Many charities are well up to speed - or even ahead of the curve - in the digital world we all now live in. Examples that come to mind are Diabetes UK, War Child, Sightsavers, the Children’s Society, RNLI and WaterAid, all of which have produced inventive and successful projects or campaigns recently.
Agencies and suppliers in the digital industry are also impressed by the way charities, in contrast to the private sector, are prepared to be open and share their experience with each other in the rest of the sector.
But the picture is not consistent, and there are many charities, especially smaller ones, that are unsure what to do - or know what they want to do, but don’t feel they can afford it. The regulatory aspects of charity digital activity have also been highlighted recently – whether donors are given appropriate opportunities to opt out, for example, and the trading of data.
Third Sector has always sought to follow the rise and rise of digital and related matters, principally in our fundraising, finance and communications channels. Digital Campaign of the Week, a series of case studies, has been a regular feature over the years, for example.
But research among Third Sector readers has indicated that the transition to digital is now one of their chief concerns, and we think the time has come to shift our output to a different level. The pace of change is accelerating, and the need to change is more urgent.
So from today we are extending, enhancing and consolidating our output by launching a digital channel on our website and introducing the new digital email bulletin that will go out to subscribers every Friday afternoon.
There will be a strong emphasis on good practice, case studies, advice and opinion, as well as the latest news stories. We have recruited new columnists and expert writers, briefed to concentrate on ground-breaking ideas and realistic propositions for charities on tight budgets.
Our approach is summarised in our strapline: Helping Charities to Win Online. We hope readers will find Third Sector Digital useful, and we would welcome feedback so we can develop and improve it as time goes on.