Small charities need to adapt in order to survive

26 Jul 2019 | Advice, Small charities

Small charities face a “hurricane of change” according to the Facing Forward report by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales. The report calls for government, funders and larger charities to take action to help small charities in challenging times, echoing some of our own thoughts on the benefits of charity collaboration.

One of the prevalent themes in the report is the effect of the ever-changing digital landscape and what this means for small charities. Over the last few decades, the technology sector has completely transformed the way we live, work and communicate. Among other topics such as Brexit, changes to the government, and funding, advances in technology remains one of the most important influential factors in how the third sector is developing.

The digital divide is constantly widening with many volunteers now needing training and support to be comfortable with the technology they use on a day-to-day basis. Old-fashioned manual cash registers are being replaced with EPOS systems, paper forms are now filled out electronically and charities who are not partaking in digital marketing of some kind will often find themselves struggling in comparison to their more technology-savvy counterparts.

Flexible and remote working is also on the increase across all sectors, and charities are not different. Managers must now communicate, plan and organise without needing to be physically present in the shop. Volunteers are increasingly demanding the freedom of adaptable shift patterns and convenient hours, and in many cases will move to the charity who can offer them. The expectation of easily viewing and changing shifts online impacts what workers want from their workplace, voluntary or otherwise.

Automation will also have a large impact on working processes. On a larger scale, the report mentions autonomous cars affecting community transport or breakthroughs in personalised medicine affecting health charities. But even on a granular level, automation of menial tasks will replace some jobs in-store. Simple things will be made much more efficient with automation, such as sending emails out to donors or providing digital checklists to allow volunteers to complete daily tasks without supervision.

Other tech trends such as tracking (of our health, sleep, interactions, and possessions) is tipped to have a large influence on the working practices of many organisations. We’ve yet to understand the wider implications of this kind of data capture but do know that it gives businesses the ability to tailor certain products or services to an individual much easier than before.

While these developments may seem too advanced or far away in the future for small charities to start thinking about, the acceleration of these trends are already beginning to alter the third sector. There’s no certainty in predicting the future, but staying clued-up and aware of technological developments will certainly help in adapting to meet change in the digital landscape.

The charity sector is gradually bringing itself up to date with the same working practices as some of the more pioneering for-profit businesses. While small charities are unlikely to have the capabilities of investing in the most advanced tech, being open-minded, innovative, and eager to embrace a digital transformation will help set you in good stead for the future.

https://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/Facing-Forward-2017.pdf

Categories

Read more

Gift Aid is Changing

About a year ago, a large UK charity came to us with issues around their retail Gift Aid sign up process. They told us that they had serious challenges with the paper sign up forms – they're messy, hard to store, easy to lose and 25% of the time, the data was...

Gift Aid is a pain in the neck

You know it. Volunteers know it. And most importantly, donors know it too.Asking people about tax can be awkward and donors don’t want to be held up by the faff of filling in forms when they’re just dropping off donations.So how can we make the Gift Aid process...

Choosing the Right Technology

It’s easy to get whisked away by the possibilities of modern technology. It’s human nature to want the newest gadgets packed with endless features that empower you to be more productive, more efficient, more successful. With a smooth-talking salesman eager to dazzle...

How to keep your charity’s data safe

With all the attention currently being paid to GDPR – compliance, consent, Data Protection Officers – it’s easy to lose track of the basics of data security. If you’ve made the leap into a more digital retail environment, or are thinking of doing so, you may be...

Time to embrace technology

Online donating is increasing year on year yet the charity retail sector is still lagging behind when it comes to updating fundraising processes. It has been almost 20 years since the first online donation but this still makes up less than 10% of total fundraising for...

Say hello
01332 921300
wilu@pxtech.com

 

 

WIL-U IS PART OF THE PXTECH FAMILY.

Terms and Conditions

 

 

Say hello
01332 921300
wilu@pxtech.com

 

WIL-U IS PART OF THE PXTECH FAMILY.
Terms and Conditions