COVID-19 has forced charities to quickly digitise their services. Charity Digital News examines how this change could be for the better.
The Coronavirus pandemic poses a serious challenge to the operations of charities of every type. That’s because the lockdown restrictions brought in to get the pandemic under control make charity fundraising very difficult indeed: charity shop networks are closed, and fundraising events have been cancelled. Digital fundraising, including virtual events, has become the only option for many charities, and that means service delivery activities will inevitably be impacted.
But the story gets worse – because normal service delivery channels are directly impacted by COVID-19 as well. With lockdown restrictions in place, it is all but impossible to deliver services face-to-face. And on top of this, many staff members have been furloughed or are working from home, meaning that charities have had to make drastic and sudden changes to the way they manage staff, teams, and projects.
ONLINE SERVICE DELIVERY
The good news is that many agile charities have been able to make rapid switches to online service delivery. For example, the National Childbirth Trust is now offering antenatal online courses to mums-to-be, St Barnabas Hospice has put together a digital bereavement guide, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is providing online support groups via Zoom, and many other charities are offering telephone- or internet-based support sessions for individuals or groups.
But there is more good news as well. There are signs that the sudden forced change to charity operations, and the move to online service delivery, may produce valuable benefits that will last long after the pandemic has ended
For example, by moving to online channels for service delivery, and perhaps by adopting a different tone to suit the medium, some digital leaders have succeeded in reaching new audiences for their services. When things get back to a more normal footing it will be possible to go back to traditional service delivery channels, but also to retain this new online customer base.
Source: Charity Digital News