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15 free digital communications resources for charities to use during the coronavirus pandemic

6 April 2020

by Media Trust



15 minute read

As we face a global shift to working remotely and socially isolating for the upcoming months, charities, large and small, are having to effectively leverage their digital communications in order to reach their audiences.

We understand it’s a particularly difficult time for the sector, so below we have collated some of the best resources being offered for free to charities and non-profits. We’ve grouped these resources into four main topics: Digital Fundraising, Digital Marketing, Digital Leadership and Remote Working.

Digital Fundraising

  • Funraisin: In light of COVID-19, Funraisin are offering charities free virtual, social and DIY fundraising site packages. They are transforming their bespoke Funraisin platforms into beautifully designed templated packages, so charities can use these as eye-catching campaigns on their own websites to raise funds. You can see examples of completed webpages and choose an appeal that suits you here.
  • The Digital Fundraising Book: In response to charities currently struggling for donations or having to cancel their fundraising events, Matt Haworth Of Reason Digital is offering The Digital Fundraising Book as a free download. From ‘Understanding the basics’ to ‘Creating a Journey’ to ‘Growing a Digital Audience’, this is a step-by-step guide for charities and non-profits to understand how to garner essential support through donations and fundraising online.

Digital Marketing

  • Google Skillshop: Google Skillshop have designed simple e-learning courses that help you master Google tools for everyday work. Learn how to utilise their products to their fullest to develop your charity or non-profit, including their Marketing Platform and Ad Manager, and receive a product certification to showcase your learning.
  • Digital Candle: Digital Candle are offering free one-hour calls with their 100+ digital experts in order to ensure business continuity in the charity sector. Head to their website to book your call with one of their brilliant volunteers, you can discuss anything from ‘reducing the admin burden’ during COVID-19 to ‘developing a digital strategy’.
  • Cast, Coffee Connections: Unite with and learn from others in the charity sector with Coffee Connections. CAST are encouraging conversation and knowledge sharing (virtually) through their free matching service, it’s a simple, straight forward sign up and every two months they will match you with someone new in the sector.
  • Canva: A favourite for creating gorgeous and impactful media content and designs, Canva is offering it’s premium service for free to charities and non-profits. Empower your organisation’s message further with their easy-to-use graphic design tools, and variety of templates.
  • Smart Insights: If you need some guidance in communicating how COVID-19 is impacting your business at the moment, Smart Insights have collated a list of examples of how the crisis comms teams of various global companies are responding. They delve into best practise and notifications for your channels, helping you keep your staff and online audience fully informed.

Digital Leadership

  • NCVO – KnowHow: NCVO have made their previously members-only resources page, KnowHow, free to access for all. KnowHow is teeming with tools, resources and guides for all your organisational needs during this difficult time, from advice on risk management to campaign strategy guidance to ‘fundraising in tough times’, NCVO’s vast knowledge bank is absolutely worth a browse.
  • Thirdsectorlab – Zoom calls: Thirdsectorlab specialises in consultancy, training and strategy to encourage and aid charities in becoming more digitally-savvy – Director Ross McCulloch is hosting weekly Zoom calls for charities in partnership with SCVO to encourage connecting and learning amongst the sector during the Covid-19 outbreak. Updates with details for weekly calls can be found on his Twitter page.
  • Charity Digital: Charity Digital’s Trustee Zoe Amar has written a guide on ‘How to become a digital leader overnight’, responding to the pressure that many in the charity sector will feel in the face of these pressing times in order to keep their organisations running online. Addressing needs such as having to ‘learn alongside your staff’ and not ‘worrying about having all the answers’, Zoe provides a clear plan for charity workers to consider.

Remote working

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn have recently made one of their professional development learning paths available for free – Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Team Up for Success. Usually a paid-for service, the mini-course walks you through the various aspects of keeping a team cohesive and operating consistently whilst working remotely. Broken down into separate, easily digestible  videos, it offers advice and tips on ‘Time Management’ to ‘Leading Virtual Teams’ and much more.
  • Meero: In order to facilitate the global rise in remote working, Meero are offering free large file transfers on their platform. By increasing storage capacity to 10 Gigabytes and 3 months of validity duration of files shared via MeeroDrop, you can ensure your team have all the documentation and files they need to make their work from home smooth and efficient.
  • ProMo Cymru: ProMo Cymru have a resource page on their website dedicated to digital resources for the third and youth sector in Wales during COVID-19. Here you can find information and advice on working with various communities including LGBT+ and young people in Wales, and links to their Digital Skills webinar and the Coronavirus Tech Handbook.
  • Catalyst: Catalyst work to bring social purpose to the heart of the digital revolution, their website includes handy, easy to follow short guides on choosing the right video calling tool for your charity, or how to stay connected remotely during self-isolation.
  • Autistica: Autistica is the UK’s leading autism research charity. As many are sure to struggle with the mass shift to remote working, more so are those with autism if online events are not made accessible. Autistica have a helpful page addressing this, providing tips to ensure that your virtual meetings, web-based events or webinars are more accessible for those with additional needs.

If there is anything else you think we should add to this list, please get in touch at trainingandevents@mediatrust.org.

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