The UK’s first Charity Digital Code of Practice has launched today following an extensive consultation and input from across the sector.
The Code, which has been produced to provide charities with practical advice on incorporating digital technology into their work, has been funded by Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation. It has been managed by a steering group of representatives from across the sector and chaired by independent digital expert Zoe Amar. It is voluntary and free to access for all charities.
The need for The Charity Digital Code of Practicewas identified following the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2017 , which showed only 48% of charities have full basic digital skills , and 50% of charity leaders lack confidence in introducing digital change .
The new code is a key product for the Digital Skills Partnership, which brings together organisations from all sectors to increase digital capability in a collaborative way. It represents an effort from within the sector to level the playing field with other industries and improve the sustainability, impact, and efficiency of charities across the UK. It aims to help organisations deliver on their charitable purpose in an increasingly digital age.
The Code has identified seven principles to be considered by charities wishing to develop their digital activity. The principles cover best practice relating to leadership, beneficiaries and other stakeholders, culture, strategy, skills, adaptability and managing risks and ethics. It also sets out how to measure success when making changes to digital.
Following a consultation period and input from charities of all sizes, a number of resources are being produced to help organisations implement advice from the code. Resources will include how-to guides, video case studies and tips from other charities.
A version of the code has been produced for small charities alongside tailored
resources to help charities with tighter budgets and less capacity to understand where they can make improvements. This aspect of the code has been a particular priority for the steering group due to the revelation from the 2018 Charity Digital Skills report that 58% of charities see funding as their biggest obstacle to digital progress.
As well as increasing digital motivation, confidence and skills within the charity sector workforce, advice from the
Code will make charities more accessible for beneficiaries and create new opportunities for funders to
engage with digital activity. It’s also hoped that the launch, which coincides with Trustees’ Week, will
encourage the more than one million charity trustees across the UK engage with the Code and find out more
using digital activity to help their vital work.
Charities can access The Charity Digital Code of Practice code here and join the conversation about the Code by using the hashtag #CharityDigitalCode .