New £1m funding scheme to improve charity digital skills

DataIQ News

The Government has launched a £1 million fund to improve digital leadership skills in the charity sector, amid fears that organisations are being left behind due to a lack of expertise.

The creation of the Digital Leadership Fund is part of a commitment in August’s Civil Society Strategy to help charities build their digital confidence and follows a report from Lloyds Bank which revealed that more than 100,000 third-sector organisations - nearly half of the registered charities in the UK - lack basic digital skills.

Training available for charities will include learning how to maximise online fundraising tools, build a social media presence or modernise their operational delivery by embedding updated IT systems. It may also include learning how to harness emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to achieve their charitable objectives.

Grants of between £10,000 and £170,000 are being made available, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport particularly keen on receiving applications that cover more than one location, involve areas outside of London or include a peer-learning aspect to the training.

However, the funding must be used to improve or expand existing training programmes and not the creation of new courses.

Secretary of State for DCMS Jeremy Wright said:  “We want charitable organisations to thrive in the digital age and are committed to helping them get the most out of technology, which can act as an enormous force for good.

“Through this programme, charity leaders will have more opportunities to enhance skills and boost employee confidence while creating a greater and more positive impact on people and their communities.”

The deadline for Digital Leadership Fund applications is December 7.