Going digital: charity service delivery post-lockdown
The covid pandemic and lockdowns have forced charities and organisations, big and small, to adjust how they support those they assist. Agile organisations have responded by transforming services, often to include digital service delivery with vital support including video calls or online group sessions, as well as enhancing website information and signposting. For many this shift hasn’t purely been temporary; it’s opened up new opportunities and prompted strategic re-evaluation.
Craigmyle has been working with organisations across sectors, such as youth, medical and disability charities who are adjusting their digital service delivery to respond to these opportunities.
Key questions arising from these new digital services are:
- Can we better reach isolated or hard – to reach people/communities?
- Can we increase our impact by supporting more people?
- Can we expand our geographical reach beyond our traditional physical location/areas?
- What are other organisations doing, and developing? Are there opportunities for partnership working?
- Are new digital services in addition to face-to- face services? How will they integrate? In some circumstances will they replace them?
New projects or services can be attractive for funders, with some explicitly stating a focus on innovative or new work. It is also worth researching funders with a specific focus on digital technology. To access this funding, organisations will need to have gathered evidence and data of the impact of the new services during lockdown and be clear about how the new services will operate and be sustainable going forward. Organisations could be planning a formal pilot or testing phase, or may already have enough learning to want to roll out their new digital service delivery. Funders will want to know if your organisation is committing any of its reserves to this new venture, and how the new service will become sustainable over the longer-term.
Set-up costs should include any further skills development and any new technology, as well as a contribution to core costs.
Don’t forget to build in how you’ll communicate with new service users and partner organisations.
Read about one organisation’s development of virtual services