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Closing your charity’s digital skills gap

This page is free to all

Use this guidance for information on how you can close your charity's digital skills gap. There are plenty of resources out there to help grow digital skills, whatever your budget.

Where to go for help with digital skills

There are many options for digital skills support. These can include:

  • training (for example webinars, online courses)
  • online resources and guidance
  • conferences
  • mentoring
  • online networks
  • informal support from colleagues
  • support from a line manager.

Your colleagues will need different types of support depending on how they like to learn. It’s good practice to offer some different options for staff. They'll be more likely to engage with developing their digital skills that way.

Free resources

There are many free options for digital skills support. Those options range from entry-level to advanced. You can access free resources online.

  • Carry out a search for tutorial videos. These are short, useful videos showing you how to use digital to solve problems.
  • Research free courses on specific topics. Try to focus on one thing at a time. When you find a course that is useful, share it and invite other people’s opinions.
  • Look out for free online digital training from recognised organisations and foundations.

Here are some key courses to try or places to find support organisations with training programmes.

Learning from colleagues

You can gain digital skills on the job. Some will come from informal interactions with colleagues. This can be a very powerful way to learn. Problem-solving and learning together with your team is fun and informal. It's a good way to absorb knowledge and then apply it straight away.

You can tap into existing digital skills in your charity in several different ways.

  • Ask colleagues to share how they’ve learned about digital. For instance, by subscribing to newsletters or following experts on Twitter. Compile everything into a shared document which everyone can access.
  • Organise teach-ins. Ask a colleague to walk everyone through building a Google form. Do it on a short video call and chat through questions.
  • Look at mentoring. Pair a trustee who is learning about technology with a knowledgeable member of staff. It will build confidence and skills on both sides.

Working with volunteers

If you don’t have the digital skills you need in your team then volunteers can help. Volunteer engagement can be short-lived. Make sure you think about how to learn from their skills and share the benefit with as many people in your charity as possible.

Reflecting digital in job and role descriptions

You know what digital skills you need and those you currently have in your charity. Now look at updating your job and role descriptions for both new and existing roles.

This exercise should raise expectations for how staff and volunteers use tech. Skills are as important as the right mindset.

Next steps

If you’re ready to prioritise digital and run a programme to focus on building skills, read on to the next page in this series.

If you’re not ready to run a programme now make sure you stay connected so you can take advantage of any free opportunities when they come along. See our suggestions for getting connected regionally and locally.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021

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