We bring you some of the best of our content from across the year.

2020. A year we won’t forget. A year of challenges for everyone, in every walk of life, and every part of the world. 

A year when the UK charity sector responded to the pandemic by making the biggest shift to digital any sector ever has.

You are the stars of that story. You are the ones who saw what needed to happen and made the jump. You are the ones who said ‘let's learn how to do this’ when you could have put your vital services on hold (not that we think anyone in the sector ever would).

We hope that some of our content played a small role in your transformation. We know that you’ve read it and continued to sign up to the newsletter in droves (nearly 5,000 now).

So here is the Catalyst content retro for the year. We’ve picked some of our popular content, in case you missed it the first time around. Hopefully it will help with something. Merry Christmas.

1. Deciding what digital tools you need at your charity

Zoom or Teams? Trello or a traditional notebook? CRM or spreadsheet? This year your charity probably invested in new software and digital tools. There are many more waiting for you to discover. So we are hosting a tool called Assemble to help you choose the right digital tool, and feel good about how you chose it

2. Leading digital transformation

We wrote tips for leading your charity through a rapid digital transformation for managers. It’s based on solid research, adapted to the need to move quickly. 

And what to do when you need to get your staff on board with digital

3. Checking that your online services are good enough

Funders who are new to digital services are asking “how do we assess the quality of an application for digital funding”? They are asking what defines ‘good’ when it comes to digital services? There is a definition and a simple scale you can use to measure it yourself.

4. When you need to keep people safe online while they use your services

We heard the question “How do I make our new online service safe?” many times this year

First, you need to understand how to think about safeguarding when delivering services online

Then you need to implement the processes and practices to minimise risk and train your staff. So we created DigiSafe: a new step-by-step guide to digital safeguarding.

5. Creating connection with your service users, over Zoom and other online platforms

Since March 2020, thousands of vulnerable people have lost those small moments of connection with people in their community. Many also relied on charities for the warm hellos, caring smiles and feelings of welcome and acceptance. 

In response Deepr created a whole framework and 40 tools that any charity can use for free. 

6. Copying other charities to make it easier for you

Your peers are doing things with digital that you can copy. But no one ever wrote them down. Until this year. You can currently copy and learn from 23 Service Recipes. Maybe you’ll copy a whole recipe or maybe you’ll tweak the ingredients, just like you might a cake recipe. 

We’re working on over 50 new recipes right now. Watch them appear in batches over the next four months.

7. Building your charity’s website faster

The pandemic has made some charities realise their website isn’t fit to support digital service delivery. 

First we’d recommend learning about design (see above). 

Then read about how to build websites without needing to code. Because it’s possible you won’t need to code anything.

But there’s another trick too. That’s in how to use content design to help people access your services more easily.

8. When you’re confused about how to make a service go digital

Read what the jargon means. Then learn how service design is similar and different to co-producing services. Then do a Design Hop

9. When you’re wanting to involve your users

You can meaningfully involve your users in creating the services they use, even when you can’t meet them face-to-face. There are different ways to engage them. But first you should do some user research and understand why it is vital to your charity.

10. Have a better chance of getting funded next time

Read four reasons why 50% of applications to our Discovery programme didn’t succeed, and 11 tips to make sure your next one does.

Getting more support

There’s more help available. Here are some places to go for free support. They are all still open.

And here’s some tips on selecting a digital agency, for when you need more hands-on support. 

If you need something else

We’re keen to hear about it. Then we can write about it. Then you and others can read it. Message us on twitter or do it old-fashioned, by email ;)

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