A small marketing budget can mean more control and creativity for charity leaders - with a few adjustments to stretch it that little bit further.
For charity digital leaders, a small marketing budget can mean more control and creativity. For small charities on a shoestring budget, operational efficiencies, marketing, and digital fundraising can come with a much smaller price tag. Many tools are free of charge, and freelance professionals can tailor services for the non-profit sector.
Looking at the role that digital professionals can have in small charities, here we feature some of the ways that charities can make the best use out of digital experts while sticking to a budget.
Important for digital leaders looking to splash out on digital enhancements, knowing what to prioritise is key. Free, online resources can help with researching what changes need to be made. NCVO’s digital maturity matrix is a good starting point for assessing capabilities and prioritise areas for improvement. The interactive checklist has recently been revised to incorporate GDPR and security strategies.
Launched in October, the Data Maturity Assessment Tool examines charity uses of information. The tool was developed to help charities make plans and prioritise.
Sian Basker, Co-Chief Executive of the tool’s designers Data Orchard said: “Data is an increasingly crucial driver of success in charities and social enterprises. At the very least it underpins operational and fundraising efforts. At the cutting-edge, data can be used to design more effective and efficient services, achieve better outcomes, and deliver greater impact.
Digital professionals typically specialise in front or back-end processes. Front-end digital enhancements are predominantly tailored to audiences and customers. Developers in the front-end may help with digital fundraising tools, web design, UX, or customer-facing tools.
Tech experts wanting to do pro-bono work for charities can be found on Donate:Code. The platform has crowded professionals in software development, graphic design, and digital marketing who want to donate their skills to charities. Back-end, operational processes can also be optimised – accounting systems, CRM, HR, and project management tools are available at little or no cost. The Charity Digital Exchange has already helped charities save over £200 million in software with up to 96% off the market price.
For projects of any nature, digital freelancers can provide smaller charities with flexibility and cost savings. Without being bound up in a long-term contract, there are a few platforms to help you work with digital professionals on a budget:
Fiverr – using a simple search, freelancers can be found for any number of digital projects including graphic and logo design; UX and customer testing; creation of WordPress websites; crowdfunding and marketing promotions; and other bespoke jobs. The site also allows charity leaders to search by delivery time, so rushed jobs can be done in 24 hours.
People Per Hour – Much like Fiverr, People Per Hour is search enabled for specific digital freelancers, and charities can also post projects for professionals to bid for. Freelancers respond with their own tailored proposal, so charity digital experts can sift through the portfolio. Freelancers also offer bundles of services for as little as £10.
Upwork – Offering talent across front and back end; marketing; customer services, data analytics and much more, the exchange platform matches charity projects with professionals. By entering basic digital needs, charities can choose along project types, delivery times, and level of expertise.
Once your project is off the ground make sure to reserve time to test the digital enhancement. Tree, prototype, coffee shop and post-launch testing are just some of the ways to ensure that the digital expert has delivered against the proposal.
Finally, operational and efficiency enhancements are positive – making sure that savings are captured and measured against the budget can help determine whether to make further investments into digital.