Tue, 23rd June, 2020

Harnessing digital

Harnessing digital

When the pandemic hit, charities mostly had to shut their doors like all businesses. Some metaphorically but many physically, those with day centres, drop-ins, regular support meetings, none of these could take place.

One of the things I have exclaimed about on many occasions during all this craziness is ‘thank heavens for technology’! It is unimaginable how much worse this situation would be without it!

Charities suffered a double whammy, not being able to give their clients any physical face to face support due to their vulnerable situation, but also many of their volunteers fell within the ‘at risk’ category. And a third whammy when you include having to cancel all their fundraising events.

Those that could took their services online – one to one support and group meetings, using online meeting technology. Training, through webinars and meeting technology. Fundraising through ‘virtual’ events, more use of crowd funding platforms, promotion of ‘click and donate’ facilities. They are all finding new ways to operate and keep their services running with the use of digital, and in doing so, have spawned a new older cohort to use digital solutions.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most popular ways for charities to connect with their clients, their supporters and donors, and many new collaborations have been forged in this way. Charities have joined forces with other charities and businesses to make use of unused resources and services using social media to connect.

There are of course some clients that don’t use digital in any form, and a good old fashioned telephone call is used to make sure their clients still have access to services and support.

One area that is working well through digital methods is online counselling and support, for people’s mental health. Some parts of this support service can be delivered through digital meetings, and some of the many charities turning to this format are:

Jersey Recovery College - https://www.recovery.je/courses

Yes Project - https://www.yes.je/counselling/

Liberate - https://liberate.je/counselling/

Mind Jersey - https://www.mindjersey.org/

If you have success story about your use of technology, we would love to hear about it. And if there is some way we may be able to help you, please get in touch, too.