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2019 - FOREWORD
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, and Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society

Our biannual public trust and confidence research shows that the public really value seeing the results of a charity’s work. That’s not always easy, but digital technology offers charities a unique opportunity to take the impact of their work directly to their supporters’ smartphones. Through the use of smart infographics, social media and targeted digital campaigns, charities can communicate clearly to donors where their hard earned pennies are going

1. Charity leaders need to own digital

If there is one thing I would like people to remember about this year’s Charity Digital Skills report, it’s this: charities want their leaders to drive digital. They cannot put digital in a black box and pass it to another team. If your leadership team aren’t on board with digital, it’s time to discuss the benefits of how digital could help your charity, and the risks if your charity doesn’t change. Often the best way to do this is to show how similar organisations are using digital to raise money, reach more people or create competitive advantage.

2. Boards must drive digital change

Trustees are ultimately responsible for digital. Once again our report revealed a significant digital skills gap on boards. The vast majority of charities that we spoke to either aren’t aware of or don’t have any plans to improve this. Talk to your board about what support they need with digital. Is it a regular briefing on key trends? Better reporting? Or would they benefit from reverse mentoring from a member of staff? I would frame the conversation with your board as one about risk and opportunity, not digital. However you convince them, you need to talk their language, not yours. 

3. Digital needs to be a key part of your organisational strategy

Most organisations are still not aligning these two areas which leads to money being wasted, charities missing out on opportunities and the risk of supporters going elsewhere. Show your leadership team what your charity is missing out on and the business case for how digital could help your charity be more effective.

4. Use GDPR as a catalyst for change

The findings on GDPR from our report are encouraging and we hope that the good work in this area continues after it comes into force in May 2018. Some of the most effective charities we know have used GDPR as an opportunity to completely overhaul how they communicate and fundraise, developing best practice in collecting, analysing and managing data.

5. Funders need to develop their digital skills

With funding revealed as the biggest barrier holding charities back from doing more with digital, funders must raise their game. If I was a funder I would look at auditing the digital skills I have in-house so that I could understand how to close the gaps. Grant management teams have a critical role to play here as they assess digital elements of funding bids, so they may need additional support.

6. Horizon scanning is essential

With a growing number of charities planning how digital trends could change their charity’s work, someone in your organisation needs to be responsible for this. Your charity will then be ready for what’s coming next.

7. Plan for emerging tech

Whilst many charities still need to get the right foundations for digital, they also need to have an eye on the future. Automating some processes, developing a Facebook chat bot or looking at partnerships with tech companies are all good ways to get started.
 

Charity Digital Skills Report Banner 2021

SUMMARY

More than half of charities (52%) don’t have a digital strategy: An increase from the last two years

Digital Strategy

2

Priorities for digital

More than two thirds of charities (67%) want to use digital to increase their impact

3

7

11

Funding concerns

Funding continues to be the biggest challenge for charities with digital, at 56% compared to 58% last year

Board level change

There is clearly a substantial digital skills gap on boards, yet 76% of people either don’t know what is being done to improve this or believe that their charity doesn’t have any plans.

Just over a third (34%) feel that digital transformation is being
led from the top. This is slightly less than last year (36%) but more
than 2017 (29%).

4

Less than a quarter of charities (23%) have a clear strategy for how digital can help achieve their goals, indicating that the majority of charities have not aligned their digital and organisational strategies.

Digital alignment

5

Leadership expectations

Charities still want more from their leaders in digital, with 64% wishing they would offer a good digital
strategy.

6

Digital trustees?

Most charities (68%) rate their board’s digital skills as low or having room for improvement, similar to
2018, whilst there has been a 3% decline in digitally savvy boards.

8

Digital retention

Increasing staff’s skills and retaining talent has become less of a priority when developing skills. Only 57%
think that this is the case, compared to 65% in 2018, and back to the same level as in 2017.

9

Leadership needed

57% want their leaders to understand trends and how they affect charities, down from 63% last year. An improvement or lower expectations?

13

Digital at the top

12

More than half (53%) of charities are aware of emerging tech developments but aren’t planning for them yet. Just 12% are planning for how this could change their charity.

Falling behind on AI

58% say that their charities have
fair to low skills in digital leadership, a notable increase from 53% last year.

Leadership problem

10

If the way their charity uses digital doesn’t improve, 36% of respondents are unsure if they will stay in their role in the long term or are planning to look for a job at another, digitally savvy charity, down from 39% last year.

