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Digital Skills Audits – Tools, Capacity and Resources Moving Forward

Charities during the pandemic have had to adapt quickly with many volunteers and employees having to learn digital skills as they go. It is therefore essential moving forward that charities undertake a digital skills audit to identify training needs as well as their strengths and weaknesses in improving their digital capabilities.

Charities are rapidly improving their use of digital tools and resources across their organisation, from fundraising to service delivery. But a lack of digital skills is still a major barrier to many charities fulfilling their full potential, according to the latest evidence.

What is a digital skills audit?

A digital skills audit – audits the digital skills within an organisation. Carrying out an audit highlights where there are shortages and uses analysis and evaluation to identify any weaknesses.

Data from the audit can be used to plan training and prioritise areas where digital skills are needed swiftly. A digital skills audit can also highlight strengths that charity leaders did not even know existed within the organisation.

For more information on a digital skills audit and how your organisation might conduct one see Charity Digital News article on the subject by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

JustGiving Launches Free Charity Processing Service

JustGiving has launched ‘Giving Checkout’ a free donation processing service for its charity customers, enabling them to collect direct donations via their own websites, social media and other digital channels, plus promote it offline with a web address or QR code.

A direct donation is recognised as a payment from a donor intended to be paid directly to a specific charity. JustGiving aren’t charging charities with a payment processing fees, as donors using this service will be given the opportunity to cover the payment processing fee or JustGiving will cover the payment processing fee for charities using Giving Checkout where donors opt-out of covering the fee.

Charities are also able to access to all donor data.

To read the Civil Society’s Article in full click here.

Source: Civil Society News

New NCVO Digital Guide

Reduce your charity’s digital skills gap with NCVO’s new digital, data and technology guidance for a step-by-step guide, advice, and support on making digital work for your organisation. The guide has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the content covers all the information you need to help you take control of the digital skills within your organisation.

To access the guide and it’s resources click here.

EU Citizens need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30th June 2021

Did you know that if you’re an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you and your family have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status), to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021? You can also apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.

Why do you have to apply?
Settled status for EU citizens will guarantee access to:
• Public services, such as healthcare and schools.
• Public funds and pensions.
• British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply.

Do you need help with your application?
If you can’t apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by using the EU Exit ID document check app, Birmingham City Council provides the ID Scanning and Verification Service, to help and support citizens with their applications. It is an appointment only service that the council’s Register Office provides free of charge. The ID Scanning and Verification Service is also available during lockdown. Book an appointment here.

Specialised local organisations in Birmingham have been commissioned to assist people with their applications. The advice and support is free. See the list here.

Charity Websites: Why Accessibility Matters

Andrew Coleman from Catalyst talks about why charity websites need to be accessible, and how to deliver it. Accessibility is particularly important for those charities whose service users are likely to have a disability but this is something that all charity services should take into account whatever their user group. 

It is extremely frustrating for individuals with sight loss when there is a site they simply can’t access, especially when it holds information they need to access. For instance, if they need to book a ticket and fill out a form, and can’t, it can be extremely difficult.

In Andrew’s article he focuses in on some of the challenges individuals face when accessibility isn’t considered. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Catalyst

Charity Commission CEO Explains that Charities Are Allowed to Campaign and to Take Controversial Positions in Support of Their Purpose

Helen Stephenson, Charity Commission CEO reflects on the National Trust case and gives some welcome reassurance for charities, as she explains “Charities are allowed to campaign and to take controversial positions in support of their purpose”.

Helen goes on to explain that it is a central tenet of charity law – and a basic public expectation – that everything a charity does must be to further its charitable purpose. The law makes it clear that trustees have wide discretion about how they do this. It is therefore not for the Commission to tell trustees what is best for their charity or those they exist to serve. But the law requires that decisions must be reasonable in the circumstances, and they should be evidenced, recorded and explained.

Read the full report by clicking here.

Source: DSC

Reforming the Mental Health Act: Have Your Say

The Mental Health Act (1983) is the law that covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a mental health illness. The government are planning to make key changes to the Mental Health Act and a public consultation on these proposed changes is currently open.

The ‘Reforming the MHA’ White Paper sets out the government’s proposals to reform mental health legislation and it includes:

-New guiding principles
-Clearer, stronger detention criteria
-Giving patients more rights to challenge detention
-Strengthening the patient’s right to choose and refuse treatment
-Changes to Community Treatment Orders (CTOs)
-The experiences of people from BAME communities

Following consultation, the government plans to draft a revised Mental Health Bill and eventually a new Act.

Join us on Tuesday 30 March, 1.30pm – 3.00pm, where you will have an opportunity to share your views and have your questions answered in relation to the proposed changes. To register your interest, please go to https://mental_health_act_have_your_say.eventbrite.co.uk.

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to give your views on the proposed changes to the Mental Health Act, please email bchft.communications@nhs.net before 4 April 2021.

Mistakes to Avoid with Digital Fundraising

Are you making errors with your digital fundraising? Mistakes happen however there are a number of mistakes that charities tend to make, and opportunities they commonly miss, when approaching their digital fundraising  that could be avoided.

You may need to rethink your digital fundraising strategy and in Charity Digital News article they discuss common mistakes, what you should be considering and solutions to them. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

A Guide to Digitally Storing Documents

Charity Digital news explains that there are many reasons to store paper documents at your charity’s offices or an external storage facility and  help you to review some of the best methods for digitally storing documents and provide some tips for streamlining the process.

There are many reasons why you need to keep documents for instance HMRC requires you to keep legal and financial documentation, such as invoices, contracts, and bank statements, for six years. If you offer a service that requires you to keep medical records, best practice is to retain them for ten years after the last patient interaction. You may also have documents that relate to donors, service users, volunteers, or research grant recipients that need to be stored safely.

The reasons to go paperless are compelling: costs are lower, security is greater, and any action to reduce the environmental impact of our organisations has become a moral imperative.

To read the article in full click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

How to Build an Impactful and Effective Digital Strategy

Charity Digital News discuss their five simple steps to creating an effective and impactful digital content strategy from scratch.

Content is a form of storytelling and needs to be aligned with your organisation’s goals. It can come in various forms, on various platforms, across various types of media.

The article takes you over their top tips to building an impactful and effective digital strategy with tips including:

  • Setting goals and allocating resources – Setting goals starts with defining what you hope to achieve.
  • Specific – Ensure your goals are specific by asking questions.
  • Measurable – Your specific goals should be measurable.
  • Achievable – How realistic are your goals?
  • Relevant – Keeping things relevant is important, particularly because you need to stay motivated.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

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