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How to help your charity with ICT (10 examples)

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is here to make your life easier but are you making the most of it? Here are some simple ways ICT could be used in your organisation.

1

Better service delivery

  • Make it easier for people to communicate with your organisation, using email, telephone, your website and text messaging
  • Reduce missed appointments by using text messaging to confirm times and remind clients
  • Take laptops and other mobile equipment to community centres to provide computer and internet access to support community activities
2

Better access to information for managers

  • Collect, manage and report performance information to help run your organisation better
  • Prepare information for monitoring and report to funders
  • Identify trends, problems and possible solutions
3

Better financial management

  • Accounting software records income and expenditure and helps take care of VAT, tax and PAYE and the requirements of the Charity Commission
  • Use spreadsheets to manage project budgets and produce reports for trustees, managers and funders
4

Better client records

  • Keep client contact information in a database on your network to support shared work inside the organisation as well as with partners, funders and other outside bodies
  • Use remote access services to enable staff to access up-to-date information when visiting clients
  • Monitoring data can be collected from the client record system rather than collated manually
5

Better information for your community

  • Computers and the internet can help to collect, manage and publish useful information to support telephone, online or face-to-face advice services
  • Information can be provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Online information can support community campaigns, such as accessing government statistics to back your case or tracking the voting record of your local MP on a key issue
  • Using an interactive website means members of your community can check information and update it when they see mistakes
6

Better staff development

  • Encourage staff and volunteers to use the internet to keep up to date with key issues in your field
  • Encourage staff and volunteers to share ICT skills and "top tips" to help the organisation run more smoothly
  • Online learning courses can be a flexible, low cost way of improving capabilities and knowledge within your networks
  • Share knowledge with peers informally through email and online forums
  • Subscribe to specialist online information resources such as magazines, or news from professional bodies
7

Better fundraising

  • Use the web and email to identify potential funders and research your bids
  • Set up a payments system on your website to make it easier for people to donate money
  • Use free checklists and professional advice from fundraising sites to improve your fundraising skills
8

Better external communications

  • Use desktop publishing to design and print leaflets, flyers, stationery, newsletters, annual reports, posters, t-shirts and postcards
  • Set up and run websites, email lists or online discussion forums to promote your cause or make links with potential partners
  • Deliver high-quality presentations using a laptop, digital projector and PowerPoint
  • Run campaigns and mobilise support using print, email and the web
  • Use video to overcome literacy barriers
  • Run a local radio station through a website
  • Tell local stories and raise awareness of local concerns through a community website, using podcasts, bulletin boards or photo-sharing
9

Better internal communications

  • Share information and work files with colleagues on a server
  • Use remote access, email, internet telephone services and video conferencing so that staff and volunteers can be flexible and work on multiple sites
  • Make sure induction packs, internal policies and other key documents can be found easily using an intranet
  • Help trustees, volunteers, partners, funders and other stakeholders feel part of your decision-making process by using email, bulletin boards, etc
10

Better administration

  • Manage your information in a more methodical way and spend less time finding things by using a shared file server
  • Use mail merge to save time when sending out large numbers of documents – whether in the post or by email
  • Use shared calendars and email to schedule meetings
  • Save time and money by sharing resources such as printers, rather than transferring information from PC to PC
  • A web-based timesheet system enables remote staff to log time spent on projects

Further information

See also:

 

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Page last edited Jul 25, 2017 History

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