The world is becoming an increasingly digital place and with this comes an expectation from consumers that they’ll be able to find the information they need or the ability to engage with organisations online. Within the charity sector there appears to have been a widespread effort to better meet the digital expectations of their donors and supporters. This is supported by the Lloyds Bank Business Digital Index, which has been running for four years. This index measures the digital capabilities of charities and small organisations and scores them out of 100.
The report reveals that 29% of charities have stated that they are ‘doing all they can online’, which is an 11% improvement on last year. Overall charities scored 43, which is an increase from 42 in 2016. However the disparity between large and small charities appears to be increasing with an 8 point gap compared to 3 points in 2014. This is concerning for smaller charities who may be missing out on valuable engagement, exposure and even revenue from donations by not taking advantage of digital capabilities. Worryingly the largest barrier cited by 32% charities was that ‘being online is not seen as ‘relevant’ to our charity”. Whilst big marketing budgets and digital expenditure may be unnecessary and impossible for smaller charities, the digital space can still provide a range of inexpensive and effective opportunities that could improve their performance and help to meet donor expectations.
Overall the charity sector is still being outperformed by the small business sector by 11 points (43 vs 54). This suggests that perhaps charities are still not prioritising digital capabilities of their organisation. In the increasingly challenging environment in which charities operate we believe that charities should not underestimate the value digital can bring and should look to increase their basic digital skills.
This article was inspired by Kirsty Weakley, “Small charities falling behind on digital capability“, 3rd November 2017, Civil Society,