Digital trends for UK charities in 2019

John Newton's picture
John Newton
Man wearing VR headset

While we never know what’s round the corner in the world of digital and the third sector, we’ve seen a number of interesting trends emerge in 2018 that will grow further in 2019. Here’s our take on what’s next for digital in the UK charity sector.

  • Voice donation giving with Alexa. Already trialled in the US, Alex should be enabled to provide donation capabilities to UK charities in the UK. How might frictionless, voice donation help UK charities, and which rival services will spring up?
  • Voice-commerce. An extension of Alexa (and other voice activated technologies), we may well see more people using voice-driven services to buy goods - for early adopter charities, this could become part of the charity commerce scene next year.
  • Voice activated applications. This is my last voice prediction for the coming year but we should see more services migrating to voice. Charities that provide vital services will begin offering voice activated responses (perhaps alongside free installtion of these relatively cheap devices) into users' homes.
  • Chatbots. Well, they’re already here but they are fairly restricted to early adopters and larger charities. I think it may take some time for smaller charities to make use of them where the benefits of directing visitors to the information they need more quickly (and saving staff time) might not be so obviously impactful as they are for organisations working at scale. I don’t think the evidence is also clear enough as yet of the benefits but as this area of tech matures next year, we’re likely to see greater uptake regardless.
  • The growth of digital first strategies. This is another area where we have seen larger organisations take the lead but smaller charities are starting to take up this message. This may be in part encouraged by the changing demographic of trustees where younger tech-savvy trustees are now in post.
  • More mobile. Ofcom’s research shows that 62% of all internet traffic was on mobile last year. As websites have more than held their own after the rush to expensive (and often unnecessary) mobile app development, I’d see greater concentration on user experience and mobile performance for charity websites and intranets next year.

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