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Aug 4, 2023
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Top 5 IT Challenges in the Charity Sector

Top 5 IT Challenges in the Charity Sector

Charities face their own set of IT challenges due to their unique nature. Despite providing a critical service to people worldwide, charities operate on a lower budget than other businesses.

As businesses have adjusted to a digital world, charities must adapt to the difficulties that lie ahead, which could be more challenging than for-profit organisations.

In this article, we’re going to go over the top 5 of these challenges, and also how your charitable organisation can get the support that it needs today!

Limited Budgets and ROI

A charitable organisation only has access to limited funds and resources — due to working on a nonprofit basis, a charity typically won’t have the income to spend severely on infrastructure as most of the donation income will be spent on the work that the charity does.

Naturally, this makes for the largest challenge as — where profitable businesses can spend on infrastructure and IT with much more ease — charities are very limited in their ability to spend.

This is why traditionally, charities have felt reluctant to spend on IT — as that money could instead be spent on the charity frontline. However, IT is becoming a vital part of operations for any organisation, including charities — which means that there need to be considerations made here for continued success.

Increased Cyber Risk

Charities are critical organisations that provide a service to assist people. However, this also makes them a target for cyber attacks — a charity does have a lot of resources that will be a large bullseye for any criminal looking to extort a company for their resources (using cyberattacks).

The National Cyber Security Centre says that charities are especially at risk for cyberattacks, because of their vulnerability — due to the lack of cybersecurity investment within the sector.

Because of this, charities need to be especially careful and make sure that they’re clued up on the ins and outs of modern cybersecurity, and how exactly they can keep their organisation safe and secure from any threats.

Ensuring that you’re clued up on how to spot incoming threats to your organisation is one of the best ways to stay safe, as the majority of attacks that you’ll face will use social engineering to try to manipulate their way into your organisation.

Delivering Services Remotely

Remote working is a massive part of the modern world. As offices become more flexible, remote working is a great way for organisations to ensure that their employees can work in a versatile and productive manner.

Charities are also having to look towards remote working as the future of their operations, as they will have to adapt to match the needs of a modern organisation. This means that charities will have to invest in delivering their services remotely and digitising their workforce to be able to work from anywhere.

This isn’t an easy task for any organisation, as it’s a massive infrastructural shift in mindset and approach. This is especially true for charities, who will have to change their whole approach to how they work.

However, this could also be better for charities, as this kind of new approach could give charities the ability to recruit the best talent due to its flexible nature.

IT Training and Education

With so many new IT changes and challenges in the charity sector, there is a lot of work that needs to go into education and training around your organisation to ensure that your workers know exactly what they’re doing.

However, due to the voluntary nature of charity work, training and educating staff is a much more difficult task — as new volunteers would have to be trained regularly. This isn’t an issue in and of itself, but in addition to all of the other training that a new volunteer would need to do — finding the time for IT training and education may be tricky.

Ensuring that everyone within your organisation is educated and trained on IT is vital, though. Due to the aforementioned difficulties and threats, new personnel will need to be trained on how to keep security tight and look out for threats to ensure that they don’t make any mistakes that could damage your organisation.

Remaining Compliant

With so many new compliance regulations and requirements, it can be hard to keep track of what you need to be compliant with. Especially as a charity — which will take down the details of many people — staying GDPR compliant is both very important and very tricky.

Having processes and procedures in place to ensure that compliance is met everywhere that it needs to be is the best way to ensure that you don’t fall into noncompliance — for example, having a robust way to let users access and remove all their data to meet GDPR compliance (amongst other things) will let you remain compliant without any difficulty.

However, this is still a tricky process — and so a helping hand may be needed to ensure that you get everything right. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us so our expert team can help you ensure that compliance is met throughout your organisation.

How We Can Help

The charity sector is facing numerous challenges regarding IT. As they move into the modern world, charities will have to look at new solutions to ensure that they are secure, educated, and compliant.

With this, they’ll also have to spend on IT to ensure that they’re able to meet the needs of a modern organisation — as many charitable organisations are failing to spend to be able to keep up with the modern world, instead opting to only spend on frontline work.

If your organisation needs help figuring out how to go forward with IT, get in touch with us today. We work with a number of charities in Ireland and are here to help and guide you through making sure your organisation can move forward effectively.