‘Worrying lack of progress’, finds second Charity Digital Skills report 

14 Mar 2018 News

Charities have made little progress on when it comes to using new technology and increasing digital skills, according to the second annual survey measuring progress in the sector. 

The Charity Digital Skills Report 2018 was published this morning and reveals that only incremental progress has been made, with funding being cited as the biggest barrier. 

Over 500 charities responded to this year’s survey with 58 per cent saying that funding was the biggest barrier, up from 52 per cent last year. Skills is the second biggest challenge, with 51 per cent (down from 57 per cent) saying it is an issue. 

This year 15 per cent of respondents said their charity had been through and embedded digital transformation, compared to 9 per cent last year. 22 per cent have a digital strategy, but have not started the digital transformation process, which is a similar  figure to last year. 

In terms of skills, 40 per cent of respondents rate their overall understanding as good, a slight increase from last year. But 60 per cent say their ability to keep up with their audience is fairly low – a slight improvement on 64 per cent last year. 

Zoe Amar, founder of Zoe Amar Communications and co-author of the report, said: “This year’s report uncovers a worrying lack of digital progress across the board. This includes everything from leadership, skills, culture, embracing emerging tech and a lack of funding is rising as a huge challenge.”

She added: “Some improvements have been made including using digital more strategically and getting GDPR ready, but this slow pace of digital change could be putting charities at high risk of becoming unsustainable and irrelevant.”

Dave Evans, product marketing manager at the Skills Platform and co-author of the report, added: “Whilst progress has undoubtedly been much slower than we had anticipated, it is undoubtedly a true reflection of the difficult climate charities have been operating in.”

A survey of 526 charity professionals was carried out in January and February this year. 41 per cent of respondents were based in London and nearly one third of respondents worked for charities with an income of £10m or more. 40 per cent of respondents worked in digital. 

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