28 October 2015
Benefits of basic digital skills being brought to those helping hundreds of local people
Four charities in Croydon and Lewisham are set to boost their online abilities and improve how they support local people as the result of a masterclass with the Digital Director of the UK’s largest banking group.
Representatives from Kinetic Foundation, Good Food Matters, Action for Refugees in Lewisham, and Lewisham Refugees & Migrant Network were amongst the attendees of the session led by Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, Group Digital Director of Lloyds Banking Group, which has over 11million online and six million mobile banking customers.
Each of the charities was attending the digital strategy masterclass after identifying potential improvements that they could make by increasing their use of online technology. By enhancing each of the charities’ digital capabilities and giving them new tools to help those in need, hundreds of the capital’s most vulnerable individuals could benefit directly.
The session, which was supported by Lloyds’ Group Digital Innovation team and a number of other senior colleagues, aimed to identify the areas in which digital services could make the greatest difference for the charities and their users. Miguel-Ángel also shared his own experiences of how the bank has responded to the increasing digital demands of its customers and spend time discussing the importance and relevance of digital in helping the charities with their outlined requirements.
Commenting on the event, Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola says: “As part of the Group’s commitment to help Britain prosper, this year I made a pledge to volunteer to enhance digital skills in charities and enable those organisations to help people who need it most. I’m delighted to be supporting these fantastic charities to further improve the already excellent support they provide the local communities in Croydon and Lewisham.
“We know that an alarmingly high number of charities are being hindered by a lack of basic digital skills which can make a huge difference to them, their beneficiaries and the community. By the end of this session I want the charities to feel even more empowered to help people and make a difference to those in need.”
Nationally there remains an untapped potential for charities to benefit from the difference basic digital skills can make to their organisations. Three in five (58%) UK charities are without basic digital skills, putting them at a disadvantage when communicating with fundraisers and beneficiaries and in their ability to make and receive payments/donations online amongst other things.
There is also a continued absence of investment by organisations in developing their digital skills; more than three-quarters of charities are not putting any budget into improving their digital skills, meaning sessions such as this masterclass are providing invaluable access to knowledge and training that the charities may otherwise not receive.
James Fotheringham, a founder of Croydon’s Kinetic Foundation said: "When you're part of a small organisation you have to be able to take on lots of different roles and it’s easy to focus on what you're doing rather than how you are doing it. At the moment we know that we could be doing more digitally, and today has been great in helping us understand how we can succeed in the 21st century with support and reassurance from experts on what we can achieve.
"Taking what we've learnt from the masterclass with Miguel and the team we hope that we will be able to raise even more awareness of the benefits of what we're doing in local communities and how people can either get involved or understand how they too can benefit from what we do."
Miguel-Ángel concluded: “There is much work to be done providing the relevant skills and knowledge to charities. We know that higher levels of digital maturity results in charities receiving more funding than those with lower levels, which allows them to make an even bigger difference.”
Helping individuals, small businesses and charities embrace the benefits of being online is a core role of Lloyds Banking Group’s Digital teams. By enabling others to better use digital, they aim to increase digital engagement across the UK.