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The Power of Digital to Transform Charity Communications

Su-Mei Thompson Headshot

13 December 2018

by Su-Mei Thompson

CEO at Media Trust.



5 minute read

Media Trust’s Chief Executive Su-Mei Thompson explains why we’re firmly focused on increasing the digital skills of the charity sector and what Media Trust’s new online Resource Hub hopes to achieve.

We are super excited today to be launching Media Trust’s new online Resource Hub supported by Google.org.

We know that charities need to harness the power of digital so they can be part of the conversation in our fast-paced digital world – or risk being left behind. We also believe that building the digital communications skills of charities so they can more efficiently and effectively demonstrate their impact and how they are achieving their charitable purpose is critical to shore up support for, and restore trust in, the sector.

The facts

The 2018 Charity Digital Skills Report highlighted some worrying trends for the sector: over 45% of charities don’t have a digital strategy despite 73% believing that improving their digital skills would help their organisation grow its network and deliver more effectively on strategy. For over 50% of charities, funding constraints are the biggest barrier to getting more digitally savvy. Indeed, more than 40% of the respondents to Media Trust’s own Charity Survey earlier this year said they have less than £5k annually to spend on marketing and communications and paying for digital skills training is a huge challenge in that context.

Over 45% of charities don’t have a digital strategy despite 73% believing that improving their digital skills would help their organisation grow its network and deliver more effectively on strategy.

That’s what the research is telling us. At Media Trust, we also know first-hand from our work with thousands of charities across the UK how under-resourced most non-profits are when it comes to marketing budget and comms expertise. We know how hard it is for staff members to commit to attending training and development programmes when they’re so busy putting out fires and how frustrating it is to go on a course and then find it doesn’t cover what you’re looking for. We’re also hugely aware of the geographic divide which sees training and resources concentrated in, and most readily accessible to charities based in, London and the South East.

The potential of digital

Our new Resource Hub is designed to address many of these challenges. It will provide charities across the UK with access to free e-learning resources from a range of partners and experts so they can learn at any time, any place and at their own pace.

At Media Trust, we’re excited about the potential of digital to transform the way charities communicate and engage with stakeholders. We’re excited to see the huge impact digital can have on an individual charity’s ability to tell their story in multimedia formats and via multiple channels. And we’re excited by the potential that going digital allows to track, analyse and understand data and trends that will enable charities to be more strategic and focused. We hope in its own small way the Hub will contribute to an acceleration in the pace of positive social change in the UK.

As always, we would value your thoughts and feedback – please visit the Hub and write to me at [email protected] to let us know your first impressions.

Warm regards,

Su-Mei Thompson

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