Digital as a career driver

COMMENTARY

Sarah Atkinson - Charity Commision
Director of Policy and Communications

Sarah Atkinson - Charity Commission

If we want to drive up public trust and confidence in charity, we need to see charities harnessing these new opportunities and unlocking the true powers of digital. The slight improvement in digital skills that this research shows is encouraging, but clearly not the step change we would have wanted to see. I am concerned that a third of charity professionals still say lack of trustee understanding is a barrier.

Embracing new technology needs to go right across a charity’s culture. One sure fire way to get your charity thinking digital is to make sure you have a range of ideas and perspectives on your board. In November the Commission published some fascinating research which highlighted a shocking lack of diversity on charity boards. We found that this coincided with charities missing out on key skills such as digital, campaigning and marketing. 

With technology evolving all the time, all charities can benefit from taking a step back and reviewing their approach to digital. The Commission’s Making Digital Work guidance is an excellent place to start, with 12 steps to help your charity think through its digital journey.

CALLS TO ACTION

Read the Full Report

INTRODUCTION

ZOE AMAR
Director of Zoe Amar Communications

Most of us probably have had a school report at some point with the words ‘could do better’. That phrase seems the most appropriate response to the results of the Charity Digital Skills survey 2018.

There are some great highlights in this latest report. Charities were early adopters and then trailblazers using social media, so I’m not surprised to see them continuing to do well on this front (although having a digital strategy and using social media are two quite different things). Charities are also acutely aware of the need to meet new GDPR rules, and it’s satisfying to see that the majority feel well prepared for this.

But the lowlights are really quite concerning. In particular the fact that skills are such an enormous challenge facing charities today – second only to lack of funding. This is incredibly frustrating. A digital approach to supporting the skills of staff and volunteers is just common sense: it saves time and money, and it works. And there are plenty of free and low cost digital resources out there. Charities that are not embracing this new digital reality are not just getting left behind, they face a talent drain, with a third of survey respondents saying they may leave unless their organisation’s approach to digital improves.

It’s easy to point the finger of blame at leadership - charity leaders must feel beleaguered in the current climate – but the digital skills & attitude of leaders and trustees really do have to change. It’s only by leading by example, from the top, that much needed digital transformation will take place. And only when that happens will we see the massive shift towards digital adoption that is so desperately required. The proven benefits, such as increased productivity, effectiveness and engagement, are there for the taking. So my advice for charity leaders in light of this report is definitely 'must try harder'!

MARTIN BAKER - CHARITY LEARNING CONSORTIUM
CEO & Founder

CASE STUDIES

Read the Full Report

1

45% of charities don't have a digital strategy
Martin Baker
© 2021 The Workforce Development Trust - Registered Charity Number 1132476. Company Number 6659453
 

The Charity Digital Skills Report is the definitive survey of the digital skills landscape across the third sector. Now in its third year, the report provides an annual barometer of the state of digital skills within the charity sector.

Following the success of the report in 2017 and 2018, the Skills Platform, in partnership with Zoe Amar Digital, set about ‘taking the temperature’ of the charity sector and, more specifically, about how it’s using digital. The aim was to use the intelligence gathered to map digital skills across the charity sector and to develop a shared understanding of how digital can help charities to achieve their missions.
As the sector evolves and new challenges and opportunities come our way (not to mention Brexit) we’ve endeavoured to weave these, and other topical themes, into the report to ensure we’re staying ahead of the curve and also providing relevant and useful insights. So you’ll notice that we’ve changed up some of the questions for the 2019 report to tackle this. 

With knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility” and our single hope is that the insights contained within this report help to drive the charity sector forward. 
We hope you’ll find this overview of charity digital useful and inspiring. Happy reading!

Zoe and Laura

Digital image on computer
DOWNLOAD 2019 REPORTDOWNLOAD 2019 REPORTDOWNLOAD 2019 REPORTREAD SECTOR RESPONSEDOWNLOAD 2021 REPORT

SECTOR RESPONSE

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IntroductionSector ResponseReport DetailAboutCharity TrainingDOWNLOAD 2021 REPORT

Carers Support Centre
Clare Hanson-Kahn
Communications and Fundraising Manager

We made big changes to move service delivery online, including activity and peer support groups, training, careers cafes, fun activities for young carers, open meetings, one-to-one support. 

Going forward we will be looking at blended delivery of online and face-to-face. We discovered that, for some, digital is their preferred method of engagement. A particular success was online training workshops/courses e.g mindfulness, stress management, good sleep.

