Charities are facing a "digital skills crisis" as half admit they don't have a digital strategy though it would help fundraising

Lian Parsons
Improving digital strategy is more than a charitable suggestion
Improving digital strategy is more than a charitable suggestion (Source: Getty Images )

UK charities are facing a "digital skills crisis" as a lack of funding and skills are holding them back, a new report warned today.

About 500 charity professionals were surveyed by the Skills Platform and Zoe Amar Communications, with 50 per cent admitting they did not have a digital strategy. Only nine per cent of respondents said they have been through digital transformation and embedded it, while 71 per cent of charities rated their board’s digital skills as low or needs improvement.

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The biggest barriers to getting more from digital were skills at 57 per cent and lack of funding at 52 per cent. Half of charities said other organisational challenges receive more attention as digital is not considered a priority.

Some 75 per cent of respondents said growing their digital skills would help to increase fundraising, but 61 per cent rated their actual fundraising skills as fair to low.

To improve digital skills, 80 per cent said they want their leadership team to be clear about their digital vision and goals and 66 per cent just want a good digital strategy overall.

As for progress, 59 per cent of charities are working to make the culture more appropriate for digital growth and 33 per cent are examining digital trends and their effects.

Dave Evans, product marketing manager at the Skills Platform, said:

"Our results reveal the sector is much further behind in digital transformation that we would have predicted. However, charities must not be too disheartened.

"The purpose of our report is not to place further pressure on the sector, but rather to help charities benchmark their own organisations; measure where the skills gaps are and see how digital could help them to seize the opportunities and better manage the challenges they face."

Zoe Amar, founder and director of Zoe Amar Communications, said:

Digital has the power to make charities more sustainable, efficient, and relevant and ultimately enable them to generate more income to help even more people.

Charities simply cannot afford to not engage with digital otherwise they seriously risk being left behind.

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