Vital civil society organisations, including charitable, nonprofit and social organisations, are resilient and responsive to the changing needs, behaviours and expectations of their communities, confidently using digital tools and processes to achieve their charitable objectives.
Act as a field catalyst for the collective transformation of civil society through digital, design and data.
A field catalyst supports a wide range of stakeholders to work towards achieving a shared, broad goal. Field catalysts aim to make change happen, not do it themselves, and strive for change across a system or sector, not in individual organisations.
Civil society organisations want to use digital, data and design to solve complex problems and help their service users, but they face some specific challenges:
> Confidence - “I don't know where to start or even think I can”
> Capacity - “I don’t have the time, space and permission to make meaningful progress”
> Culture - “This feels like a shift in the fundamental way we work, our environment and mindset”
> Capabilities - “We’re not sure if we have the knowledge, skills and experience to do this”
When they seek support to tackle these challenges, there are additional concerns:
> Funding - “Who will or can pay for this?”
> Procurement - “Who is the best placed expert provider to support my needs?”
> Understanding - “How do I know what I need?”
A lack of coordination and collaboration in the sector means support to tackle these challenges can be patchy and inefficient, and can create duplication.
In the context of COVID-19, these challenges have been amplified and accelerated, and civil society’s demand for digital, design and data support has surged in response.
Much of charities' service delivery has been driven online very suddenly as a result of lockdown. This has forced civil society organisations to address digital challenges sooner than planned and in shorter timescales. In particular, there have been difficulties ensuring that digital services reach vulnerable or at-risk groups.
There is a huge opportunity to help civil society meet these challenges. We want to transform the sector through digital, data and design, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We propose to do so though collaborative working, reuse and building on what already exists whenever possible.