75% of Charities lack “digitally trained staff”

The majority of UK charities lack digital strategy and an intent to diversify, according to new report findings.

Three quarters of charities in the UK (75%) lack digitally trained staff, according to findings from The Charity Digital Code Benchmark Report.

Over 150 charities voluntarily tested their own digital capabilities with the Charity Digital Code Quick Assessment Tool last year. The tool allowed charities to measure their digital strategies against the Charity Digital Code of Practice, before rating the charities out of 30.

The results of the report shared on Tuesday, revealed that 63% of charities do not have a clear digital strategy, though 77% of charities have guidance of some sort from their board on digital approach. Just 7% of charities reported that they had both a strategic intent to build a more diverse working team, despite research proving a clear link between diversity and better digital capabilities.

“The Charity Digital Code has been a tremendously useful standard against which charities have been able to measure ourselves,” said Martin Francis Campbell, CIO of World Vision UK, and chair of the Digital Collective, which ran the data gathering and research.

“It’s no surprise that we’re behind the curve on digital, and we know that we need to do more, but what’s so valuable about this report – and the code itself – is that, by focusing on the culture and practice of digital, rather than the technology, it shows us where we need to concentrate our effort in order to kickstart improvements overall.”

Digital initiatives are becoming more popular in the charity sector. Age UK has launched a Steps app and a chatbot, whilst the Red Cross and Save the Children both now fully accept Bitcoin donations as payments.