Carers Support Centre logo
Image of Clare Hanson-Kahn, Communications and Fundraising Manager, Carers Support Centre

As a national charity delivering services to help children, young people and families we had to find alternative channels quickly to safely deliver this vital support during the pandemic. 

We shifted to channels including a helpline, Facebook groups, WhatsApp, Google Classroom and Zoom. This grew into online art and play therapy, quizzes, cook-alongs and participation workshops. Staff engaged young people in positive activities online, including creating websites with challenges, videos, blog posts and articles. New social accounts sprang up, like the use of Instagram to co-produce creative challenges by and for young people.

Barnardo's Logo
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos

Barnardo's
Sohila Sawhney
Research Lead – Innovation Lab

This meant we could continue supporting children, young people, and families despite restrictions. For some young people it was a lifeline to stave off loneliness and isolation. It kept them connected and gave them something to look forward to. For others, it revealed a new way of getting help – one which felt more accessible where other support had been shut off. 

Staff confidence and training needs differed widely in digital adoption, and the organisation’s policy towards new channels was often slower to respond than practice. We navigated data protection, safeguarding, legal and best practice, with all these new options and channels becoming available and found ourselves having to make decisions very quickly and without the usual, methodical preparation it takes for a big organisation to make important decisions. 

Going forward we are planning blended service delivery across much of our work.
With thousands of staff and volunteers, nearly a thousand services, and hundreds of thousands of people to support, pivoting our predominantly in-person offer is no mean feat. We will see the impact of these rapid changes in years to come; much of which we are already embracing with more confidence than ever before.

From the classroom to Zoom (and back again!): using digital to transform our education and training offer
 
Transforming digitally is a key priority for Brook as part of our 2020-23 strategy. Online delivery was always an ambition, but COVID-19 pushed us to adapt and innovate at a much faster pace to prevent restrictions halting the provision of essential training and education. 

Colleagues from across Brook collaborated to identify quick wins and obstacles for digital transformation, researching the best platforms and developing detailed training for delivery teams. 

Brook Logo
Image of Helen Anderson, Digital Manager, Brook Young People

Brook
Helen Anderson
Digital Manager - Brook Young People

However, the biggest challenge was not technological – it was ensuring our online offer was engaging, accessible and preserved the quality of our content and staff expertise. Working with our digital learning partner, we overhauled key resources and moved evaluation online, making it easier to collect and analyse feedback.
We also expanded our e-learning offer; transforming our CPD-accredited Traffic Light Tool training into a fully self-directed course which now has over 1.4k professionals enrolled. 

Ultimately, it was the unwavering commitment of staff that drove our success. At a time of uncertainty, they embraced the opportunity to learn new skills and re-think delivery; creating a new offer for an online audience.
And the impact is evident. Since March 2020, we have seen a 176% increase in users on our e-learning platform and have provided training and education to over 63k professionals and young people. Increased reach with digital delivery means we have already met 45% of our income generation target for 2021-22, with 20% of that coming from self-directed courses. 

We’re taking our learnings from the past year and looking at where digital can enhance other aspects of our work, including our clinical offer. We will continue with a blended on-and-offline approach, increasing our capacity to support safe and effective RSE across the UK and bringing us ever closer to our vision of young people’s lives being enriched by happy, healthy relationships.  

During the last 12 months the key thing we have done firstly, is embracing digital by developing our digital marketing strategy. This was key in enabling us to raise awareness of our cause, considering Childline statistics indicating an increase in the prevalence of child sexual abuse during lockdown periods. Secondly, proactively seeking training and development opportunities to narrow the digital skills gap within our team. Finally, we consistently reviewed our strategy and monitored progress with one of the members on our board of trustees,

Imara Logo
Image of Vimbai Mutimutema - Charity Administrator, Imara

Imara
Vimbai Mutimutema
Charity Administrator

The biggest impact has been the increase in our skills and confidence towards digital. We have been able to identify development opportunities in line with our objectives. As a result, we were able to successfully apply for Google Grants which almost doubled the traffic to our website within a month of set up. Through embracing digital, we understand better how it can be used as a tool to reach children, young people and their families and educate and encourage them to access support, and ultimately raise awareness of the scale and devastating impact of child sexual abuse.

From this we have learnt the importance of digital partnerships. On the Catalyst Sector Challenge Programme, we, alongside 4 charities and digital agencies, collaborated to develop sector wide solutions for safer, more effective online counselling for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. With our digital communications, we regularly collaborated with other organisations on social media campaigns. We are part of the Consent Coalition in Nottingham – a group of organisations tackling abuse. We recently launched a campaign as part of the coalition titled the A-Z of Consent. Through coordinated digital communication with partnering organisations, we widened our reach and strengthened the message about the importance of healthy sexual relationships among young people.

