Charity Digital Trustee Zoe Amar offers advice on how to become a digital leader overnight
Zoe Amar is widely regarded as one of the charity sector’s leading digital experts. She founded digital agency and social enterprise Zoe Amar Digital in 2013 and is Chair of The Charity Digital Code of Practice.
If we are living through history then it feels chaotic, messy and stressful. Coronavirus has upended everything. All of us are grappling with the impact of not only fears for our loved ones and an imminent, deep recession but new ways of working in isolation. It’s at times like this that we look to leaders to guide us.
The extraordinary events of the last few weeks have been a heavy burden for leaders. There are many difficult decisions ahead. And through it all, leaders must move rapidly to help their charities shapeshift to deliver what they need to do, often digitally. Some have been thrown into running virtual organisations overnight. Staff are working remotely, fundraising events must be moved online and digital service delivery will become a priority.
COVID-19 will change how charities use digital and where they need support to do it. We need to hear about your experience of this for The Charity Digital Skills Report so that we can make the case for where the sector needs help to operate digitally in these difficult times. We’ve added new questions to the end of the survey to do this.
Over the last few days, I’ve been speaking to leaders about how they’re taking on the crisis. Here’s what they advised other leaders to do:
Ask for help when you need it. Matt Haworth, co-founder of Reason Digital points out that staff and supporters will be using tech to solve problems, so leaders should draw on their expertise. Haworth says, ‘Send a tweet asking for help, or do a LinkedIn post requesting support if you get stuck in a tech-rut.’
To be effective during the Coronavirus crisis leaders need to look after their physical and mental health. The BBC has tips on self-care and avoiding burnout.
The next few months are going to be tough for us all. Yet this is the time when leaders can show what they are really made of and galvanise their charities around shared aims.
For some, the accelerated digital evolution of their charities may feel uncomfortable. We need to recognise this and press ahead. If we can weather the storm as a sector and embrace digital to get us through it we could emerge stronger, more relevant and in a better position to make a difference.
Share your views on the digital leadership issues affecting charities in The Charity Digital Skills Report with Skills Platform. All responses must be received by midnight 3 April.