Digital Month - October 2023

4 Aug 2023 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 28 Sep 2023

Digital Month image

As part of our Future Thinking Series, we are excited to be working with partners to deliver a series of digital workshops and seminars in October 2023.

We have developed a series of four online workshops in October in partnership with a range of experts, to help voluntary and community organisations to continue on their digital journey.

These workshops will give practical advice and support to build your capacity and link you to a wealth of resources to inspire and assist you to develop your organisation digitally.

What topics will be covered?

- Data Maturity

Data Orchard's recent report State of the Sector: Data maturity in the non-profit sector 2023 describes how organisations in our sector throughout the UK are adapting and changing in terms of digital and data maturity. 

Overall there has been a massive change in culture. We are open with our data - more than two-thirds of organisations share data externally with partners, networks, and stakeholders. Half openly publish their own data and analysis and/or share data with their clients/service users. For 60% polices and practices around security and protection fairly strong.

The rewards and benefits of data and analytics are being seen more widely. Data is improving the ability of organisations to evidence impact and needs, target and communicate with clients, and design and deliver better services and products. Internally, organisations are benefiting from increased levels of knowledge and expertise, better strategic planning and decision making, and improved impact. 

Skills and Analysis are areas that need more attention. Fewer than one in five say they have appropriate numbers of staff managing and developing their data capabilities. There is a lack of the right skills and capabilities to maximise the use of their data, and also analyse data in useful and meaningful ways. 

- Protecting our data

Alongside this we know that protecting our data is more important than ever. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, ensuring the safety and confidentiality of your data and organisation information has become a priority. Falling victim to a cyber attack can not only lead to financial loss but also reputational loss. In fact 24% of charities in the UK have experienced a cyber attack in the last year. ICO and National Cyber Security Centre provide useful resources to help us protect our data.

- Digital Development 

All of this is in the context of the wider issues of digital development in the sector. The Wired Up report 2022 commissioned by CFNI explores the current levels of digital skills and inclusion in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Northern Ireland. It researched digital skills, inclusion, adoption of a digital culture and support for the VCS.

Findings identified the largest gap in digital skills for staff and volunteers was connecting with others outside their organisation.  Increasing digital inclusion was now an organisational priority. 22% of organisations are struggling to adopt a digital culture.  Key characteristics in adopting a digital culture are: recognition that it is a part of everyone’s job; commitment from senior leaders; and understanding that addressing digital inclusion is now a normal part of service delivery. Funding was seen as the largest challenge facing the VCSE sector in the future - difficulty in getting core funding to support digital and short-term funding making it difficult to plan ahead.

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Workforce development

One of the recommendations of the Wired UP report was workforce development for the voluntary and community sector and NICVA plays a key role in this. We plan to continue to work with current and new partners to provide development opportunities for our sector. We are planning more Digital training and development in the coming months so please keep an eye on our website for details.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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