Early findings from the Charity Digital Skills 2020 report detail how some charities are struggling to move services online.
More than a third of charities have cancelled services amid the Covid-19 pandemic due a lack of digital skills and technology.
The charity sector is rapidly ramping up its use of digital during the Covid-19 lockdown as staff work from home and fundraising events move online.
But some charities are struggling to adapt to this new online climate and have been forced to stop services.
This found that 37 per cent of charities have been forced to cancel services amid the pandemic, as they don’t have the skills or technology to deliver them.
We’ve released initial #CharityDigiReport findings into how #COVID19 has changed charities use of digital.— zoeamar (@zoeamar)
1 in 3 told us they’ve cancelled services due to lack of digital skills or tech.
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Funding is a major barrier to ensuring charities are equipped with the expertise to move services and fundraising online, the survey found.
Of those surveyed, 39 per cent want additional money to adapt services in an online setting. A similar proportion (34 per cent) need more money to buy essential technology and hardware.
Half want guidance on digitising face-to-face services and helping their team adjust to digital innovation, stay motivated and productive.
The early findings are based on 41 responses submitted after covid-19 questions were added into the survey. In total 348 responses have been received.
The updated survey is asking charities how the pandemic is changing their operations in terms of digital. The biggest challenges to increasing the use of digital amid the outbreak, is another. The important changes that funders could make to helping charities is also asked.
“The most surprising issue is the number of charities who have cancelled services because they personally lack the skills or technology to deliver them,” said Zoe Amar.
“This is still a very small sample, but it shows the big job we have ahead of us to make sure the sector has the skills it needs. We don’t yet know exactly what skills or tech they don’t have, or the services they haven’t been able to provide, but we would be interested to hear more from charities who are in this position.
“Another issue which stand out for me here are the impact on beneficiaries due to services being cancelled, and the need for funders to support adaptation of face to face services to digital ones. What will happen to the beneficiaries and the charities which can’t get the help and resources they need?”
More responses needed
The survey organisers are still looking for more charity responses. The deadline for submissions is midnight, 15 May. The survey can be completed here.
“We’d love to hear from more charities about how COVID-19 is changing your use of digital, and where you need support,” added Amar.
“This will help us share more compelling findings with the sector to make the case for the funding, resources and support that is most needed.”