Problem solving - it's what the third sector does so why is it digital innovation is hard?
problem solving and the third sector

Problem solving - it's what the third sector is particularly good at. They are the people on the front line dealing with some of the most difficult and transient problems society face. There's no money tree available and we have to think agilely and responsively to the current circumstances - all key skills which are relevant to the digital sector but yet as a sector we are far behind - with Almost half of all charities in the of UK lacking basic digital skills, according to Lloyd's Bank UK Digital Index and the State of the Sector report suggesting that there's “limited understanding among charities of what digital and data can achieve”.

So, what can small organisations do in the face of this? 

We talked with Endeavour a few months ago about the challenges they faced and the opportunities they were making - "Fundamentally as a charity we need cost effective reliability, we cannot afford to be at the forefront of product development. Do we need to? Depending on your sector will technology make or save you critical sums? "

Looking for tools ? 

  • Breast Cancer Care have created a digital matrix to understand how mature your organisation is, this is a tool to use once you have started to make digital innovations and have board buy in as well as some in-house skills, as it focuses a lot on technical skills and technical language. 
  • Google host a digital garage site online with free courses, there is also a
    digital garage in Sheffield
  • Understanding and creating cyber security for your organisation 8 top tips
  • Nesta's Five Lessons for Charities Developing Technology-based innovations. this features a series of case studies as well as recommendations. 


Identifying scope -There's a great amount of opportunity around digital citizenship - how we create society over the internet take a look at this write up from a speech from Barack Obama. “[We] now have a situation in which everybody’s listening to people who already agree with them.” People are using social media and the global reach of the Internet to “reinforc[e] their own realities, to the neglect of a common reality that allows us to have a healthy debate and then try to find common ground and actually move solutions forward,” the former president said.

We want to hear your stories - get in touch and tell us what you have experimented with - what's worked for you and what's not. 


Thanks for reading 🙂