Digital is a broad area, so a consortium of charity leaders in the UK have identified 7 principles which shape areas of focus for the first ever Digital Code for the charity sector. These values show how digital touches much of what a charity does and how it will need to be considered accordingly.
Charity leaders must lead on digital as a way of helping their charities be relevant and sustainable.
Digital isn’t just about channels. It’s a strategic and governance issue and charity leaders need to know how digital could help realise their vision for their charity. Equally, digital raises questions about traditional ways of leading, offering opportunities for leaders to build networks and collaborate further.
2. User led
Charities should make the needs and behaviours of beneficiaries and other stakeholders the starting point for everything they do digitally.
Charities' values, behaviours and ways of working should create the right environment for digital success.
Charities’ strategies should be ambitious about how they can use digital to achieve their vision and mission.
This doesn’t always mean investing money, but it does mean thinking creatively about how digital can increase impact and sustainability.
Charities should aim for digital skills to be represented at all levels of the organisation.
Digital success is very dependent on the confidence, motivation and attitude of the people who run, work and volunteer for charities. Technical and soft skills, such as questioning, persuading and influencing, are equally important.
6. Managing risk and ethics
Charities need to determine and manage any risks involved in digital.
Charities will also need to consider how some digital issues fit with organisational values and ethics. The latter is a broad area that may include anything from partnerships to the use of data by social networks to content.
Charities will need to adapt to survive and thrive as digital changes how everyone lives and works.
Each value listed has additional information including concrete ideas for success, and resources. Check out the Digital Code website here.
The Charity Digital Code of Practice has been developed by a steering group of organisations across the sector, comprising: Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), CAST (The Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology), The Charity Commission, Charity Finance Group (CFG), Charity IT Leaders, Co-op Foundation, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Lloyds Banking Group, NAVCA (the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action), NCVO (the National Council for Voluntary Organisations), Office for Civil Society, Small Charities Coalition, Tech Trust, SCVO (the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations), and WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action)