Media Trust, the media communications charity, have unveiled plans for a new digital skills training programme for UK charities and community organisations, enabled by a grant from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm.
The programme has been developed following findings from Media Trust’s own 2017 Charity Survey, which found that for more than 70% of UK charities, the lack of digital skills represents a challenge for their organisation to reach their target audience and get their voice heard. Over 40% of respondents have less than £5,000 to spend annually on marketing and communications, which highlights the need for charities and particularly micro and small charitable organisations to unlock the potential of digital technologies and channels to drive targeted engagement and amplify their message.
The aim of the programme is to help charitable organisations access the vital digital skills training they need in order to strengthen their communications capacity in a rapidly evolving digital world.
The grant from Google.org, which is part of its $100m commitment to support nonprofit organisations in EMEA that are focused on skills and economic opportunity,will allow Media Trust to deliver masterclasses in more than a dozen locations around the UK, including, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leicester and Liverpool, in response to an increasing need from charities for training outside of London. Each event will offer local charities and community groups an opportunity to receive free training and mentoring from media partners and digital communications experts on their marketing and communications challenges.
Su-Mei Thompson, Media Trust’s CEO said “At a time when more than 45% of charities don’t have a digital strategy, despite 73% believing that strengthening their digital skills would help their organisation grow, it is vital that charities are given the support they need to enhance their digital capabilities or risk being left behind. As our own research shows this can often prove difficult for the majority of charities and local community groups when resources and budgets are at a premium. This is why we are really excited about our new digital skills training programme, which will allow charities and community organisations to harness the power of digital to have a stronger voice.”
Google will also provide free skills training, content and resources for the new Media Trust programme through its Google Digital Garage. The half-day masterclasses will cover a range of topics from Social Media Strategy to Building a Digital Marketing Plan. The sessions will provide practical advice to charitable organisations on how to use digital channels to communicate more effectively and efficiently. After the formal training sessions, charities will have direct access to a range of media partners and communications expertsfor personalised advice and coaching on their specific needs.
Google employees will also volunteer their time to this programme, providing mentoring to charities to helping them grow online.
Graham Bednash, Senior Director at Google UK, who has spearheaded the Google Digital Garage added: “We want to make sure everyone has the skills to make the most of the opportunities of the web. That’s why we’re delighted to support this new Media Trust programme and bring our experience in delivering free skills training to help ensure charities have access to the digital expertise they need to do their essential work. This is part of our commitment to helping 1 million people across Europe find a job or grow their business by 2020.”
The local masterclasses will run from September 2018 until June 2019 and are free for charities and community organisations to attend.
To support the programme, Media Trust will also be developing their digital resources hub, to provide charity professionals with access to online training resources from a range of commercial and charitable partners, so they can continue their communications and media learning beyond the practical masterclass sessions.
Charities and potential resource partners interested in finding out more can do so via the Media Trust website.