Prior to March 2020, all of Roundabout’s dramatherapy sessions had been delivered face to face, so our team of dramatherapists had a very steep learning curve, exploring whether remote dramatherapy support could be successful. To our relief the answer was yes. 

During the subsequent lockdowns we were able to continue running 87% of our sessions via zoom, email (sending videos and resources), telephone, a small number face to face and even posting resources.

Roundabout Logo
Image of Rachel Livingstone, Fundraiser and Administrator of Roundabout

Roundabout
Rachel Livingstone
Fundraiser and Administrator

Over the last year the team have very successfully adapted a range of digital tools available in the public domain e.g., Picker Wheel and Emotion Stone images, for use in zoom sessions, alongside developing their own new resources and new safe working practices for digital therapy. Being able to talk directly to more parents proved immensely valuable and we are embedding this kind of contact, and support, into more projects.  

Our website content has been transformed with a massive shift to seeing the value of making resources available publicly and to not fear digital. Alongside the dramatherapy sessions it has been a privilege to share donated video stories on our website, in what is now an ongoing story sharing project. Actors and storytellers (despite working in such a hard-hit industry) generously got behind this project. 

We also not only fundraised, but had fun, including taking part in the 2.6 Challenge. Where previously there was some reluctance to share so much online, the team were fantastic, and all sent in videos or photos of their challenges which we shared throughout the day on social media.
The commitment to digital is continuing, with Roundabout currently working with a website developer to rationalize the structure of our now ‘bulging website’ and we have also launched a YouTube channel to provide another channel to share our resources and celebrate our fundraisers.

Pre covid we were already making changes to the way we worked. We had provided all staff and office-based volunteers with a laptop to enable more flexible working, sometimes from home but mainly to maximise a new office layout that included more collaborative working spaces. Little did we know how important that foundation step was to become! 

Our plans since then haven’t really changed, they’ve just accelerated enormously. We knew we needed to improve how we were storing information, equip our teams to maximise its use and keep it secure.

Kidney Research UK logo
Image of Jemma Frascella, Head of Data and Insight, Kidney Research UK

Kidney Research UK
Jemma Frascella
Head of Data and Insight

In 2019 we recruited Chris, our first Information Systems Manager, to turn our ideas into action. Part of our plan was to migrate our files to SharePoint but our use of Office365 had been a bit messy up to that point! Chris started the behind the scenes work to get us ready for change. However, as the rumours grew that we would be going into lockdown the pace of our plans needed to change. I remember the conversation as if it were yesterday and it remains one of the best we’ve ever had. We weighed up the pros and cons of migrating immediately, chickened out a few times and then decided we had to go for it. That afternoon the Exec team agreed to our proposal to migrate everything that weekend. 

A week later we went into Lockdown and our whole team was able to work from home straight away. Of course, it wasn't perfect, and we’ve had to unpick a few things that we would have done differently had time allowed. But our work to keep research going and improve the lives of kidney patients didn't stop for one moment and I’m incredibly proud of the role Chris and I played in enabling that to happen.

Digital at The Scouts during the pandemic. 

When lock down happened Scouts were not allowed to meet face to face. We were determined not to let scouting die so our Scout volunteers quickly worked out how to use Zoom to connect virtually with our 480,000 youth members. 

Online provision provided a life line to many young people. Many parents told us that for their children weekly Scout meetings are the only time they got to see their friends, laugh and have fun. 

 

Scouts logo
Image of Lara Burns, Chief Digital Officer, The Scouts

The Scouts
Lara Burns
Chief Digital Officer

A Cub Scouts father told us “Arya looks forward to her weekly Zoom sessions and gets so much out of them – they are a saving grace for her. I am not sure what she would do without a weekly helping of fun and learning that Zoom serves up.” Since March 2020 we have run 485,000 different online programme sessions. 

Today so many more of our 140,000 volunteers are much more confident in using digital skills than they were pre pandemic. We have proved that using digital tools can help our volunteers carry out many of our essential administration tasks in a more time effective manner. For our time-poor volunteers this is a winner. 

The pandemic has created a step change for us in our digital transformation. Where digital tools make life easier and more efficient we will continue to use them. We have also started to develop a digital skills programme for our volunteers, with the support from Nominet, which aims to help them assess the digital skills they need. As we start to test and roll out this programme, we believe it may provide a framework that we can share across the sector. 

