Free Digital Tools to Help Charities Deliver Services Remotely
The coronavirus pandemic will negatively impact on the capacity of charities to support their staff, volunteers and beneficiaries, particularly organisations that support people who are at higher risk. Charity premises and centres around the country are closed and as a result daily service provision has been suspended – however there is huge scope for charities to use digital to their advantage.
A recent study by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) revealed that digital technology will be vital for delivering services under conditions of quarantine or social isolation.
“There are of course many ways a charity might use digital technology – from enabling more home working, use of social media, through to the very way that vital services are delivered. In the current crisis it may be useful to produce some guidance on best practice for using digital technology to deliver their services in the context social distancing and isolation.”
Accessing resources, collaborating, team building and working remotely have never been easier thanks to technology. Not only will this help your charity keep operating in the immediate term, but this may be an opportunity for charities to learn and adopt new tools. This can contribute to improved communication and more flexible ways of working. This guide will focus on some of the quick, free and easy tools available to help charities deliver services remotely.
New ways of communicating
Having a range of different ways for your team to communicate is vital while working from home. Slack is an online collaboration workspace made up of a number of private and semi-private channels where different teams can work together to send messages, share documents, make voice or video calls and make use of extra functionality through plug-ins. It has a range of free or heavily discounted options for charities regardless of their size through the Slack for Charities programme. The standard package is available completely free of charge for charities with under 250 employees.
Fundraising doesn’t have to stop
Thinking of cancelling your latest fundraising event? There may be another way– free live streams can be a fantastic way to host an event virtually. It also means your supporters can interact with you and each other. All the major social media platforms in addition to newer streaming platforms like Twitch often allow you to add a link to your website or donation page – meaning you can process donations while you stream your event. Online donors respond well to authentic and transparent fundraising efforts – highlight the real impact the crisis is having upon your organisation and your beneficiaries. Free fundraising platforms can be accessed through social media or apps – create a free campaign to drive donations or urgent support.
Provide real-time support
Tailoring your content to meet the needs of your beneficiaries will be more important than ever during this time. This can even reduce pressure on advisory services and prevent helplines being overloaded. We can help people find the information they need quickly and efficiently, due to office closures or other disruption. Online chat and drop-in web chat services including Intercom and LiveChat can be accessed for up to 10 sessions for free for non-profits.
Chatbots can also be developed for social media and websites which use AI and automated responses to answer key questions and enquiries.
Project management is key
Collaborate working will be vital to continuity of service provision and sticking to your organisation’s mission. One great, free way for teams to collaborate is using Trello. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes current projects into boards. It allows you to see a clear overview of your team, what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and timelines for completion.
Imagine a white board, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. Now imagine that each of those sticky notes has photos, attachments from other data sources like BitBucket or Salesforce, documents, and a place to comment and collaborate with your teammates. Now imagine that you can take that whiteboard anywhere you go on your smartphone, and can access it from any computer through the web – this is a great resource for those homeworking!
GoodCall are here to support charities who need vital mobile infrastructure now. We want to make sure charities can provide vital services in this difficult time. Get in touch with our team now to see how we can support you.