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Is your organisation tech savvy?

Up to Communications and the media forum

Is your organisation tech savvy?

Posted by W Editor at Sep 08, 2011 12:08 PM

This week Lasa launched the results of their survey. They found that eight out of ten charity workers think that technology could help save time or money. They interviewed four charity Chief Executives to find out whether they needed to 'speak geek' in order to lead the use of technology within their organisations.

Read the Lasa press release and watch the video.

Also this week, agency Reason Digital published an infographics video called 'You can do more with the web' which has lots of statistics of web and social media use as well as digital fundraising. It might be useful to share this with senior management or trustees who haven't yet got on board with technology.

Is your organisation tech savvy?

What are the barrier to understanding and using technology?

Re: Is your organisation tech savvy?

Posted by member26720 at Sep 09, 2011 02:06 PM

I work for a small community charity in London. The barriers to using and understanding technology are time. We all do so many things so updating the website and using twitter / facebook are low down the priority list when there is a queue of people out the door waiting to be seen. We're told that we need to get online in order to survive / keep up with everyone else but we don't have a Comms person to own our digital work.

Any suggestions for how we can manage this? 

Re: Is your organisation tech savvy?

Posted by Ed Cox at Sep 14, 2011 03:19 PM

Hi sunnyday

I think it's important that someone at the organisation "owns" your digital work, even if it's not them that does the work. If no-one is responsible for digital, then it's no-one's responsibility and you will fall behind.


Digital could be the responsibility of whoever looks after your campaigning, or volunteer management, if you're the sort of charity who relies on volunteers. After all, your digital communications should be delivering services to users, getting donations, furthering your campaigning objectives and managing volunteers, and can do it more cost-effectively too.


I'd recommend convincing the senior management of the charity (or the trustees, if you have connections there) to commit to investing some time and resource into exploring digital, and to commit to naming a person to take overall responsibility.


More importantly, I'd recommend working on a digital strategy so that you can decide where to focus your attention. Before you look into any specific websites, social media or email newsletter tools, run some exercises with the most senior, strategic people in the organisation, and try to identify

  • What's your charity about? What are its objectives, values, key messages?  What are your particular strengths & weaknesses? Run a SWOT analysis
  • Who are your audiences? What are their needs? Why do they come to your website? What can you offer that another charity can't? Run a tactical mapping exercise to help identify your difference audience types
  • What's the current market like (apart from "less funding available")? What are the political, social economic & technological factors providing both threats and opportunites? Run a PEST analysis
  • What are your competitors doing? WHat are they better at than you? What are you better at?
  • Where do you want to be in 3 years' time? What will success look like? Identify some key performance indicators (such as these example KPIs for fundraising) and check out Charity Evaluation Services' pages about a framework for monitoring & evaluation.
  • What barriers currently prevent you from getting there (beyond time & money)?


You'll need to get the most senior people in the organisation fired up about the potential of digital to deliver the charity's outcomes, so ask them the questions above before you even mention digital. Digital will be the way to cost-effectively reach those audience & deliver the charity's objectives.


For example, think in terms of outcomes, not outputs. Don't have "5000 downloads of our new advice leaflet" as a goal, have "5,000 pages of information about x delivered". Digital can help you measure exactly how many people are looking at what pages on your website for exactly how long. Distributing 5000 leaflets can't offer that level of detail. This level of detail looks better on reports to funders, makes for more interesting annual reports and is surely an attractive proposition to the people who are responsible for promoting the charity's aims.


Digital skills & knowledge come later, convince people of the value of it first. Check out our video, as mentioned above, to pick out some stats. One particularly stark realisation is that people who donate offline are getting older and fewer, while the numbers of people who donate online are increasing. If you're not compensating for one with the other, you could be in trouble.


Once you're ready to dabble in digital, consider checking out our blog for some regular tips, tools & techniques or subscribe to our newsletter for some articles direct to your inbox once a month.

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