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Our top tips on what charities' can do in the online space

Following on from the launch of our latest State of the Art review: Charities' use of the internet, we have put together a few tips on what Charities' should consider when thinking about their online strategy.

1.) Grab a partner...
One of our report’s key recommendations is that charities should use partnerships to develop their use of technology – linking with those who understand the potential of technology and matching it to their own expertise within the third sector.  Potential help can come from: sidekickschool.org, wemakejam.org, or socialbysocial.com

2.) Meet up and find out...
There are lots of communities & organisations (online and offline) that provide advice and support in developing new uses of digital technology and managing security issues:  NCVO, LASA, iT4Communities, Charity Technology Exchange, navcaboodle.org.uk or Social Media Surgeries.

3.) Leadership...
Trying something new, especially something that could have such a considerable bearing on business practises takes strong leadership. But leadership doesn’t only come from the top of the organisation (although permission giving often does).  MDs should look for passionate, tech savvy people in their organisation and ask them identify how it can start using digital technology.
                
4.) Start with an end in mind...
Some of the charities referenced in the report are described as ‘virtual organisations’ as the majority of their work is delivered through the web. Although they are great examples of what can be achieved, organisations can also focus on one or two clear business/charitable objectives and begin to explore how digital can support them.  By building from their own needs, any new uses of technology are likely to be more sustainable and beneficial to the organisation in the longer term. Fundraising help can come from missionfish.org, and marketing and comms help from Media Trust.
                    
5.) Get a free start...
There’s a wealth of resources available to help start and grow an effective use of digital technology.  Charity Technology Trust, Lasa andIT4Communities all offer free or heavily discounted products and services for charities.  There’s also useful advice, discussion and links on Twitter.