We have learnt a great deal in the pandemic about what being a digital organisation really means. We have come out of the pandemic digitally stronger and there is no going back to many of our old analogue ways.

At the beginning of 2020, we set an organisational objective on digital transformation. Like many charities, digital skills were concentrated in one team and there was a need to integrate digital more thoroughly. We also had plans to overhaul our website and focus on digital acquisition.
Due to the pandemic, we needed to adapt and innovate more quickly than planned. Our Community Partnerships team engage supporters through church services and face to face meetings and with those unable to take place, they started recording services and hosting video calls.

The Leprosy Mission logo
Image of Hannah Mudge, Digital Innovation Manager, The Leprosy Mission

The Leprosy Mission
Hannah Mudge
Digital Innovation Manager

In 2020 and early 2021, online meetings reached approximately 111,682 people and resulted in 1,150 new donors. There were 5,700 views of online services and 7,800 views of devotionals on YouTube. Our annual carol service and World Leprosy Day event were broadcast using Facebook Live. To help churches and community groups raise money, we developed our ‘Virtual Collection Box’ using the Engaging Networks Peer to Peer module. The team there told us this was the first time a client had used the platform in this way. 

Since April 2020 we’ve seen a huge increase in digital giving – helped by our new website . Last year we won UK Aid Match funding and the resulting Unconditional Appeal (January-April 2021) involved significant investment in digital, including an interactive microsite, Facebook acquisition campaign and use of WhatsApp. We also ran a Radio 4 appeal. 

The Unconditional Appeal raised more than twice its target (£2.2 million in total) with more than £460,000 and 3,000 new donors coming in online. Our Facebook campaign resulted in 7,000 new leads, delivering a 250% return on ad spend and 400 new donors. It was also the best-performing Radio 4 Appeal of all time, raising £175,000. And to date, online giving for 2021 is already almost double last year’s total.

Following the first lockdown, training for all accredited courses was moved online to allow  learners the opportunity to complete without delay to their accreditation. Without the travel, training was able to become more adaptable to the learners needs, for example, we were able to  offer new opportunities to individuals wherever they were based. This meant that childcare  issues, location and travel expense became less of a barrier for those interested in courses. Delivering online also enabled us to be more flexible in the support we could offer; we could be face-to-face via Zoom to offer encouragement or guidance at short notice, this was especially  important for vulnerable learners that need support immediately; within a setting this would have to be planned well in advance at an agreed day and time.

At the start of lockdown, learners moved onto digital learning and were supported to complete a level 2 qualification. 100% of learners achieved and from this course 53% have secured  employment within an educational setting. With the extra flexibility around their learning and the  support that we could offer, retention improved. 

We then went on to deliver another three Level 2 courses online and various shorter accredited  courses.

FSN Logo
Image of Tracey Rose, CEO of FSN

FSN
Tracey Rose, CEO
Tracy Cruttenden, Tutor

Image of Tracey Cruttenden , Tutor at FSN

Over the last year our confidence in online delivery has grown. Using break out rooms and  shared screens, we have found we can offer almost all activities digitally. The flexibility around support has proved to be effective in enabling vulnerable learners to  complete and in some cases the only opportunity for them to engage. 

Going forward, we can now see a place for both setting and digital delivery to ensure opportunities and achievement are achievable for all.

Literacy Pirates works to improve the reading and writing skills, confidence and perseverance of children aged 9-12 years old who are falling behind in school and have fewer opportunities in their personal lives. Children who are nominated to our programme by their school are on average making just four months progress per academic year in their reading age, which is not enough to keep up and succeed at school. 

Until March 2020 we ran two physical learning centres in Tottenham and Dalston. We were on a course to expand by building new centre.....and then the pandemic hit. We knew the children we worked with would be worst hit by school closures and the pandemic itself, so we wanted to keep going, online. 

Literacy Pirates logo
Image of Jude Williams, Captain/CEO of Literacy Pirates

Literacy Pirates
Jude Williams
Captain / CEO

The online version, Virtual Ship, needed to retain the heart of our work – practice of key literacy skills, instant feedback, personal relationships, small group adult support, and a sense of fun and relentless positivity. 

Our Virtual Ship has shown really promising early evidence, of the 200 plus children on the programme this year, more than 50% of the children made more than 2 months progress in their reading age, every 8 hours of the programme. 

The year has been hectic, challenging and rewarding, but our plan in the next three years is to roll out the Virtual Ship and increase our reach to 1,000 children per year.

