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Using volunteers to build your digital and technology skills and capacity

This page is free to all

Use this page to find out about some of the national schemes that provide charities and other organisations with volunteer support. All are aimed at charities but may also be prepared to support other kinds of organisations.

Free hour of one-to-one support from Digital Candle

You can book an hour-long one-to-one advice call from Digital Candle. They have over 200 volunteers with experience in technology and digital.

Best for:

  • checking you are heading in the right direction with a plan
  • asking where you should start with a particular issue
  • helping you work out the answer to a technical question you can’t work out
  • getting reassurance
  • making connections with other people doing similar things.

To get the most out of it:

  • be specific about what help you need when you request a call.

Try Digital Candle

Longer term free support via Reach Volunteering

Reach Volunteering provide a platform to advertise volunteer opportunities and search offers from volunteers who have at least three years professional experience. They also provide lots of advice and guidance on planning to host a digital and technology volunteer including template role descriptions. They run a programme to support organisations to find trustees with expertise in digital.

Best for the following.

  • A sustained relationship to improve what your organisation can do.
  • Moving services online, digital fundraising, digital marketing, websites and more.
  • When you have a particular challenge and can search for the right volunteer to help you.
  • If you are interested in recruiting digital trustees.

To get the most out of it:

  • plan ahead for a process that will take time to find the right person.

Find out how to register a volunteering opportunity with Reach
Learn more about digital trustees

Free or low cost volunteer support from CITA – IT help for charities

CITA provide support with the information technology side of digital and technology. They can help you review what you have and plan projects such as changing hardware, procuring and rolling out new software. Their review service is free during the coronavirus crisis. Other services charge small administration costs.

Best for:

  • changing hardware and software across lots of staff and volunteers
  • procuring financial systems or other digital products to use across an organisation
  • queries about networking and security
  • dealing with telephony and IT.

To get the most out of it:

  • register for free and then decide whether you need a review, advisory or delivery service.

Register with CITA

Free support with data science from DataKind UK

DataKind connect volunteers with charities and other community organisations to help you work out what to do with large or complex sets of data you have collected. DataKind volunteers understand the software and tools to help you understand what your data can actually tell you.

Best for:

  • answering questions about how to get the most out of data – you can book an ‘Office Hours’ slot with their volunteers
  • transforming the way your organisation thinks about data if they select you for one of their longer term projects.

To get the most out of it:

  • read about how their Datadive and Datacorps initiatives work. Decide if they are something you could commit to and then apply, to really get to grips with data.

DataKind UK ‘What we do’ page

Longer term free volunteer support via Media Trust

Media Trust run a volunteer platform for advertising opportunities and finding volunteers. They also run dedicated programmes where they get more involved in the volunteer matching and support the exchange. They cover all kinds of digital and creative media roles. Their speciality is helping groups get their voices heard in text, video and audio formats.

Best for:

  • volunteers from the creative industries including film making
  • organisations who work with young people or other marginalised groups who deserve to be heard.

To get the most out of it:

  • sign up for their newsletter as well as advertising your opportunities, so that you hear about specialist programmes.

Media Trust newsletter sign up
Media Trust volunteer platform

Other ways to find support

There are many other volunteer support schemes available. Some of them are local. Others exist as a temporary response to the coronavirus crisis. We recommend two main ways to stay connected with new opportunities.

Get connected locally

  • Post opportunities with your local volunteer centre. Find your local volunteer centre by postcode.
  • Make sure any local support or infrastructure organisations know who you are, and send you information. Find the ones nearest you from our local support and advice for funding page.
  • Search the internet for 'your area' and 'techforgood' or 'your area' and 'netsquared' to find events that aim to bring community enterprises and charities together with digital professionals.
  • Talk to local universities to see if they have any skilled volunteer programmes.

Get networked with digital groups that provide national support

Sign up for newsletters from two key organisations who will share information about new schemes when they start.

  • When you register you can choose what information to receive. Charity Digital.
  • Find the newsletter sign up in the footer if you want regular information. Catalyst.

Last reviewed: 02 March 2021

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021

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