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Sector Insights / 3 minute read

How is IT Lab Making a Difference to the Charity Sector?

Technology for NFPs - an Expensive Luxury or Essential Enabler?

Across the charity sector, many not-for profits struggle to drive organisational change. Technology can be a powerful catalyst for this. However, it’s no secret that many charities work with restricted budgets. In a culture where every penny counts, improvements to a digital infrastructure can seem unattainable. 

Volunteer Man working in IT lab charity sector

According to the Charity Digital Skills Report 2018, 22% of charities have a digital strategy, but have  yet to start implementing it. 31% of those who use digital services have no strategy at all.  

The Guardian reported that embracing new technology is one of the top five challenges for  fundraising charities. Despite the obstacles, technology consistently presents new and innovative ways for fundraisers to engage with donors, and for the public to donate easily with a few taps of a mobile screen.

By simplifying the entire process, technology is having a dramatic impact on how fundraising can be done, from enabling and connecting remote workers to contactless donations. While many in the third sector are open to embracing these new technologies, they clearly must be cost-effective.

While restricted budgets can deter charities from upgrading their digital infrastructure, the Lloyd’s UK digital index 2017 found that 'highly digital' charities are 10 x more likely to save costs. 

Other benefits include fundraising, with those charities using social media 51% more likely to report an increase in donations. 

This demonstrates that while many in the third sector may be put off by the initial costs of upgrading their digital systems, the benefits will bolster their bottom line in the long run.

At IT Lab, we’ve helped over 50 charities of all sizes evolve and further develop their digital infrastructures. These include the NSPCC, Arthritis Research UK and United Response. Collectively, our third sector clients process over £1.7bn annually.

How IT Lab helped the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

We are currently supporting the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFC); a charity that works closely with universities such as University College London to discover how clinical intervention can benefit children’s mental health.

The charity wanted to delivery significant organisational change by the creation of a new ‘campus’, consolidating a number of facilities across London into one central location to support better communication and collaboration across the organisation.

AFC came to IT Lab to define and deliver the digital aspects of a two-year transformation programme. Through this partnership, we’ve utilised our services such as a Virtual CIO (Chief Information Officer) and staff coaching to help transform how the organisations works.  Alongside this, we streamlined digital communications to create a more effective and efficient workplace and deliver further core services.

Dan Coleby, IT Lab’s Director of Business Performance Services, says:

It’s a pleasure to be working with the team at Anna Freud. Communication and collaboration more often takes place virtually in a digital world today, leveraging the power of technology and the internet to connect with colleagues at any time, from any place, on any device.
"I’m delighted that we can help Anna Freud to leverage such technology to realise their organisational ambitions in a new digital as well as physical space.

Click to see how we are helping the NFP sector. To explore how we can support you, get in touch today. 

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