Our top learnings have been:

  • Review your Theory of Change and adapt to work digitally, holding fast to the none negotiables that drive impact. 
  • Use the free, open source apps and platforms first, ensuring you understand exactly what your programme users need and like before committing to paying for anything. 
  • Invest time trying everything out in a few different scenarios with the team. The iterative process was new and tiring, but worthwhile. 
  • Pay attention to the digital divide and bridge through supplying laptops, ear phones and wifi.
  • Don’t let a crisis go to waste – there are things to learn and grow from in there.

When COVID hit, we knew that girls and young women would need the support networks provided by our groups more than ever. Our amazing team of staff and volunteers worked together to move from running face-to-face weekly sessions, to making them work via Zoom.
Our sessions were full of mug cakes, quizzes, treasure hunts and sharing, providing the perfect antidote to the isolation so many of our girls described feeling. However, as the pandemic dragged on, we began to ask how we could apply our new digital learning to our core mission of helping girls build strong foundations to face life’s challenges.

Girls Friendly Society logo
Image of Laura Sercombe, CEO of Girls Friendly Society

Girls Friendly Society
Laura Sercombe
CEO

From here, The GFS Big Dreamers’ Club was born. The Big Dreamers’ Club was developed as short programmes of online activities for girls aged 8-13. Each programme was designed to be a crash course on a particular issue for girls and young women. 

Our first two courses were on Unstoppable Futures and Future Leaders. The uptake was overwhelming – parents loved the shorter, more focused format and so, it turned out, did the girls! We found we were operating waiting lists and had girls signing up to multiple programmes. 

While the pandemic has been full of challenges, it has been a revolutionary period for GFS. Big Dreamers’ Club allowed us to take the lessons learned during the pandemic and use them to overcome geographical challenges we had faced in some of our face-to-face groups, engage more diverse volunteers and offer our service completely free.

Case Studies

Nordoff Robbins
Matt Rigby
Digital Manager

As the reality of the pandemic hit, our music service team came together with digital, communications and fundraising to define our ‘digital mission statement’ where we committed to doing all we could to find new opportunities to fulfil our mission through digital. Together, we ran a series of innovation sprints, where we brought together people from all teams, to rapidly generate ideas for new digital products, and equally-rapidly, figure out how to turn these into proof of concept prototypes. 

Thanks to an openness to collaboration from all involved, from these sessions emerged a suite of ‘at home resources’ designed to support people to stay connected and supported through music. These included singalongs, online music-making sessions, our inclusive online choir, and a new partnership with children’s TV show, Clangers. 

Nordoff Robbins logo
Image of Matt Rigby, Digital Manager of Nordoff Robbins

The digital products enabled us to reach more people in 2020 than ever before - something epitomised by our choir, which grew from an original 30 members to almost 1000. Additionally, thanks in part to the choir and resources, we saw more people visit our website than in any year previously, and we were able to more than double the size of our mailing list! 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this is that as long as digital innovation is guided by users, online doesn’t have to mean ‘less good’. The mum of one of our online choir members, Ava, explained that joining the choir, “for the first time in her life, Ava experienced full inclusion.” This wouldn’t have been possible if Ava hadn’t been able to access the choir online. 

Change isn’t easy! It requires organisation-wide collaboration, a willingness to be flexible and an ability to look at things differently! It’s only by drawing on the skills and experiences of all colleagues that it can be successfully implemented.

Carers who would not otherwise be able to leave the person they care for – have been able to attend. Attendees have still gained information and peer support from other carers, and some have kept in touch. Here is feedback from a carer who attended 2 workshops: 

“I was very anxious, worried and not sleeping at all well… because of the pandemic. Having the opportunity to meet up online with other carers made such a difference to me. Yes, we all had different caring roles, we had never met before but that didn't matter, we had an immediate connection, we were all carers, we understood each other, we clicked!  
  
The online sessions gave us carers a platform to speak openly to each other (in strictest confidence). We were able to share our stories, our coping strategies and, of course, discuss the dread that is, Carers Guilt.  
  
The course is finished now but I have signed up for two more online courses. This is only possible for me because the courses are online. I am still in contact with two of the carers, we WhatsApp and have virtual catch ups.  
  
I have also started to care for "ME". I now set aside time to exercise each day, I'm eating healthier, I'm far less anxious and worried and I'm sleeping much better”.  

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Read how charities, big and small, have progressed with digital in the last year.

Case studies provided by:

Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos
Image of Sohila Sawhney, Research Lead, Innovation Lab, Barnardos