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Charities need to embrace mobile technology

17 Oct 2011 News

The charity sector lacks knowledge and understanding about interactive technology according to a new report.

The charity sector lacks knowledge and understanding about interactive technology according to a new report.

Sponsored by the Charity Technology Trust (CTT), the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME), surveyed 368 charities and found that whilst the vast majority were comfortable with the internet and social media, only 40 per cent considered themselves to be ‘very comfortable’ with mobile sites.

The report, Understanding Technology Needs, also said that the charities needed to expand donation options to include mobile technology to appeal to potential donors. It suggested that reaching out to corporate sponsors would be one way to acquire the technology.

Toby Padgham, AIME general secretary said: “Charities are in a position where there is a perception that resource precludes a technology strategy, yet the opportunities offered, especially by embracing mobile, can make a huge difference to user engagement and donation.”

The research also identified an unwillingness among charities to share their experiences and said, “charities must not be afraid to openly discuss their experiences with their peers in order to understand their mistakes, rectify and move on”. A centralised website is needed, the report concludes.

AIME set up an Interactive Services for Charities Forum in 2010, after the first ‘Empowering the Charitable Sector with Interactive Technologies’ event, to support charities in their understanding and use of interactive technology.

The working group consists of charities, charity organisations, technology and service providers and consultants who have agreed to share their experience. In early 2012 it is planning to launch an online hub where charities can share their experiences, and is still looking for case studies to feature.

Padgham added: “By creating an environment that brings together vital research and best practice we aim to overcome some of these issues to help foster a brighter future for all elements of the Sector.”   

AIME also intend to repeat the research in one year's time to identify any trends.

Richard Craig, chief executive of CTT said: “We need to reach the point where charities can embrace these technologies rather than fear them.”

CTT also announced a new partnership with Sliderocket making the online presentation software available through CTT’s donation programme CTXchange.

 Interested in mobile technology for fundraising? Check out our on 21 November.