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The report is published by The Good Exchange and investigates how technology can help the charitable sector overcome key modern-day challenges – in particular the changes to government funding and the increasing demand for the services provided by charities.

Technological advancements in the last 20 years have seen a sea change in how commercial ventures operate. The corporate world is obliged be agile and open to collaboration in order to survive, and has embraced the use of cloud technology in doing so. Technology is now empowering business leaders to assimilate and manage data in order to improve decision-making.

The charitable sector is playing catch-up in its approach to technology, with some commentators suggesting it is five years behind the private sector. Now, with the decline in government grant funding and an uncertain economic environment, charities are turning to technological solutions to attract much-needed donors and grant-givers, and tap into Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

Larger charities are facing these challenges, but are often in a good position to deal with them because they have professional fundraisers, deeper pockets and existing relationships with funders, government, philanthropists and business. Small and medium-sized charities, whose causes are no less important than their larger counterparts, are often unable to hire fundraisers, lack fruitful connections and are operating on a more voluntary/part-time basis. For them, the ability to secure funding has become significantly more challenging. The pressure on charities to seek and apply for grants has become resource intensive, and often valuable time and money is spent applying for funding rather than focusing on the charity’s core function.

However, in its report, The Good Exchange is proposing a way forward. They argue that a number of successful collaborations are emerging between charitable trusts, local authorities and the private sector, which are using technological solutions to enhance and assist charities. The report documents how grant funders are making better use of technology to collaborate more effectively – increasing the support available for the very communities they were created to serve. It covers the need for trust and transparency in the charitable sector; the potential of true collaboration; the benefits of match-funding; and several examples of technological innovation in practice via The Good Exchange’s own online platform.

Recommended reading for any funder or fundraiser looking to improve efficiency through technology!

There are two versions of the report available: this one with advice for fundraisers, and this one with information relevant to funding bodies.