We've got some exciting news!
We're launching the Charity Growth Academy, a CanadaHelps initiative, made possible by Mastercard Changeworks™. Charity Growth Academy is a free digital transformation program to help Canadian charities become more digitally enabled. Through the program, charities will build technical skills, improve their operational processes, and develop digital mindsets by leveraging the training, expert support, grants, and tools of the program. The national initiative is now underway with a pilot program of 11 organizations from across Canada. The pilot program will run through April 2023.
Since our inception, CanadaHelps has looked for innovative ways to support the sector and democratize access to critical tools and programs from within the sector. The development of Charity Growth Academy comes after years of conversations with charities about their challenges and needs, supported by CanadaHelps’ original research in the Digital Skills Survey.
Starting first with the pilot, and eventually offering the program and its resources to all charities, this free digital transformation program is designed to help Canadian charities grow.
How will it work?
To keep things as simple as possible, we divided the program up into three parts:
- Take the assessment: You can work with your team to fill out an assessment of your current digital capabilities. The results of the assessment will help you identify your organization's strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This gives you the insights you need about where your charity is at so you can set the right goals
- Get your action plan: We'll send you a customized and easy to follow guide to help prioritize your tasks and plan for success
- Access ongoing support: The Charity Growth Academy will give you access to grants, training, resource guides, and volunteer support to help you progress on your journey
Digital transformation isn’t easy, but it is necessary. We’re committed to being here for the journey. In the charitable sector, digital transformation is all about leveraging digital to increase efficiency and impact and create mission-driven change faster. Digital applications might include:
- Using analytics tools to understand your impact better
- Building efficient solutions that help grow fundraising results
- Improving connection to your community with improved service delivery
- Opportunities for continuous learning and growth
Why are we launching the Charity Growth Academy?
We've seen a digital revolution happen in almost every sector.
But most charities are still struggling. Donors, a new generation of employees, and program beneficiaries are demanding that charities keep up with the digital advancements of other industries. Embracing technology and a digital-first attitude is essential for charities to survive.
While the majority of charities believe digital adoption is important and the resource crunch they face could be more effectively managed through digital technology, 55 percent of charities say they do not have the funding, or the skills, expertise and knowledge for digital adoption. The pandemic and economic uncertainty has only made it harder as charities face Increased demand for services and declining fundraising revenue.
Charity Growth Academy is designed to remove these barriers and help Canadian charities close the digital divide, increase their impact, and build a stronger sector for everyone.
Getting the program just right
Taking on such a big project means we need to get it right. That's why we developed a theory of change as our roadmap for defining program success, measuring progress, and tracking impact. It’s also why we’re starting with the launch of a pilot program to make sure it meets the needs of the sector.
Even before the Charity Growth Academy was launched, we worked with our pre-pilot participants to:
- Assess their current digital capabilities
- Develop a customized action plan across different organization sizes
- Understand how to best use data to drive decision making
- And more!
We're excited to now be able to offer this program to all Canadian charities. We know that digital transformation isn't easy, but it is necessary.
How do I sign up?
If you're interested in taking part in the program, we encourage you to sign up for our waitlist. After a successful pilot, we plan to open up the program to more charities and will let you know as soon as spots become available.
We're looking forward to helping you grow!