Exploiting digital tech – trustee guide, volunteer experience

A short new guide which aims to help charity trustees exploit digital technology has been published by the Charity Commission, with input from Grant Thornton and Zoe Amar Communications. The guide consists of key questions for boards to consider, covering 12 areas such as service delivery, fundraising, governance, brand.

See the news release or go direct to the publication page for ‘12 Questions about digital for trustees‘ (web and pdf formats). There is also an article giving more background on The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network, written by a Commission official and almost longer than the guide itself.

Digital and the volunteer experience

Open University funding has enabled some research on what uses are currently made of digital media to support volunteers’ experience, what challenges are raised and what the future holds for further exploitation of such technologies in the sector.

Welsh voluntary sector umbrella body WCVA has an article looking at the key themes from the preliminary research by the VolEx Research Group.

Researchers found that the presence of an enthusiastic digital advocate made a real difference to the take up of new technologies and practices.  A further critical success factor was the extent to which the use of digital media was tailored to the organisations goals.

Applications like Facebook can make volunteers more visible in the organisation and create a sense of belonging, despite geographical distance. Digital communication can allow co-ordination of a widely dispersed volunteer team, and hence wider coverage of services. It allows volunteers to make their contribution, in client support for example, or involvement in decision making, even if they live in remote areas.

The first report can be found on the research group’s web pages.(published June 2016, 3 pages, 406KB).