Overview

  • Digital technology was seen as very important to achieving their mission by half of small charities.
  • 17% say they are very confident in their use of digital technology.
  • Three -quarters of small charities say their most urgent support need is basic equipment for digital working, such as laptops and tablets.
  • Three in five (59%) require support in redesigning services for online delivery during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Lack of funding and lack of skills or knowledge were the biggest barriers for small charities to engaging with the digital and data agenda more fully

How much do small charities value digital technology?

  • Small charities are slightly less likely than large or major charities to feel that digital technology is very important for achieving their mission (2020).
  • The proportion of small charities saying that digital technology is very important for achieving their mission increased to 53% in 2020 from 23% in 2017.

What support do small charities need with digital?

  • Three-quarters (74%) of small charities need basic equipment for digital working such as laptops and tablets, with a further 39% needing IT hardware such as phones, conference phones, printers and routers.
  • 59% are also in need of IT support services, particularly design services online (e.g. creating websites, training on using platforms, advice on cloud etc).

How confident are small charities that they are making the best use of digital technology?

  • In 2020, small charities are more likely to be very confident they are making best use of technology than large and major charities.
  • Two in five small charities are not very or not at all confident in their use of digital technology.

What are the barriers to better engagement in digital technology?

  • Lack of funding (41%) and lack of skills or knowledge (41%) were the biggest barriers for small charities to engaging with the digital and data agenda more fully.
  • Small charities are more likely to think that there are no barriers compared to large charities.
insights

Trading and Enterprise

Explore data on how small charities earn their money through trading, social enterprise and delivering contracts

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insights

Main challenges facing small charities

Explore data on the main challenges facing small charities, from raising income to workload

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Further reading

New Philanthropy Capital 2020 State of the Sector 2020: The condition of charities before the Covid-19 crisis 

New Philanthropy Capital 2017 State of the Sector: Charities taking charge: Transforming to face a changing world 

New Philanthropy Capital 2017 State of the Sector: Flipping the narrative: Essays on transformation from the sector’s boldest voices 

New Philanthropy Capital 2016 State of the Sector: Boldness in times of change: Rethinking the charity sector for the future 

Lloyds Bank UK Business and Charity Digital Index

Charities Aid Foundation 2019 CAF Charity Landscape 2019

IVAR & CAST 2019 Start somewhere: Key findings from an exploratory study into making technology imaginable and usable for small voluntary organisations

Useful resources

The Charity Digital Code of Practice For charity professionals looking to get more strategic with digital

Better Digital Design principles to help charities build better digital services

Charity Comms 2019 How to write a digital strategy for smaller charities

New Philanthropy Capital State of the Sector Programme