4 resources to help your charity understand where it is at with digital

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In digital, as with everything, knowledge is power. Measuring how your digital channels are performing is great, but if you want to take that to the next level you need context.  

How does your charity stack up in relation to the rest of the sector? What insights could you use to make the business case for digital investment?  What’s going on in the private and public sectors – could you adapt their ideas?

If your organisation really wants to forge ahead in digital, you and your charity need to be on top of all the latest trends. Here’s a quick round-up of the key resources which the charities I know find invaluable.

1. Lloyds Business Digital Index

Lloyds Banking Group’s annual report on digital trends for charities and SMEs is an excellent benchmarking resource for the sector.

The 2017 report included insights such as highly digitally capable charities being twice as likely to save time and see an increase in donations, and ten times as likely to save costs. According to the report, charities who use social media saw a 51% increase in donations.

These stats are guaranteed to make even the most digitally skeptical board stop and think, so reference them next time you have to write a business case.

Read the Lloyds Business Digital Index 2017.

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2. Tech Trust’s Digital Charity Survey

This recent report is a good overview of how charities are using digital.

It revealed that 58% of charities don’t have a digital strategy, 73% of charities are not planning to invest in digital training,  and 27% wish they could upgrade their IT infrastructure. It also showed how digital is becoming a marker of organisational health, with 92% of charities with a digital strategy feeling confident about increasing their impact.

If I wanted to get my board and executive team thinking about digital, I’d take the report along to a meeting and get them to discuss how your charity compares.

Read Tech Trust’s Digital Charity Survey.

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3. McKinsey Digital

Global management consulting firm McKinsey have advised FTSE 100 and public sector organisations about digital for years, and they share what they have learned via a hub of articles, reports and frameworks over on McKinsey Digital.

Their newsletter is one of very few that I read every time. Yes, they’re writing about a different world to the charity sector, yet the principles of digital strategy are the same. The case studies are always useful, they offer rigorous analysis of what works and what doesn’t, and I guarantee they will inspire you with a different perspective.

I like the way they encourage leaders to be bold and ambitious about pursuing excellence. After reading one these articles a charity CEO I know changed the structure of his digital team, leading them to achieve much better results.

Check out the McKinsey Digital hub.

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4. Charity Comms Digital benchmark

Over 40 charities now pool their data for this resource, helping organisations compare their performance and providing insights into how charities can develop.

There’s an annual fee to take part, but I’ve heard lots of good feedback from organisations who participate. The benchmark has just upgraded to using Google Data Studios, meaning that you can see all the numbers in a whizzy, interactive, self-service dashboard.  

This data will help you convince your colleagues to raise your charity’s digital game.

Take a look at The Charity Comms Digital Benchmark.

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I’d love to hear what resources you use to keep your charity up to speed with digital.

What have I missed?

 

Zoe is currently working on The Charity Digital Skills Report, a free resource to help track where the charity sector is at with digital, helping you benchmark your organisation. Share your views by taking the quick survey to build the report.  All responses must be received by midnight on Friday 16 February 2018.

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Zoe is director of Zoe Amar Communications, a marketing and digital communications consultancy who have worked with leading organisations including ActionAid, Crimestoppers, Macmillan and Anglia Ruskin University. She blogs for The Guardian about charities and communications and is on the advisory board for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network. She co-founded the charity #socialceos awards.