New year, new you. We look at how charity teams pivoted to digital in 2020 and the improvements they can take forward in 2021
2020 was the year charities moved online. Charities experienced a period of digital acceleration, switching from offices and meeting rooms to Zoom and Teams, and finding their feet in the ‘new normal’.
2021 will be a continuation of that trend, with social distancing restrictions still in place and the return to the office seeming like a mere prospect. With that said, it’s important charities focus on digital in 2021 to help with collaboration, fundraising, events, and so much more.
We offer some ideas for new year resolutions that will help you embrace digital in 2021.
At Charity Digital, we’ve reviewed some out of the best free and low-cost collaboration tools. For charities looking to bridge long-distance communications, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack offer free and low-cost solutions.
Zoom offers professional video conferencing services at low-cost. Teams and Slack are more sophisticated, with both offering collaboration tools for remote working. Cloud storage, chat, messaging, file sharing, and dedicated subject channels are all part of the package.
Pushing forward with the lessons learnt from the pandemic, digital fundraising and virtual events have taken the charity sector by storm. Putting some new resolutions in place must include launching online events.
To get started, charities can turn to the e-book ‘The Secret to Virtual Events Success’ by Blackbaud Europe. The book explores how charities can engage audiences and emphasises the importance of digital fundraising events.
Content is king. Charities are already using content to inspire audiences to donate, participate, and engage.
To create engaging content, we recommend using interactive media. This type of content is two-way. Charities ask audiences to respond to charity quizzes, polls, and graphics. It’s also an opportunity for marketing teams to generate excitement and buzz.
Building and maintaining constituent relationships is a strength of the charity sector. Your 2021 resolutions should also include keeping track of audiences, donors, and volunteers.
Constituent relationship management (CRM) systems make sense of interactions. These digital repositories are excellent record keepers. They can also inform audience segmentation processes.
When choosing a CRM system, charities should bear in mind the number of users, potential integration with existing software, and whether an off-the-shelf solution would work.
Jacqui Morrissey from Samaritans says that: “There’s no doubt the pandemic will have a lasting impact on mental health. We are really worried that issues like job losses will impact further.”
Going forward, charities need to be prioritising the importance of mental health. Prolonged social restrictions and work stress have caused a spike in mental health concerns.
Charities are going above and beyond in delivering mental health services. Charities like The Mix have dedicated digital outlets to help struggling young people.
What’s equally important is charities should also remember their own employees. Mental health resources for charity workers are available. Resources includes digital toolkits and webinars addressing common mental health challenges.
Since remote working is here to stay, there has been news coverage of Zoom fatigue.
Looking forward to 2021, keeping charity teams inspired and motivated is a top priority. Keeping your day structured is key to staying motivated. Make sure that you’re mentally ready to do work. Dressing for the job puts you in the right mindset for the work day.
Mobile phone productivity apps do similar jobs. They prevent owners from checking in for certain periods of time. AppDetox and Forest help users to be present by locking phones and apps during set times.
As many charities are changing the way they work, it’s important to stay secure. That includes updating cyber security tools and ensuring that charity workers are protecting their devices. Cybersecurity means more than anti-virus software. For charities, it means preventing unauthorised access to computer systems, passwords, customer data, and physical devices.
At Charity Digital, we’ve taken note of the some of the specialised digital security tools out there. For remote working, virtual private networks (VPNs) protect the connection between employees at home and charity databases. Using a VPN, data are encrypted before being accessed over the internet.
To ensure that bad actors aren’t using charity data, Skurio detects ill-gotten charity data over the dark web. The software sends alerts to charities if there are data breaches.
Free and low-cost versions are available at Charity Digital Exchange.