Regulator publishes guide for trustees on using digital technology

The Charity Commission hopes that board members can use the publication to consider where their charities could be helped by new technology

The Charity Commission has launched a new guide to help trustees use digital technology to run, promote and fundraise for their charities.

The guide, Making Digital Work: 12 questions for trustees to consider, was published on the regulator’s website today and covers the areas that the commission says every board should be considering when approaching digital.

Trustees will also be able to ask questions about digital technologies for the rest of the day in a live Twitter Q&A session using the hashtag #digitaltrustees.

Questions will be answered by Sarah Atkinson, director of policy and communications at the commission, and Zoe Amar, director of the digital marketing firm Zoe Amar Communications, which helped to develop the guide alongside the commission and the accountancy firm Grant Thornton.

In a statement, Atkinson said the commission wanted to reassure trustees with low IT skills or confidence levels that support was available.

"Our questions by no means cover every single aspect of digital, but we hope trustees can use them to start a conversation about how they can plan for and respond to digital change in their organisations and determine where technology can add value," she said.

The guide includes questions about whether digital is being used in governance decision-making, whether new trustees are briefed on the charity’s digital policy, whether there are board members with the skills to use digital and whether digital can be used as part of a charity’s strategy, fundraising and service delivery.

It also looks at whether digital is being used to enhance the charity’s brand, how charities can manage reputational risks such as online criticism, whether it can be used to enhance fundraising, whether the charity needs additional resources to engage in digital and whether any of its services could be automated.

Charities should also consider what cyber security measures to take and what a successful digital strategy should look like, the guide says.

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