Charity tech update: November 2018

30 Nov 2018 News

Our monthly round-up of the latest technology developments and partnerships affecting the charity sector. 

News highlights 

JustTextGiving, a free charity text donation service funded by JustGiving and Vodafone, which has raised over £40m to date, will be shut down next year. JustGiving said the decision was taken because technology trends have moved on and confirmed it will offer support to charities in other ways. Read more.

The government has launched a £1m fund to help charity leaders improve their digital skills. It will provide free training to enable charities to make better use of technology in delivering their objectives. Read more. 

The final version of the Charity Digital Code of Practice has been published, alongside a range of resources to help charities make better use of technology. The code has been developed to help charities boost their digital skills. It includes a separate version aimed at small charities and has been divided into seven key principles.

A set of resources have been curated for each principle and there are videos from sector leaders explaining how digital has helped them. Read more.


Latest partnerships

Rise and m-hance

Rise, a community interest company that designs and delivers behavioural change programmes in the criminal justice system and community, appointed m-hance to implement a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Help and Advice solution. m-hance developed a bespoke event management system of customer record types which allows Rise to create course codes from templates, schedule sessions and enrol service user cases onto courses. The new system has streamlined the process for both service users and employees and led to less confusion about correspondence.

Together Trust and MHR  

Together Trust, which provides care and special education services in the North West of England, has decided to replace its existing HR and payroll systems with iTrent from MHR. The new system will allow it to automate core admin tasks and offers personal development functions. 

Brian White, director of resources at Together Trust, said: “With a workforce of over 900 people that continues to grow, it has become clear that we need to replace our manual, paper-based systems and spreadsheets to improve efficiency across our organisation. In addition to the time and cost savings of automating our payroll process, we are excited to see the impact the wellbeing and engagement benefits that self-service will offer employees across the organisation.”

War Child and Unit4

War Child has implemented financial and project management software from Unit4 to help it become more transparent. 

The charity said it is using Unit4 Business World ERP cloud solution for financial and project management; operational budgeting; procurement and HR; to record costs and revenues, and help to keep costs under control.

Fiona Buruma, finance manager at War Child, said: “Due to War Child's growth in recent years, the previous system was no longer sufficient. With the help of Unit4, War Child can continue to report its campaign and programme impact to donors in the future…There is great pressure on not-for-profit organisations to keep overhead costs low and to spend the funding they receive as effectively as possible on the beneficiaries. This can only be successful with a good, transparent administration.”

Salvation Army and Citrix

The Salvation Army has deployed Citrix to increase flexibility for its employees across the UK and Republic of Ireland. By replacing desktop computers with Citrix’s “virtual desktops” the charity hopes to minimise the number of support issues the IT team need to deal with.  

Neil Edmonds, UK and Ireland IT operations manager at The Salvation Army, said: “PCs tend to get tethered to the individual. And, in turn, users can become tethered to their desks. But Citrix has helped us to increase home and flexible working. We started with a small proof of concept, and people loved it. From there, it just grew and grew until we made a high-level decision to buy no more PCs.

“The charity encourages staff to use their own devices, if they prefer, and this makes it quicker and easier to connect them to the resources they require. Officers and staff can now connect to applications during home visits or when working on the streets and more quickly provide people with the services they need. Staff can easily work wherever they are.

“They now know that when they come to work, their computer’s going to work. And that’s how it should be.” 


Insights 

Nathan Baranowski, managing director at Ojo Solutions, outlines some key questions charities should ask themselves when embarking on digital transformation projects. Read his article. 

Charities are making use of new technology to reach more donors, beneficiaries and become more efficient. Three charities spoke about how they're doing this at Civil Society Media's Charity Technology Conference earlier this month. Read more. 

Zoe Amar shares some of the findings from this year's Social CEO award winners and explains how charity leaders are taking digital to the next level. Read her article.

 

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