New code boosts digital charities

Written by Julian Blake, Editor at DigitalAgenda

A new code of practice has been published to help charities build digital capabilities to boost their impact, develop skills and become more sustainable – as new research shows movement in the right direction.

charitiesindex graphicThe charity digital code of practice, produced by Do it and supported by Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation, aims to increase the capacity for digital engagement among the UK’s 160,000 charities.

The new code, published at a Lloyds Banking Group-led event in London on Thursday, follows consultation with charities and other stakeholders this summer.

Among the code’s backers are the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office for Civil Society and CAST, the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology.

The code of practice, written and chaired by Zoe Amar, is voluntary and free to access and use.

The code also offers advice to charity trustees wanting to understand how digital fits in with charities reaching their vision and strategy. Among ideas shared include digital staff from larger charities becoming trustees of smaller ones.

Do it has compiled a set of resources to help charities with the code.

Do it’s YouTube channel also offers examples of charities’ digital work, including from AgeUK, NSPCC and DataKind UK and Innovate Trust.

Thursday’s Lloyds event also saw the publication of the fifth annual UK business and charity digital index, benchmarking the capability and skills of UK charities and small businesses.

The index found that, although digital capacity for UK charities has doubled since 2014, with 99% of them online, a third were were worried about the digital skills of their employees.

Other index findings for charities

  • The number of highly digitally capable charities has more than quadrupled in five years
  • Six in 10 charities are now using social media to build communities
  • 65% use government digital services
  • 29% use cloud-based IT systems

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