“Soon the digital divide will not be between the haves and have nots, it will be between the know-hows and the non-know-hows.” – Howard Rheingold
In the past year, COVID-19 has impacted the way many charities have run, particularly in building their digital capacity. Australian charities continue to struggle in 2021. The multitude of challenges charities currently encounter include: dissatisfaction in the way they use technology. Only 26% of small organisations use cloud technology while only 37% report that their information systems allow them to understand their charitable impact.
The Digital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector 2019 Report found the biggest barriers to a successful digital transformation included budget and funding, staff and volunteer capabilities and access to affordable and skilled technical resources. An Infoxchange survey in 2020 found that, of the (almost) 500 charities and not-for-profits surveyed, over two thirds did not have the digital capacity required to respond to the many challenges COVID-19 has brought. This includes having staff work from home and transferring face-to-face services online.
COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency of digital reform and has emphasised the massive digital divide in the charity sector. It is vital that we urgently address the digital divide in this sector. As 2021 dawned it became abundantly clear that COVID-19 would continue to be a large part of our lives. Charities remain affected by their lack of digital capability and continuing to ignore the digital divide in the sector is no longer a viable option.