Free guide launches to encourage charity innovation

The guide has been launched by Charity Comms and involves a raft of advice and tips from non-profit sector tech experts on using digital to drive innovation.

Joe Lepper | 29th Mar 19

Non-profit sector tech experts have come together to offer advice to charities in a guide on how best to use technology and digital to drive innovation.

The Innovation Guide has been made available online by CharityComms, which represents charity communiations specialists, and includes sections on new fundraising tools and practices as well as the role of digital and technology in innovation.

An ‘It’s so shiny! The role of digital and tech in innovation’ section features practical advice from, among others, Rob Leyland, Innovation Manager at Cancer Research UK.

He explains the importance of using existing technology to experiment with new ideas.

An example he gives is work by Cancer Research UK to test the potential popularity of voice enabled devices to keep donors updated about the work of the charity.

For this the charity utlisied its existing news app on Amazon Alexa and online donation conformation webpage to test if people were interested.

“As it happened, less than 1% of the page traffic took up the offer to get our voice skill — so we knew that, for the moment at least, it was pretty much a non-starter,” says Leyland.

Also contributing is Si Muddell, digital engagement strategy director at Scope. He explains how digital has driven innovation in the charity sector over the last decade from “both a technological persepective and marketing perspective”.

He adds: “Developing products is substantially easier, quicker, and less expensive to do. There are so many tools for creating prototypes. Likewise, reaching audiences for feedback and smoke testing potential products is becoming amazingly simple and cost effective.

“Plus, everything we do digitally can be tracked giving us data insights to feed into product development.”

Blockchain among issues covered

Other sections look at issues such as innovation myths, strategy, blockchain in fundraising and the role of charity leadership and culture.

“We want the guide to be something to everyone,” said Aruna Safri Singh, Founder and Client Director of creative agency Narrative.

“It’s designed to be consumed in chunks and not every section of the guide will be relevant to every reader. Hop around, dip in and out, have a search and find what you need. And then talk about it with your teams, your managers, your trustees and your supporters. At its heart, innovation is open collaboration and the sharing of good stuff.”