12/11/2012 – Charities fear lack of digital skills could damage fundraising prospects, new research by Lasa revea
New research by technology and welfare charity Lasa shows that 7 out of 10 charity professionals (78%) think the sector will miss fundraising and income generating opportunities if it does not engage fully with digital. Over half (56%) said that their charity needed training to maximise digital's potential, with 55% stating that digital must be a ‘core competency for all staff.'
Lasa's Charity Digital Survey gathered the views of charity professionals from across the UK about their use of digital and its potential. There were 334 respondents.
Two thirds (66%) said that digital is ‘essential' to their charities, and that they couldn't ‘function without it.' Yet only one in five (21%) believed that they were ‘fully engaged with it as an organisation, from board members to junior staff.'
If the sector does not embrace digital, 77% of respondents fear that charities could lose supporters by ‘not communicating with them effectively.' Over half (56%) are worried that charities will not be able to help as many people unless they embrace digital service delivery.
Terry Stokes, Lasa's CEO said, "Our research shows how heavily the sector relies on digital, but it needs to be at the heart of what every organisation does. Digital has to be led from the top. Charities must grasp the opportunities that digital offers for fundraising, communications and services, or they will be left behind."
Other key statistics from the survey include:
• 94% of charities surveyed use digital for communications (e.g. e-newsletters, social media and apps), 81% use it for essential infrastructure (e.g. remote office access and finance), 70% for service provision, including online information and advice, and 68% for fundraising.
• 50% of respondents described a ‘lack of time to get to grips with' digital. 41% felt that there was ‘a lack of understanding of digital at board/ director level.' Only 26% cited ‘budget cuts' as a barrier.
• Almost two thirds (63%) of charities are not using mobiles for fundraising or apps and did not have a mobile friendly website, whilst 37% do.
• 35% have no plans to use cloud technologies, whilst 28% do and 37% are already using it.
View the full report of the survey results
Information for editors
1) Lasa is a leading charity and strategic provider of knowledge, support and resources to third sector and government bodies. Lasa helps thousands of organisations across the UK each year including Age UK, Shelter and Citizens Advice Bureau. It helps organisations to get better welfare rights advice to their clients and deliver more effective and efficient services; influences policy for advice and legal services; and raises awareness of the third sector's technology needs with funders and government. For more information, please visit www.lasa.org.uk
2) The survey ran from 03.09.12 to 30.09.12, with 334 responses in total.
3) For more information, contact Paul Treloar, Head of Policy and Communications on 07795 217759 or firstname.lastname@example.org
4) All percentages have been rounded up or down to the nearest 1%