60% of charities now have digital strategy, up from 49% last year, reveals survey

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16th July 2021 12:20 - Voluntary

60% of charities now have digital strategy, up from 49% last year: A survey of UK charities has found that 60% have now put in place a digital strategy, up from 49% in last year's polling.

The Charity Digital Skills Report questioned 365 charity professionals, more than third of which were CEOs or in leadership teams (36%), while 31% worked in digital roles. The annual report seeks to act as a barometer of digital skills, attitudes and support needs across the sector and is now in its fifth year.

It found that more than two thirds of participants view digital as a 'prime concern' for their charity and are planning further investment for the digital arm of their organisation. 

The research found that during the pandemic, more than eight in 10 charities (83%) changed their services in response to demand and began to offer online services, while 78% have been using the power of digital to reach new audiences.

Looking at the challenges that charities have faced due to Covid-19, digital inclusion was the top concern, with more than half those polled saying they were worried that going digital might exclude some people or groups from their organisation's services. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) said they were concerned that the people who needed their services were not online. The survey also found that 12% have had issues around basic tech access.

The second greatest challenge for the organisations polled was remote working, with 38% revealing they have found it isolating, challenging and exhausting, and 31% revealing their staff are burned out due to it.

When asked about the hurdles they face when it comes to achieving their digital plans, a third of charities said that IT is the greatest barrier.

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