Charities, social enterprises, voluntary and third sector organisations need digital just as much as the next organisation, whether commercial or not. But what extra do charities and the voluntary sector need from their digital provider?

Understanding charities’ digital requirements

Value for money

It goes without saying that charities and third sector organisations need value for money digital solutions as much as any commercial businesses does. Any money saved operationally is valuable resource for the charity to deploy in its work. But very often charities do not get the value for money they need due to short contract lets, and free, or unreliable work that can cause more issues then it fixes.

If there is a lack of digital expertise in the organisation, it may be difficult for them to assess value for money when it comes to the technology they need. Digital services need to be clear, in plain English, so that the value and benefits of the services proposed can be easily understood.

Efficiency of operation

Digital is a great fixer of business processes that have become laborious and accommodating of complex work-arounds, perhaps because historically, previous temporary, or stand-in, staff and volunteers haven’t understood the systems, or because something hasn’t worked as it should. Long, complex and convoluted business processes are a drain on charities’ time and can be transformed by good use of digital methods.

Digital consultancy for charities should take into account the everyday operation, and processes they need to undertake, and how reputable, reliable online solutions can help them. Time saved in everyday tasks, when seen over the year represent a huge saving, not to mention happier, less-stressed staff.

Online presence

A compelling narrative, engaging brand and strong calls to action are vital to public-facing charity and third-sector organisations. Integrated digital solutions that capitalise on all relevant channels, and are measured and tracked are crucial.
SEO-optimised websites, branded content and communications, are all the order of the day. Impactful photography, video content, as well as expertly managed digital marketing make significant differences to charities in their crowded, increasingly challenged marketplace where there are so many vying for public attention.

Charities and the third sector, often staffed by people under pressure, working other jobs and facing perhaps personal challenges too, need their digital supplier to be on top of the technology game so they don’t have to be. Volunteers and staff have enough to do without supervising, checking and interrogating suppliers. Trust is important, and being a reliable supplier who can provide the ready and willing support charities need to face their unique challenges is the supplier who is in the running.

A digital provider that has the bigger picture in mind, and perhaps understands too why we need charities in the first place, is going to be a more responsive, value for money partner in the long run.