Google launches free digital skills initiative for small and medium-sized charities

Grow Your Charity Online, run in partnership with the Media Trust and the Charity Technology Trust, offers training, workshops and live events

Google has launched a free initiative designed to help 30,000 small or medium-sized charities boost their fundraising by improving their digital skills.

Grow Your Charity Online, which is being provided in partnership with the Media Trust and the Charity Technology Trust, offers an online learning hub, training, free workshops and live events.

The initiative was launched yesterday and is aimed at charities with annual turnovers of £1m or less.

Participating organisations, which can sign up through the website, will be taught how to use the internet to increase their reach, expand their fundraising and improve their engagement with volunteers.

Charities will be able to apply for free access to online services such as advertising and business apps, which commercial companies have to pay for.

The search engine giant’s UK employees will dedicate a percentage of their work time to the project this year by volunteering their internet expertise at workshops throughout the UK and online.

The organisations declined to reveal how much was being invested in the project.

Matt Brittin, vice-president of Google’s northern and central European operations, said: "The web is essential for charities to access new tools to share stories, help people and raise money.

"Britain’s charities need sustainable, practical methods with which to help themselves grow and really make a difference, and Grow Your Charity Online aims to help these organisations succeed."

Richard Craig, chief executive of the CTT, said: "Due to a lack of resources, very few of the charities we work with are able to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer to help them achieve their missions.

"Without the time or money to invest in it, charities might miss out on the advantages that web analytics, online communications, promotional offers or even a YouTube page can offer them."

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