The Prince’s Trust has launched an online e-learning and mentoring programme to help it reach an extra one million young people over the next ten years.
Until now the charity’s services, which focus around supporting young people into work, had all been delivered face-to-face. The first phase of its project will launch by Christmas and the charity expects to eventually deliver half of its services online.
The charity embarked on a digital transformation programme last year and is expecting that the launch of online learning tools learning and mentoring environment will help the charity to increase the number of young people it helps by using technology to reach more of them.
David Ivell, chief information officer at the Prince’s Trust, told delegates at Civil Society Media’s Charity Technology conference last week the target where he said that the charity’s aim is to reach 50,000 young people online by 2020 and recruit 15,000 volunteers.
He said that the charity has an ambitious target to reach an additional one million over ten years and that “we believe the right way to do that is through technology”.
Ivell said that the online programme would be additional to the charity’s face-to-face offering, and is not intended to replace it.
But the charity cannot reach many young people at the moment because “it is not commercially viable for us to run programmes” in remote locations. There are also young people who miss out because they don’t have time to attend a six-week course, or because they move on in between first contacting the charity and being offered a place.
“Six weeks is a long time in a young person’s life,” he said. “There is a large proportion of young people who we are never able to get in contact with”.
The Trust’s online portal for young people includes informative content, a community, learning environment, jobs board and online mentoring, which it plans to role out to a wider audience early next year after an initial testing phase.
“I think we have got a really good shot at delivering something valuable,” he said.
In order to support 50,000 young people the charity needs to recruit 15,000 extra volunteers.
Ivell said that some people at the charity, and outside, had been sceptical about the ambitious plan, but that the volunteering team was the “one team that wasn’t shocked”.
This is because they know that people want to give “bits of time throughout the day”.
He added that the charity’s corporate partners “loved it as a CSR ask”.