‘Do you need a digital strategy?’ – The Charity Digital Podcast

‘Do you need a digital strategy?’ – the Charity digital Podcast returns for the latest instalment. Our regular podcast highlights the challenges facing the sector, and the successful organisations that overcome them.  

Aidan Paterson | 6th Dec 19
‘Do you need a digital strategy?’ - The Charity Digital Podcast

The Charity Digital Podcast returns for its third instalment, with this episode centring on the need for digital strategy within the charity sector. Our regular podcast highlights the challenges facing the sector, and the successful organisations that overcome them.  

This week’s episode is titled: ‘Do you need a digital strategy?’ The charity sector appears divided on this issue – according to the Charity Digital Skills Report 2019, 52% of charities don’t have a digital strategyThere can be an understanding among smaller organisations with limited resources that there simply isn’t the capacity to prioritise digital strategy. But can organisations afford to not have a digital strategy? And can a digital strategy actually help organisations to overcome restrictions in terms of personnel, budget and resources?

How digital does this strategy need to be? Do charities need a separate strategy, or is a digital strategy best formulated as part of a wider mission? Claire Tavernier argues that ‘digital is not a thing’, and that no strategy that is viewed as a separate entity divorced from the wider aims of the charity will be a successful one; suggesting instead that digital strategy needs to ‘permeate(s) everything that you do within your organisation.’ Owen Pringle goes further – describing himself as ‘that digital guy that made himself redundant’ at Amnesty International, as his restructure of digital efforts into the wider framework of their organisation saw the adoption of digital principles embraced to such an extent that the digital strategy of the organisation was so ingrained in broader operations that direct oversight of it would actually be an impediment. Owen goes on to describe the optimum process as designing a ‘strategy that is fit for purpose in a digital age, as opposed to a digital strategy.’

Offering a different perspective, Vince Gatrick spoke about a need for digital transformation and ’embedding digital ways of working into the workforce.’ Vince highlights the fact that conversation around digital strategy can often focus on public-facing initiatives, and may neglect the work needed to co-ordinate an organisation’s own operational strategy.

Whilst there have been a number of success stories, many charities face challenges in embracing a cogent digital strategy. These challenges form the basis for discussion in this instalment of the Charity Digital Podcast. This episode (‘Do you need a digital strategy?’) discusses how organisations can prepare themselves for the challenges of implementing digital strategy, whilst looking at examples of what can happen when organisations aren’t prepared.

This time we are joined in the studio by Vince Gatrick, Claire Tavernier, Owen Pringle and Rob Cade. Claire is a senior leader and board member with over twenty years’ experience building and growing successful content and digital business, and recently served as interim CEO of Girl Effect. Vince is a highly-accomplished Senior IT Leader with experience of running global projects and renowned as a forward-thinking strategist and creative problem solver with a consistent history of organisational success. Owen is a senior communications and digital strategist with over 20 years of experience, and Co-Founder / Partner of Arc, a business transformation practice that puts people at the heart of digital change. He has also been recognised by the Financial Times as one of the 100 most influential Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in technology, throughout the UK and Europe. Robert is Centrepoint’s Director of Strategy and Performance and has a decade of experience in management consultancy, focusing on operational transformation in the public sector. 

You can listen to the episode below:



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Have a question or discussion topic you’d like us to cover on the podcast? Reach out to us at podcasts@charitydigital.org.uk.

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