We explore 5 things you may not know about the discounted charity products available through Charity Digital other tech vendors
The Charity Digital Exchange programme and product platform are key to the work we do here at Charity Digital. Together, they allow us to offer donated and discounted technology to charities. This gives eligible UK charities access to major technology companies’ donation programmes, including those from Microsoft, Cisco, Avast and Adobe.
The Charity Digital product platform is your one-stop shop for discounted charity products. This is where you can find information on available products, including those available through the Charity Digital Exchange programme and other offers available directly through other vendors.
As the charity sector looks to recover from the one-two punch of the COVID-19 pandemic and major drop in income during lockdown, more charities than ever before are making the switch to digital. It is important to have the right systems in place to ensure efficient and secure operations.
Here we outline five things charities may not know about the Charity Digital Exchange programme and product platform and how they can help the voluntary sector embrace digital technology in their operations and be more efficient.
This includes the ease of signing up to the Exchange programme, the quality and quantity of support available, the protection digital products can give, as well as the trust charities place in the programme and product platform.
Accessing technology can seem a daunting prospect for some charities. But the Charity Digital Exchange programme has been designed to be a simple process. This based around three steps:
Using this simple three-step process, charities can browse the Exchange Programme and product platform to see a list of available products and associated fees or discounts. They can access more information. Donated items can be requested by adding them to the cart and then proceeding to checkout.
The Exchange programme also offers validation services for several other services, including Sage and Google for Nonprofits. Charity Digital work with these vendors to check charity eligibility for discounted products and services. By going through the validation process with Charity Digital you can save the time and hassle of going through eligibility checks directly with the vendors.
Charities may not know that Charity Digital’s product platform offers a vast array of digital products for every aspect of charities’ operations. At the time of writing there were 251 different products listed on the platform.
As mentioned earlier, this includes both products available through the Charity Digital Exchange programme and information on offers available directly through other vendors.
The product platform offers a smart filtering system to make searching easier by exactly what a charity is looking for. For example, there is a data and analytic section with five different options covering digital support in among others constituent relationship management (CRM), impact reporting and data strategy.
Fundraising, leadership and skills, marketing, communications, digital infrastructure as well as operations and efficiency are among other areas.
As an example, when searching for collaboration tools, to help organise teams and boost employee productivity, charities can browse five different products, including online whiteboard platform Miro as well as Monday, Asana, Trello and Slack.
When accessing Miro’s section, charities can find further details of how online whiteboards can support brainstorming, planning and managing workflows. This includes through video, chat, presentation and sharing.
Another popular search for charities looking to pivot in-person fundraising online is the fundraising section of the product platform. This features fundraising platforms as well as products to support donor management and fundraising strategy.
Among fundraising platform products to feature is CAF Donate, which is used by 6,000 charities to raise funds online and process donations. This can be purchased through the Charity Digital product platform through one click.
Support with finance is also available, with products from finance software providers Calxa and Sage Foundation available. Calxa, for example, can help support finance officers to deliver monthly reports and programme managers track their unspent budgets. Meanwhile, Sage Foundation has a range of plans for charities too.
Offering access to game changing digital products is another feature of Charity Digital’s product platform and Exchange programme that charities may not know about.
This is particularly useful for helping charities harness the power of data through a data analysis and visualisation tool like Tableau Desktop Professional.
This tool makes it relatively easy for staff to draw data from databases, or spreadsheets, to create dashboards and interactive visualisations. Other uses include producing interactive visuals to illustrate campaign or service delivery progress, as well as impact.
Such a tool can also help staff make decisions based on hard evidence rather than guesswork. This is well suited to charities that want to become more data-driven and is available at a discount rate from the Charity Digital Exchange programme.
Offering access to web-based CRM software, such as Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud, is another example of where Charity Digital’s product platform and Exchange programme can be game changing for voluntary sector organisations. Installing and running a CRM system can be daunting but using a system such as Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud can allow all charity staff to access the system from the web, with no installation needed.
Game changing support to produce compelling video messages is another area where Charity Digital’s Exchange programme can help. One such product on offer is VideoScribe by Sparkol, which involves a whiteboard animation program to help charities make videos for a range of uses at low cost. This can include text, images and audio. VideoScribe can make them appear as if they are being drawn on a whiteboard.
According to latest evidence from Specorps Software, around two thirds of charities have seen an increase in cyber crime threats while staff have been working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Criminals were already becoming increasingly sophisticated in their targeting of the charity sector, with government research showing that more than a third of charities don’t know which cyber attacks they are most vulnerable to. The pandemic and the increase in homeworking has escalated such threats.
Cyber security is set to be a long-term battle for many in the voluntary sector – with around a quarter of charities considering permanent home working.
This is where the Charity Digital Exchange programme can help.
Among the most sophisticated products available is Skurio’s Digital Risk Protection Platform. This include Breach Alert, which sets up monitoring alerts quickly and easily for emails, IP addresses and key words within minutes. Charities can also search through billions of records in Skurio’s database to highlight items that have been taken down or removed. This platform also features a ‘threat intelligence’ function with further security functions such as zooming in on specific threats and keeping tabs on their content.
Another security boost the Exchange programme offers is the range of anti-virus, web security and content filtering products available from Avast. This includes Avast Business Antivirus, which is designed with small to medium sized organisations in mind. It looks to keep devices protected from ever-sophisticated cyber threats, including ransomware.
Sourcing reliable online security products is particularly important this summer as Symantec is no longer available at a discounted charity rate.
The Charity Digital Exchange programme has an excellent rating of 4.7 on Trustpilot, making it one of the trusted sources of products and programs across any sector.
Of the 2,130 charity representatives to leave reviews, 78% have rated the Exchange as ‘excellent’. A further 15% rated it as “great’.
One described the Charity Digital’s Exchange programme as a “great support mechanism for charities. Superb value for money and easy to use”.
Meanwhile, another said: “For our charity, this is a great saving for software. Means we can spend more on other items for the parish.”
A representative from the Hope Foundation said of the Exchange programme that “without their digital donations we would as a charity find it difficult to do what we do”.
Another charity representative said: “It is great to be able to access a range of software at very reasonable prices. Thanks, it is a great asset to our charity and we have used this service over the past 5-6 years, updating our systems as we go. As a small organisation with no IT experts the range of software can seem daunting but we just focus on what we need.”
Please note that not all organisations are eligible for all donations and discounts. Eligibility requirements are available in each product description.