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March 18, 2020

Using digital in charities to help deliver substantial improvements

Using digital in charities can be a major stumbling block for some organisations.

For the last 18 months, the introduction of the Charity Digital Code of Practice has already led to reports of using digital in charities across the UK, and now Code Champions have now been recruited to further increase this positive impact.

Using digital in charities - the Charity Digital Code of Practice website

The Charity Digital Code of Practice has a new look website too

The code, which was created to provide charities with practical advice on using digital to increase impact, sustainability and skills, was launched in November 2018 following extensive consultation and input from across the sector and is the first of its kind in the UK.

Fifteen Code Champions have now signed up to share knowledge and encourage further take-up of the code by charities of all sizes.

All Code Champions have experience of using the code’s resources and adopting best practice and will share their expertise with other charities. The champions represent charities of various sizes and missions and include National Ugly Mugs, World Vision and the relationships charity TLC: Talk, Listen, Change.

Martin Campbell, Chief Information Officer at World Vision, said:

“The world has changed and most charities realise the need to be more digitally ambitious. World Vision was one of the early adopters of the Charity Digital Code of Practice and it has enabled us to better understand the practical outcomes of our digital activity and to put a framework around our digital transformation programme. We are now working on using data much more in our decision making and we’ve seen substantial improvements in the performance of our key products.”

Michelle Hill CEO of TLC: Talk, Listen, Change added:

“We’re really excited to be a champion of the code as we’ve been using it since it launched. Adopting the code and weaving it throughout our long-term strategy and day to day work has offered us a catalyst to develop our culture, processes and systems. It has really helped us go back to basics and optimise what we have. We think it’s important to champion digital developments for smaller charities and will be waving the flag for ensuring any developments always align with values!”

The code is voluntary and free to access for all charities. It’s managed by a steering group of representatives from across the sector and chaired by independent digital expert Zoe Amar. We at RFS Marketing & Communications Ltd have been delighted to play a small part in raising awareness of the code, including strategic marketing advice.

The code includes best practice advice relating to leadership, beneficiaries and other stakeholders, culture, strategy, skills, adaptability and managing risks and ethics. It supports charities of all sizes by providing resources, ‘how-to’ guides and advice from peers to enable all charities to increase and improve their digital activity, alongside evaluating success to continually learn about what works for them as an organisation.

The code is funded by Charity IT Leaders, Cisco, The Co-op Foundation and Lloyds Banking Group, with support from CAST as part of the Catalyst.

Dan Sutch, Director of CAST, said:

“It’s great to see the Charity Digital Code of Practice continuing to develop and we’re particularly pleased to welcome the Code’s champions on board. One of its founding principles was for charities to learn from each other and to improve digital activity across the whole sector. Linked to the support offered across the Catalyst network, our champions are in the perfect position to facilitate this learning.”

The announcement of the champions coincides with the launch of the code’s new website. The upgraded site has been created following feedback from the sector and, through user-testing, will continue to evolve to meet the needs of charity professionals.

Charities can access the Charity Digital Code of Practice by visiting charitydigitalcode.org and join the conversation about the code by using the hashtag #CharityDigitalCode. They can also volunteer to become Code Champions by emailing [email protected]

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