Finance: New association for sector IT staff

A coalition of charities is to form a professional association for voluntary sector IT staff after a survey found that many needed more support.

The Charity IT Resource Alliance (Citra) is expanding to become a membership services organisation.

The new service, which will be launched in December, was inspired by a poll of 158 IT staff in voluntary and community organisations. About three-quarters of respondents said they would welcome the chance to join such a membership group.

The survey also found that IT staff wanted more networking opportunities within the sector and opportunities for training and career development.

Mary Foley, development director of Citra, said: "At the moment, there are professional associations for IT employees in the private and public sectors, but not for those working in voluntary and community organisations."

Foley explained that third sector IT staff feel undervalued in comparison to staff in other sectors. "We have been talking to them about providing some kind of professional development service that would be a forum for discussion," she said.

She added that IT directors wanted to play a greater part in voluntary sector strategy-making processes so that they were "part of the decision and not just added on afterwards". The original Citra alliance was formed 18 months ago.

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