The digital race; can we keep up the pace?

“Who hasn’t heard of Wikipedia?”

I sat with a dumbfounded look on my face. Surely he can’t mean the Wikipedia that receives 68 millions visitors every month? I looked round to see a number of hands shoot up.

As a member of generation Y I was shocked by the question, but the obvious need for it to be raised enlightened me. Despite recent strides by non profit organisations to engage effectively with the digital world, there is still plenty of work to be done.

The potential of Twitter and Facebook for even the smallest grassroots campaigns to garner exposure is clear. But many organisations are still unable to effectively engage with these tools either due to a lack of training, a lack of understanding (often by those in management) or a lack of confidence in using them.

I am a strong believer that charitable organisations need to review the structure of their boards to include more young people or those with a sharper eye for digital trends and tools which are available.

A quick parallel I always draw is to look at your office and working practices in 1995 and compare it with a typical office in 2010. A big change, I know.

Through involving more young people in governance, charitable organisations will be better placed to engage more effectively with web 2.0 technology and to benefit from the exposure and networking opportunities that are on offer.

That said, the non profit community is working hard to collaborate and support one another. Sites such as Because It’s Good and the project that I work on; KnowHow NonProfit are great places to network and share best practice within the sector.

In an attempt to play our part in improving digital awareness and skills in the sector, knowhownonprofit.org recently ran a marketing and communications event for BME focused organisations. Our final session entitled “The World’s turning Digital: Your digital skills,” featured a video that we commissioned with the “Race for 2012 Digital Inclusion Taskforce.” This highlights how residents of the Pembury Housing Estate in Hackney have improved their lives through learning new ICT skills and engaging with the internet.

This article is preaching to the converted, however it is our job to convert the masses.

Posted on 16th April 2010, by dclarkson84, under Charity landscape, Opinion

Tags: awareness, charity, digital, governance, inclusion, non, profit