untitled-design-35The Charity Digital Skills Report launches officially this morning. As you might remember, we’ve been working with Skills Platform to map digital skills across the UK charity sector. We surveyed just under 500 charity sector professionals in January to February this year. The results are an in-depth insight into charities’ hopes and fears for digital and what they think needs to happen for the sector to embrace it.

Digital is a huge buzzword in the charity sector at the moment yet little has been done to map the sector’s digital skills. We think the report will help charities understand how their peers are using digital so that they can benchmark how they compare.

You may have seen my analysis of the results in The Guardian this morning. We’re very grateful to Martha Lane Fox who has kindly written the foreword to the report. 

Key findings include:

  • 57% cite lack of skills and 52% cite lack of funding as the biggest barriers to getting more from digital.
  • 50% of charities say that other organisational challenges are being given more attention. Digital is not seen as a priority.
  • 75% of charities think growing their digital skills would help them increase fundraising, whilst 71% see opportunities to grow its network and 69% to deliver its strategy more effectively.
  • 80% of respondents want their leadership team to provide a clear vision of digital and what it could help them achieve, whilst 66% want a good digital strategy. Almost three quarters (71%) of charities cite their board’s digital skills as low or having room for improvement.
  • Unless boards and leadership teams develop their digital skills, 66% are worried that they will miss out on opportunities for digital fundraising. If their board and leadership team do not increase their digital skills, more than half are worried about giving competitors an advantage (53%), losing touch with their audience (53%) or their charity becoming irrelevant (53%).

Read more of the findings in the report. Do share your thoughts with us using the #charitydigireport hashtag.

Leading figures across the UK charity sector have shared their thoughts on the results including Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission, Vicky Browning, CEO at ACEVO, and Harriet Stranks, Director of Grant Making (North and Wales) at Lloyd’s Bank Foundation England & Wales. Read more about their views on the report.  

There is a lot to take in from the report, which indicates some worrying trends. So Amy Brettell,Head of Charities, Social Organisations and Health at Zurich Municipal and I have both put together checklists of things your charity can do after reading the report. 

Whilst the results are bleak, I really do think this is an opportunity for our sector to get behind digital so that we can all improve fundraising, help more people and be more efficient.  I’d love to hear what you think, so do tweet me @zoeamar using the hashtag #charitydigireport.

Read The Charity Digital Skills Report.