Beyond is offering free-of-charge mentoring and coaching to charities working in the areas of financial wellbeing, early years, mental health, and sexual and domestic violence
Beyond offers digital, data and design training, workshops, coaching and community to help nonprofits adapt and respond in times of crisis.
Digital transformation usually occurs over a period of months, even years, but in 2020 charities had to adapt overnight. They immediately switched to remote working, moved service delivery and fundraising efforts online, shifted physical events to the virtual, and used videoconferencing to engage with donors and supporters.
Accelerated digital transformation posed several challenges, which charities largely met with urgency and efficiency, assuring that their users continued to receive necessary services. But some challenges proved lasting, particularly with regards to digital expertise.
One huge challenge was the absence of adequate training. Charity workers had to learn the virtual ropes on their own, often without any direct experience or guidance. Charity professionals learnt to use well-known platforms, though not necessarily the most effective ones. They learnt basic functionality of digital tools, but have not always utilised optimisation and customisation. They adapted quickly out of necessity, prioritising the short-term, but may not have developed a long-term digital strategy.
Many charities are not taking full advantage of the tech they are using and, importantly, the tech they are not using. This is particularly true of smaller charities that may not have the funds or experience to support effective digital transformation. Such charities need to empower existing staff and build their digital confidence to deliver much-needed services.
Training can be expensive, time-consuming, and not specifically aimed at charities. It can be demanding, too, which creates its own problems amid increased workloads and the general stress of the pandemic. But worry not. Help is at hand.
Beyond offers a programme of online learning to support digital capability building for charities in England. The programme helps smaller organisations, including registered charities, co-ops, social enterprises, housing associations, community interest companies, grassroots, voluntary and community organisations, and companies whose main focus is social impact.
This programme of learning has been developed by DOT PROJECT and Shift with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, and is delivered as part of a wider network, in close collaboration with both CAST (and their Catalyst initiative).
To date, Beyond has helped improve the design and digital skills of nearly 300 people from over 200 organisations. To register for a course, simply sign up via the Beyond website.
Beyond offer several options for one-to-one mentoring services. Charities can receive independent advice from a tech expert who will answer core technology questions. Over two calls, Beyond will help evaluate your current technology, decide what systems you might want to use in the future, and provide essential guidance on planning next steps.
Another mentoring option is the ‘Tech foundations mentoring programme.’ The programme offers vital one-to-one support to help you create a sustainable approach to technology in your organisation. The sessions explore, among many other things, how charities can align objectives to their digital ambitions and how charities can develop a roadmap to manage your tech priorities.
Beyond also offer a one-hour one-to-one coaching session, which provides practical support and tools to help charities develop a deeper understanding of how the relationship between people, teams, and stakeholders creates its own collective intelligence. Charity professionals are encouraged to bring any relationship scenario to the session, allowing you to work on a real-life example.
Sign up to access learning through the Beyond platform