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Online tool launches to boost charity trustees’ digital skills

Online tool launches to boost charity trustees’ digital skills

A new tool launches today to help charity trustees and leaders improve their digital skills during Covid-19, and their digital decision making both now and in the future.

The digital checklist is voluntary, free to access, and includes best practice advice to help charities improve their digital activity, with tips on developing digital services, setting up remote working and people management systems, optimising digital fundraising platforms, digitalising governance processes, incorporating digital activity into strategy and making the most of resources.

The checklist has been developed as part of the Charity Digital Code of Practice, which launched in November 2018, and has been created in partnership with Catalyst. The Code’s steering group, which includes representatives from across the sector and is chaired by independent digital expert Zoe Amar, was inspired to develop the checklist in response to the increased pressure on all charities due to the current climate.

The digital checklist was tested with trustees and charity advisors from nine different organisations. D’Arcy Myers, Chair of Trustees for the Association of Charitable Organisations, was one of the early testers of the checklist and said:

“Many charity trustees are put off by the word ‘digital’ and it is often tempting to leave decisions about digital activity to other board members if you don’t feel confident about your own knowledge and skills. To govern successfully we need collective decision making at Board level and this applies to digital strategy too. The great thing about this new checklist is that it’s accessible to everyone. It is a tool which can bring an understanding of digital to the entire Board, giving them everything they need to understand what they should be aiming to achieve and how to go about it.”

Zoe Amar added:

“The last two months have been extremely challenging for the charity sector and it’s crucial that digital activity is prioritised if we are going to adapt and respond to the ‘new normal’. Upskilling charity organisations of all sizes must include our charity trustees and advisors so they have a clear understanding of the threats and opportunities facing their organisations.

“I’m delighted that we can share this checklist as part of the wider Charity Digital Code of Practice to help Boards tackle this challenging environment and inspire them to embrace digital activity. This ultimately will not just benefit the charities they support but also the service users and beneficiaries who rely on them.”

Earlier this month, findings from the Charity Digital Skills Report survey showed that during this pandemic, one in three charities has cancelled services due to a lack of digital skills.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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