U.S./world – Unplugged charities – ‘Lack of vision’

An expert says voluntary groups in Britain are not taking full advantage of the Internet to reach and serve new clients, the Guardian reported Sept. 18.

Charities have failed to plug in because of a lack of vision among their leaders, insufficient investment and too much focus on fundraising,

“The Internet will be the single most important driver of change in charities over the next decade,” said Jo Saxton, head of voluntary services at the Future Foundation, a think-tank.

Charities should name “Internet evangelists” to push for developing new tech strategies, he said.

A report by the Future Foundation earlier this year found only one in three charities had a strategic plan for using the Internet.

“We have already become a 24-hour society,” Saxton told delegates at Online Communities for the Voluntary Sector, a conference on nonprofits and the Internet. “If charities aren’t willing to keep up with businesses that provide services, they will be left behind.”

The Internet is better suited to charities than to businesses, he said, because it gives them the tools to deliver services and build support at low costs per new member.

Simon Grice, founder of Etribes, a consulting firm, said six in 10 Britons, and 8 in 10 of those younger than 16 years old regularly use the Internet.

“This is a critical for most charities because there’s no point in just wasting more paper on them,” he said. “You’ve got to use the new technology.”

For full story, go to the Guardian.

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