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Charity Finance Week Insights - Turning Crisis into Opportunity

INSIGHTS | November 11th 2020

This year's CFW gave us a chance to ask some key questions of Charity Leaders, to gauge how they are feeling about their digital future

Article by Digital Wonderlab

This years virtual Charity Finance Week which incorporated The Charity Technology Conference was a first for the sector as a way to bring everyone together in what has been a challenging time. The theme of “Turning Crisis into Opportunity” gave the ability to have some good conversations which helped to explore the role of finance and IT leaders in guiding their charities through the pandemic and rebuilding for the future.

Digital Wonderlab held an insightful panel discussion which focused upon lessons learned in lockdown, as the civil society continue to take stock and focus upon how to move forwards. We were joined by some incredible leaders of charities who shared their experiences and thoughts for the future as the dust settles and they are all preparing to build upon and evolve their digital strategy to continue to transform and adapt to the change.

We also asked the audience a few key questions to help reflect upon where they see things right now in their own organisations, with technology now fundamentally part of our digital first future. 

Nearly 80% felt that they had some of the skills to lead and operate in a digital first world, but many felt they are in need of upskilling their teams to be able to take on the challenges ahead.




Nearly 3/4 have fundamentally changed their digital outlook into next year and beyond, as technology trends change and people values shift, many organisations are needing to pivot.



Overwhelmingly almost 95% believe that their charity can thrive by maximising digital, as many seek to build resilience as well as find the most impactful and cohesive strategic approach.




And whilst many have a digital strategy, nearly 70% felt that it needed improvement. Many organisations are looking to adapt their models as the impact of the pandemic has put them out of sync.



It is clear that mobile have become more important since lock down began, indicating the "mobile first" approach to getting online and staying connected continues to build pace.



Some interesting insights which reveal that many are on their journey to being more digitally enabled, yet there are opportunities to really focus upon making this core to any organisations planning moving forwards.

As uncertainty continues, it is time to make more certain manoeuvres to not only sustain business continuity but to help move to the next phase in any organisations digital development.

It is felt by many that leading a digital transformation into this new era needs sits firmly with the CEO and leadership team, to come from the top of the organisation to ensure buy in and build the culture of change required. 

If you take the experiences of our esteemed panel from the plenary session, you don't need to be a digital native to make this happen - in fact many have been bold, and used their purpose as a strong foundation upon which to clarify their vision and build their strategy development.

Investment in technology has been a big decision for many charities, with many holding off due to uncertainty. In the opening session the words of Andrew Haldane ring true "this is a rare example of a "no regrets" investment opportunity" - with so many charities having a greater reliance on digital service delivery let alone needing to reach new audiences, raise vital funds and keep their story alive for supporters and donors.

Many organisations are in the process of reimagining their digital strategy, realising that technology is fundamental to all our futures. And the learnings have given us many positive outcomes and amplified them to help build back stronger in 2021.

We are here to help, and happy to talk through what options might be best for you.  

Please do not let funding your idea stop you calling us, if there is a way, we will find a way. 

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Digital Wonderlab

Digital Wonderlab

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