Technology in the Third Sector: Can charities afford to fall behind?


As tech continues its rapid march forward, is technology in the Third Sector keeping pace, should it be and - most importantly - can it afford to fall behind?

This is the unanswered question at the heart of our survey about technology and the Third Sector. In it we are looking at the biggest challenges and pain points that charitable organisations are facing in terms of tech and digital strategy, so that we can help to create transformative solutions.

You can take our short survey here now, or read on...

Future Proofing Industries

All industry sectors, one way or another, are beginning to see the impact of the growing and increasingly mainstream adoption of new and emerging technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

The adoption of these technologies is a sure-fire route to future proofing whole industries. Some sectors, like property and finance, are benefiting from being early adopters, embracing this wave of change.

Significant investment into research and development (R&D) to find innovative and industry-wide solutions have led to a boom in PropTech and FinTech - products and systems that are transforming the ways that these sectors work.

The Third Sector Challenge

But what of charities and the third sector? Dramatic Government funding cuts to the sector mean that driving efficiency within charitable organisations has never been more vital and pertinent, yet there has never been less money to invest in vital R&D and digital strategy.

The sector is also seeing an increase in increasingly sophisticated costly cyber attacks and data breaches, which many organisations are ill-prepared to manage or protect themselves against.

But as well as funding being an issue, the sector is also lagging behind in its understanding of how technology can be used to its benefit, due to lack of internal resource specialising in this area and the squeeze on already stretched teams. In recent Tech Trust research, 58% of charity respondents admitted that they did not have a defined digital strategy.

This is the Third Sector challenge - an urgent need to invest in technology and digital strategies to secure the future of their organisations, versus a lack of capacity, money and understanding of the benefits and potential of harnessing new tech.

Transformative Possibilities

Here at Mashbo we have significant experience working with organisations in the Third Sector to create simple solutions for complex, industry-wide issues. We believe in the transformative possibilities of new tech for the charity sector, using new and emerging technologies for:

  • Automation of day-to-day processes to drive efficiency in organisations
  • The automated delivery of information services to beneficiaries through chatbots/AI
  • Application of cloud technology to streamline and centralise extensive data
  • Innovative use of technology hardware and software to drive donations and make it easier for people to give
  • Creating greater financial transparency and getting aid money to where it is most needed through the use of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

As part of our focus on helping this sector find cost-effective, value-driving solutions, our Third Sector Survey 2018 asks key questions about where Third Sector organisations feel they need the most help and what are their most pressing challenges right now and in the near future.

If you’re a charitable, Third Sector on non-profit organisation, please do take a few minutes to complete the survey, so your voice and opinion is included.

We’ll be using the results to complete a full report and make clear recommendations on how charities could effectively utilise tech to future proof their organisations, create greater efficiency and drive donations.

Mashbo Third Sector Survey 2018