The digital era is here to stay.
This is especially true in Lewisham, where part of the Council’s strategy is to make more services accessible online and electronically so that residents can resolve problems and report issues more easily. It is one of the driving factors behind the Go ON Lewisham initiative to help improve the basic digital skills of residents.
Research from Lloyd’s into the digital maturity of charities has revealed that in the last year some progress has been made. But smaller charities are still missing out, with 49 per cent still lacking basic skills.
A number of our members have requested help with setting up a website or managing their social media. A few smaller organisations have ventured into online fundraising. But it's crucial that Lewisham charities have a strategic approach to digital. Not digital for digital’s sake, but for the contribution it can make to our strategic goals.
The good news is that there’s a range of free tools and support available. We’ve put together a list of some of them below.
Lasa IT helpline: If you need help replacing your old computers, want to find out more about how cloud-based services can save money, or make better use of social media to raise your organisation's profile, social welfare law and tech charity Lasa can provide you with independent, impartial and free advice. Call 020 7426 4473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Superhighways: Superhighways is a social enterprise that provides information, communications and technology services to South London. They offer practical training and workshops and support on a range of digital tools for communications, administration, monitoring impact and more. Contact them on 020 8255 8040 or email email@example.com
Planning for digital transformation
Reach Volunteering has launched building boards for a digital age, a collaborative campaign to increase digital expertise on charity boards to help charities address the ‘lack of digital leadership’.
Communications specialist @Zoe Amar has drafted Making digital work: 12 questions for trustees to consider. They include strategy, service delivery, cyber security, evaluation and resources.
- NCVO Knowhow Profit has a page on digital transformation, with tips and useful resources
There are a range of free or low-cost tools available out there. It can be difficult to know where to start. Sophie Millward, our Business Development Manager, has put together a short list of the tools we use here , which includes tools for administration, communications and design. Superhighways is also a useful source of information.
- Social media toolkit: A new online toolkit developed by specifically for voluntary and community organistions to help empower them to use social media most effectively for their organisation. It includes tips on best practice and details how charities can set the foundations to help avoid distractions and get results.
Crowdfunding is now a landmark in the Lewisham funding landscape. Esmee Fairbairn has given match funding to Lewisham crowdfunding projects through Spacehive, and Lewisham Council is taking the crowdfunding approach again for its small grants programme.
The government is backing grassroots online funding approaches through its support of Localgiving’s Grow your tenner campaign to promote Local charities day. Global giving has also taken off with #GivingTuesday, encouraging people to give their time, donations and talent to local charities.
Do you have any digital training and support needs? We've teamed up with Superhighways to make their training and support on digital tools for impact available to Lewisham charities. If you'd like to see a Superhighways training session in Lewisham, and know of space with access to reliable Wifi where it can be delivered, let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org.