Tracey Cunnington - Marketing Assistant

Research reveals how technology and collaboration can be used to positively impact charities’ efficiency, volunteers and trust 

A thought paper commissioned by Novacroft to help charities rise to the challenges they face today and build organisational resilience to survive the fourth industrial revolution identifies the new thinking, tools and tactics that are driving change across the sector.

Read the thought paper now

From fire-fighting to future-proofing: how charities and member organisations can innovate their way to sustainability’ is a response to the unprecedented array of challenges affecting the sector which are demanding urgent action, to rebuild trust after media scrutiny, reduce the pence in the pound spent on administration and reach a new generation of volunteers.

Digital winners

The paper looks first at ‘digital winners’, the web-based and mobile ideas that are helping charities achieve key initial goals by taking processes online to reduce the paper drain and putting supporters at the heart of everything they do. 

Ongoing threats and new ways of working

It goes on to talk about how ongoing threats and risks can be reduced, focusing on issues like impact measurement, transparency and sustainable differentiation. And finally it brings together examples from around the world of the fresh thinking and original ways of working that are leading the way.       

These examples include e-befriending services for autistic youngsters, dedicated micro-volunteering websites, shareable YouTube videos thanking individual volunteers and new concepts for encouraging volunteering by offering rewards, like Rockcorps’ offer of free gig tickets for volunteers and Novacroft’s Ucando-it social action programme. 

Far-sighted charities using technology strategically to achieve their core mission are also featured, bringing home its transformative impact. From the smart city projects that are enabling charities to weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life to the use of 3D printing to produce low-cost prosthetic limbs. 


Novacroft’s vision is to create an army of amazing minds who, together, ensure charities are fit for the future. Our inaugural #CharityForum took place in March 2019, at which a group of senior executives from across the sector collaborated to find practical solutions to the challenges and barriers facing the sector.

Debra Charles, Novacroft’s Founder and CEO, says:

When we look at the next decade, we know that the fourth industrial revolution will bring about massive change, including an increase in the number of people without jobs, which will have risen to 800 million

We also know that the future of ‘doing good’ will mean something different. We see the charity sector as being the underbelly of society, and, in order to still be relevant and ‘do good’, we must collaborate to come up with action plan for society to survive. This thought paper is an excellent summary of insights and inspiration that charities, and other sectors, can use to think about how they might best rise to their own particular challenges, and what their journey to 2030 might look like.

Read the thought paper now