positive impact on people and their communities.”

Improving online fundraising and social media skills

Training involves getting the most out of online fundraising tools, building a social media presence and modernising IT systems and operations.

A guide to the fund stresses that it must be used to improve or expand existing training programmes and is not looking to fund the creation of new courses.

The guide adds: “The purpose of the Digital Leadership Fund is to improve the level of digital leadership skills among civil society leaders by adding value to a number of existing digital leadership training programmes.

“The aim is for participants to develop an understanding of how technology can help their organisations achieve their social missions in a more effective and efficient way, and become better equipped to embed this change at an operational level.”

The Digital Leadership Fund is in addition to the creation of a £400,000 Digital Inclusion Fund in August, to help disabled people and the elderly gain basic digital skills, such as booking a GP appointment online.

The deadline for Digital Leadership Fund applications is 7 December.