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Digital anxiety - Man with head on hands in front of laptop and scrunched up paper

Charities are struggling with digital

The Charity Digital Skills Report 2019 from Zoe Amar Digital and Skills Platform shows the sector has gone backwards in some areas over the past year, and the sector is struggling to make progress on digital.

The report reveals that 52 per cent of organisations do not have digital strategies, compared with 45 per cent in 2018 and 50 per cent in 2017. The report also reveals that 68 per cent of the 540 respondents rate their board's digital skills as low. And just 23 per cent believe their organisations have clear strategies for how digital can help achieve their goals, compared with 32 per cent last year.

The survey provides an annual overview of the state of digital skills in the charity sector. Many charities appear willing to embrace digital but lack funding and skills, the survey shows. Asked to name their priorities over the next 12 months, the most popular answer with 67 per cent was using digital to increase their impact. But 56 per cent described funding as the biggest barrier to their charity getting the most from digital, compared with 58 per cent last year. Only 9 per cent said Brexit had affected what they do digitally.

Zoe Amar, director of Zoe Amar Digital, said the slow pace of change and decline of overall progress needed urgent attention.

"Funders need to step up because the report shows the need is growing across the sector and funding has remained the biggest challenge every year," said Amar. "Perhaps charities could also benefit from more support to demonstrate social impact and the meaningful value digital brings, otherwise the sector is at risk of being left behind."

Read: Third Sector – Charities struggling to make progress on digital, survey shows