Charities Told To Make More Use Of Technology

Apr 15, 2014

Charities place too much emphasis on digital fundraising rather than focusing on how technology can improve services for stakeholders, according to an industry insider.

Mike Thompson, a digital consultant at tech charity mySociety, claimed that non-profit organisations have four main areas where new technology can be of benefit.

Speaking at the Charity Finance Group (CFG) IT conference last month, he said these are fundraising, campaigns, data and delivering services.

However, Thompson warned that his experience has shown him delivering services is often forgotten about in favour of online donations and marketing.

He also claimed that charities need to focus on information delivery, feedback, crowd sourcing and community activity to make full use of the benefits digital can provide.

To support his argument, he used homeless charity Shelter’s housing data bank, a system that brings together government information about housing need, supply and affordability.

The consultant also noted that the NHS has made good use of new technology with its Care Connect service, which allows users to give feedback on the service they receive.

Thompson also used the examples of the National Trust’s MyFarm, an online community to manage the everyday running one of its farms and the Jointly app used by Care UK so carers can share information.

Industry Expert Agrees

Thompson’s ideas were supported by Save The Children CIO Andrew Williams, who claimed that organisations risk “irrelevancy” if they do not keep up with technological advancements.

“IT is a massive opportunity for international aid organisations to scale up some of the work they do,” he told delegates.

“But if donors don’t see us as the way to do that, the international aid organisations will become irrelevant,” he added.




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