What is digital evolution?

By John Fitzgerald on 17th Jul 2018

I’ve just joined the SCVO Digital team as Digital Evolution Officer. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the team and learning about the wide range of ways we’re helping charities across Scotland get to grips with digital. My work on digital evolution will involve connecting with and supporting charities across Scotland as they look for ways to use digital to improve the way their organisation works. 

For years now, we've all become used to choosing products and completing transactions anywhere and anytime. Online shopping and social media 'just work' – they are part of nearly everyone's day-to-day experience. And this has started to change the way we expect other services to work. As people’s expectations shift, charities need to change too.  

Before starting at SCVO, I worked for over a decade in a variety of charities in fundraising and communications roles. Most recently I worked at Friends of the Earth Scotland where I commissioned several new digital tools. I’ve seen the big difference positive digital change can make – enabling charities to reach many more people and achieve their goals more effectively. But managing digital change isn’t always easy, especially for smaller organisations that lack the spare capacity to research and plan new projects. 

That’s why SCVO is committed to supporting charities through digital evolution. But what does digital evolution mean?  

SCVO is working on digital evolution because we recognise that there is no ‘magic bullet’ for digital change. As new expectations and tools emerge, charities need to be comfortable with incremental change, continually tweaking and improving their practices in response to user needs. Digital evolution is easy because you can start just where you are. Small changes with affordable tools can help unlock big improvements. And the good news is that digital tools are getting cheaper and much easier to use. But committing to evolution can also be challenging, because there is no ‘done’.  

A great way to kick-start your digital evolution journey is to use our digital check-up tool. This quick survey gives you a strategic overview of your organisation’s digital strengths and weaknesses. If you have nagging worries about digital, this tool will help you begin to form a clear plan of action. Once you’ve completed the checkup, we can offer follow-up support on specific issues.

Later in the Autumn, we’ll be bringing organisations together for short and focused workshops on key issues. We’re also completing a review of digital change in Scottish charities at our flagship Digital Evolution event- Digitally Confident Scotland – on 23 October 2018. If you’d like to suggest topics or attend one of our events, just get in touch.