Level 4


Digital strategy is led by a Head of Digital or Director of Digital type-of-role. Delivery of different digital functions is led by a Digital Team, possibly working with satellite digital roles in other teams (e.g. digital storytelling could be in the content team). IT function in the organisation has likely taken on the responsibility for the maintenance of digital technology and security.

The main website is being or has recently been re-launched with an up-to-date CMS which is mobile-responsive, and can be data driven, allowing for personalisation. A CRM system is in place which uses data (almost) in real-time from a number of data sources from your key channels.

Digital training is a priority for all staff and it is either managed by the internal team or external suppliers. Senior managers and Board members are also encouraged to attend it.

Digital strategies for specific engagement channels are in existence, e.g. digital campaigning strategy, digital fundraising strategy, digital content strategy, social media strategy etc.  Senior managers provide support to the Head of Digital, but they still represent those strategies themselves in senior management meetings and decision-making. There is a digital expert on the Board.

Data segmentation can be done relatively quickly (days rather than weeks) but a lot of the data processing is manual (rather than automated). Cross-channel journeys can be personalised.

Performance data is readily available with a quick turn-around based on well-connected data sources. Operational teams can interrogate and query the data in a timely way to improve planning and performance.

Audience engagement insights reflect a supporters’ online behaviour and campaign responses and these are integrated into the communications planning and targeting.

Innovation is planned and focused on things that transform supporters’ or beneficiaries’ experience.

Moving up

  1. Include your  Digital Lead into your SMT decision-making.

  2. Co-opt or recruit a Digital expert to the Board if you don’t have one already.

  3. If you aren’t doing it already, provide regular leadership support and coaching to your Digital Lead.

  4. Work with your HR team to ensure that every new role is looked at and person specification amended appropriately to include an appropriate level of digital expertise required  for that position.

  5. Start a digital mentoring programme for the SMT and the Board and ensure that all attend.

  6. Use audience insight as a starting point for organisational planning.

  7. Develop your brand narrative – what is the underlying story you are telling people which will inspire them to engage with your work?

  8. Communicate regularly to the organisation lessons learnt from your performance reports and data.

  9. Look at your technology to ensure that you can make some of the data processing automatic. Evaluate your current technology set-up – can it deal with personalisation?

  10. Fix the basics. Those things that didn’t get done because you had to deliver for the new priority initiative have to be fixed because they will become a stumbling block. So, fixing that website or improving the performance and security of the web servers, or improving the donation journey or data flow – need to become a priority.

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