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Have you read the Charity Digital Code of Practice?

Over 4 billion people worldwide use the internet and 3.2 billion are on social media therefore charities of all size need to carefully consider their own digital presence and the skills of their teams and trustees to widen the audiences they reach and therefore increase their ability to reach out, communicate, fundraise and deliver their objectives. Having a good understanding of the Charity Digital Code of Practice and how it can be used is really important to assess your existing digital policies and procedures and highlight where improvements can be made.

The UK’s first Digital Code of Practice for charities was launched in late 2018, and provides practical advice for charities both large and small Categorised by those with incomes under £1m and over £1m on how to improve their digital capabilities. This code follows on from a report from Lloyds Bank that showed less than half of charities have access to the full range of basic digital skills needed for them to remain relevant and prosper in the digital age. It also found that often it is charity leaders that lack the confidence to implement the necessary changes.

It is hoped that charities will use the code as a ‘practical tool’ to identify what they are doing well and any gaps they need to address. It is envisaged that the organisations using digital will also regularly review their progress against the Code.

The Code sets out seven key principles for all charities to address:

  1. Leadership Charity leaders must lead on digital as a way of helping their charities be relevant and sustainable. They must understand its relevance to the strategy and governance of the charity to help them to realise their vision.
  2. User led Charities should make the needs and behaviours of beneficiaries and other stakeholders the starting point for everything they do digitally.
  3. Culture Charities’ values, behaviours and ways of working should create the right environment for digital success.
  4. Strategy Charities’ strategies should be ambitious about how they can use digital to achieve their vision and mission increasing the impact and sustainability of their activity.
  5. Skills Charities should aim for digital skills to be represented at all levels of the organisation.

The code identifies both technical and soft skills as being important to charities as well as the confidence, motivation and attitude of the people leading and volunteering.

  1. Managing risk and ethics Charities need to determine and manage any risks involved in digital.
  2. Adaptability Charities will need to adapt to survive and thrive as digital affects how everyone lives and works.

If you haven’t looked at these principles or the full code yet, it is important to familiarise yourself with it. If you would like to discuss how the code impacts on your policies or procedures please get in touch with our team.

Marianne Webb is a Partner at Gullands