4 Essential Digital Skills your Non-profit can learn

March 12, 2019 George Waters

With online giving growing 5.5% in 2018, having digital skills in your organisation has never been more important. Just like the rest of the UK economy charities are becoming more digital, and those that succeed are transforming. Whilst digital skills used to be siloed to the IT team, now these abilities are highly sought after in all parts of non-profits.

The good news is that 62% of charities are actively improving the digital skills within their organisation. But finding the time, the budget and a course that suits your learning style can be difficult.

We’ve picked out 4 some of the most sought-after digital skills by charities today, and the ways you or your team can learn them.

Learn how to code

Gaining the skills to code is invaluable these days. Whilst you may not need to be a full-on developer, having the skills to edit HTML on a webpage or email campaign can be vital within your team. It can also save you time and money on a simple fix which you’d otherwise have to outsource out to a developer.

In recent years there’s been a revolution in coding resources, which suit whatever type of learner you are. The best part is that most of them are free! Learn at your own pace with something like CodeAcademy or FreeCodeCamp. Or if you prefer meeting in person you can attend one of the many coding Meetups across the U - FreeCodeCamp even run their own events across the UK through the site!

Become social media savvy

Whether you’re a lover or a loather or social media, you can’t escape it in the charity sector. Beyond meme sharing, it can be a great way to spread awareness of your cause. Having the skills to communicate and share valuable content with supporters is invaluable to your cause.

There’s plenty of resources out there for you. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of social media, the essentials of creating your first content strategy or more advanced techniques such as running paid adverts. Some of the best resources out there come from social media management platforms you may already be using, such as HubSpot and Hootsuite. These courses provide novices with the fundamentals, and help you become experts with their software at the same time.  

Become a digital marketing expert

If you’re looking to expand your beyond social media, you can become a digital marketing expert. Whether you’re interested in learning how to run your first search marketing ads, want to improve your position in Google or have an idea for a marketing campaign, it’s essential to have the digital prowess to execute them.

As the importance of digital marketing has grown, so too have the education platforms available. For a broad overview Google Digital Garage is a great place to start. There’s also a host of MOOCs (massively online open courses) which provide quality courses from email marketing to blogging techniques. Many of these are run by departments at leading universities, giving you access to some renowned lecturers across the globe. Some of the most comprehensive can be found on FutureLearn, edX and Coursera.

Training on the software you use everyday

It’s very easy to get distracted with the latest shiny new toy in digital, but some of the most effective training can be on the software we overlook.

When we start our roles, we get thrown in the deep end with software, and get the practical understanding of how we need to use it in every day. But without getting solid training it means you’re probably more inefficient than you realise.

The best example is Excel, which when mastered can make you the wizard of your workplace. Usually these days software has their own dedicated resource centre which you can access for free, and if not there’s usually whole playlists of training videos on YouTube.

For more in-depth software like CRM, it’s often best to get bespoke training to suit your work places needs. Making sure you get the most out of you CRM can completely alter how you interact with your donors, cut down on admin and maximise your fundraising capability.

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