How to contribute your digital skills to COVID-19 responses

Published on
April 9, 2020
in
Updates
Ellie Hale
We look at some of the brilliant platforms and initiatives rapidly set up to help people and organisations contribute their digital, data and design skills during the COVID-19 crisis.

Catalyst Digital Teams

  • What is it: Deploying the best-matched capacity to support the most urgent, common/collective needs of the sector.
  • Who is it for: Agencies and individuals (but not sole traders) from the digital, data and design community.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Voluntary sector organisations that identify as an anchor organisation, infrastructure body or federated charity or organisations that support, connect or coordinate a network.
  • Voluntary or paid work: Digital Teams are funded through Catalyst and made available at no cost to the voluntary, social or charitable organisation that needs their support.
  • Learn more/get involved: Read more about Digital Teams, see other Catalyst initiatives looking for Collaborators and sign up to pool your capacity with other collaborators through the Catalyst network.

Design Hops

  • What is it: Facilitating workshops that train charities in user-centred digital service design.
  • Who is it for: Digitally-confident charities, tech/design freelancers and local social sector partners interested in being trained as a Hop facilitator.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Charities looking to redesign their services for digital access.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Paid by a facilitator day rate.
  • Learn more/get involved: Read more and get in touch to join the facilitation team.

Dovetail

  • What is it: Directory of agencies who specialise in working for not-for-profits.
  • Who is it for: Charities wanting to hire a digital agency.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: People at charities embarking on a digital project.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Paid briefs.
  • Learn more/get involved: Apply to join the Dovetail agency network.

Sometime

  • What is it: A community-led initiative matching essential services with freelancers and professionals with time on their hands.
  • Who is it for: Creatives able to offer comms, branding, graphic design, social media, photography/videography, digital marketing and SEO support.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Not-for-profit or essential service organisations.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Mixed.
  • Learn more/get involved: Check out the website.

Digital Candle

  • What is it: Matches volunteers who can contribute 1 hour of their time to help charities.
  • Who is it for: Digital experts.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Charities with questions about digital — currently prioritising those looking for urgent help to ensure business continuity.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: Sign up at digitalcandle.org.uk.

Reach Volunteering

  • What is it: Platform connecting charities with skills-based volunteers. Offering COVID-19 mentoring.
  • Who is it for: Anyone wanting to share their professional skills with charities across the UK.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: During COVID-19, Reach Mentors will specifically look at three areas: 1. Moving services online; 2. Managing the financial impact of COVID-19 and 3. Setting up effective remote working.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: Volunteer to mentor.

DataKind UK

  • What is it: A community of Data for Good volunteers helping charities impacted by COVID-19 to grapple with data challenges. DataKind also runs regular Office Hours, problem-solving DataDive weekends, and long-term DataCorps projects with charities.
  • Who is it for: Data scientists — analysts, visualisers, machine learning gurus, spreadsheet whizzes…
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Charities who submit requests through Volunteering Matters.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: DataKind UK are running a session on 20th April for people who want to learn more about volunteering with them.

Code4Covid

  • What is it: A growing community of techies whose mission is to find technology solutions to help people during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Who is it for: Technologists wanting to volunteer their skills.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Communities and people with non-profit COVID-19 projects, submitting via covidtechsupport.com.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: Check out their website and Slack channel.

Business Response to COVID-19

  • What is it: A network of purposeful business leaders convened by Business in the Community to share insight, expertise and create innovative programmes that deliver impact.
  • Who is it for: Businesses able to offer support during COVID-19.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Registered charities, businesses, health and governmental agencies.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: Volunteer on behalf of your business.

Goodsted #TackleCovid19

  • What is it: Matching platform for volunteer furloughed creatives and strategists to help social organisations that are facing unprecedented challenges during this global pandemic.
  • Who is it for: Furloughed creatives.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Social enterprises, community projects and charities.
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: View the campaign and browse the challenges.

Volunteering Matters

  • What is it: Established volunteering platform.
  • Who is it for: Individuals and businesses.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Voluntary organisations needing help with
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: As an individual or as a business.

#Furlunteering

  • What is it: Nothing more and nothing less than a timely idea. It is not an “organisation”, “scheme” or “initiative”. Simply using the hashtags #iFurlunteer #Furlunteer #Furlunteering on social media
  • Who is it for: Furloughed professionals.
  • Whose needs is it addressing: Charities and anyone needing help
  • Voluntary or paid work? Voluntary.
  • Learn more/get involved: Read about the campaign, including practical tips for companies, charities and furlunteers.

Local Tech for Good support

Also worthy of mention are the local digital matchmaking efforts underway led by tech for good communities, including:

Seen anything else that we should add to this list? Share it with us at capacity@thecatalyst.org.uk.

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