Vodafone has launched charities.connected, an initiative allowing UK charities to apply for free data.
The aim is to help individuals and families supported by charities, as well as enable organisations to improve their own digital capacity.
Almost half of charities (45%) have had to give their users devices, data or support to enable them to get online and 20% said they had to cancel services because they did not have the skills or technology needed to deliver them, according to the 2021 Charity Digital Skills report.
Registered charities can apply for SIM cards with 20GB of data, plus free calls and texts every month for six months.
Multiple SIMs can be requested and repeat applications can be made if the organisation has a range of digital exclusion projects underway.
This scheme forms part of Vodafone’s commitment to tackle digital exclusion. The SIMs will work in any SIM-enabled device, for example, a phone, tablet, laptop or Mifi dongle.
The online application form includes proving information on how free connectivity will support the project and the number of people set to benefit.
'We want to support projects big and small'
Helen Lamprell, general counsel and external affairs director at Vodafone UK, said: “At Vodafone, we’ve put tackling digital exclusion at the heart of our business with our pledge to connect one million people by the end of 2022.
“We hope that by giving free connectivity to charities across the UK, we can enable them to better support their local communities, particularly those that are digitally excluded. We want to support projects big and small - please help us share this offer so we can reach as many charities as possible.”
“All applications will be reviewed and a decision to support made within 30 days. SIMs will be issued within 30 days of a positive decision and are ready for distribution from 1 September 2021,” the application form says.
If charities require more than 100 SIMs, “the process could take a little longer, but we'll work with you to support your needs”.
SIMs are available until 1 November 2022, or until the supplies run out.