Digital skills should take priority

No-one can deny the importance of digital technology in the modern world, and charities are no exception. The experts believe that digital is a game changer, and that it is here to stay. Charities must therefore keep pace or perish; it is curtains for them if they don’t go digital. No charity can function today without the help that digital can bring – both in governance and operations. Without it,  fundraising will be an uphill struggle, and charities will lag behind their more technically adept peers. It is now or never, for the traditionalists to make a break with the old ways and embrace the progressive digital world.

Trustees must shed technophobia

Tech experts believe that personal use of social media can help trustees to gain confidence with digital. Routine usage is essential if they are serious about going digital with their charities, and there are a number of things that can be learnt from this. Deliberately making digital central to the running of the charity seems to be the best way forward.

Worthy of mention here is the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which has undergone extensive digital transformation in the last 5 years. They are moving ahead with digital service delivery, and not just being a source of policy information.

Digital and finance matters

One digitally-savvy trustee can instigate cultural change, and can become au fait with finance and audit. Experts have argued that charities are way behind other sectors in digital, so bringing in digital experts will help to influence the digital skills of everyone, including the board. In order for this to happen, the experts should have enough time and ability to inspire a huge change in the charity’s working culture. Having digital experts in charities would signal a big change.

A Charity’s Online Activities

To take a few words of advice from a senior charity lawyer, the board should be poised to make swift decisions, to keep up with the faster pace of the digital world. Everyone should have a clear view of their role and responsibilities, and few charity experts believe that trustees should maintain an old fashioned approach to their operation and governance.

Incorporating digital into the delegation of duties by the board will help the charity, and the charity’s response time will be shortened in crisis situations, ensuring that the charity’s regular work is not hampered.

Charities have a massive challenge ahead of them, in seeing that the board embraces digital transformation. Without this, charities will have much larger problems to deal with in their growth and funding. Charity leaders must therefore act now and educate themselves, so that they can deliver what is required of them.