It’s 2018 and we are all huge consumers of digital. From scrolling through social networks to watching news stories live online, we now expect brands of all shapes and sizes to be offering everything and anything they can online, Charities included.
Think about this for a second. What if every single charity in the world could deliver their services digitally?
In this year’s Global Digital report from We Are Social and Hootsuite, it is now revealed that more than half of the world’s population uses the Internet and two thirds of the world’s population owns a mobile phone. Suddenly your audience grew overnight. Charities are entering an age where location doesn’t always matter, because the world of digital is everywhere.
Time is limitless when it comes to digital too. There is no 9 to 5 online. The digital world never sleeps and neither does the work of charities have to. Digital allows us to get help and find help immediately.
Think about the services your charity offers. Do you invite your audience to fill in forms before an assessment? Do you send these forms in the post and expect to receive them back in the post? Does your charity spend hours on the phone discussing possible symptoms with a patient? Do your fundraisers and supporters get frustrated with waiting for a response or an answer?
A Solution for Many
We recently worked with RCJ Advice Bureau and Freshfields to develop a web application called CourtNav that met a need.
RCJ Advice Bureau found that much of their solicitor's valuable pro-bono time was being taken up helping people complete court forms for straightforward civil cases such as divorce, meaning they were less able to help those with more complex needs.
It was felt that many clients would be able to go through this process themselves if it weren't for the complex, unfriendly legal wording. And so, we created a digital solution for them.
At Electric Putty, we created an application which allows clients to easily produce and print the court-ready PDF forms required for their divorce applications from a series of simple, gentle questions.
As a result of CourtNav, efficiency has been increased and the application has been trialled at RCJ Advice Bureau in London with great success. Since launch, dozens have been able to go through the process, empowering them to attain divorces in what is for many, a very difficult situation.
Answers to Real-Life Questions
Working with Crohn’s & Colitis, we created an application called ‘Companion’, for patients to navigate their way through the experience of having Crohn’s Disease or Colitis. Whether managing symptoms or looking for further advice about travelling with either disease or getting extra support from those who know, the website answers real-life questions whatever the journey of each individual patient.
The Companion has been extremely well received by the Crohn’s and Colitis UK community, helping people find the information they need, when they need it.
Committing to ‘Digital Good’
CAST are an agency changing the shape of the charity and digital sectors. Describing themselves as ‘driving social change with digital technology’, CAST are educating nonprofits on the opportunities that await them when they combine digital technology with existing fundraising objectives. CAST offer a funded programme called Fuse for small charities https://wearecast.org.uk/for-nonprofits/fuse/ and have worked with the sector to develop design principles for digital services https://betterdigital.services/about/
With development and solutions emerging, it’s exciting to see the change developing in the charity sector.Using tech innovation to deliver services means that charities can improve they way they deliver social change - - the reason each charity exists.
So what’s the solution? Get as much of your charity as possible online. Create that online form. Develop that symptom checker app. Build an online fundraising platform. Do it now before you lose the real value in what your charity can give.