Charities, like most organisations, are being constantly persuaded to go online and capitalise on the potential of social media to engage the public. While it’s great to see so many voluntary sector organisations jumping on the digital bandwagon, it’s also essential for charities to adopt a more consistent approach to digital; this includes not only embracing social media, but also a radical change in their digital infrastructure, websites and accounts.
I recently read an article in the Guardian from Susan Luxford, digital communication manager at the Institute of Fundraising, who is advising charities looking to expand their digital presence to firstly check the domains they own, find out who is the registrant, the registrar and when they are due to expire. After this information is gathered, it’s good to ensure access to the registrar and provide the latest details about the organisation. This aspect of building digital infrastructure is important, because sometimes charity website domains are registered by people who have left the organisation, taking all information related to accounts, passwords and expiry date details with them.
It is also important to track down all websites and web pages that are still under the responsibility of the charity, find the web developers and check whether they still host them, as well as dig out information about any CMS systems used and possible contracts with funders or web developers.
Luxford also advises charities to check before creating a social media profile of their organisation – it may turn out that it is already there. If that is the case, ensure you have admin access to the page and remove the admin rights of those who no longer work for the organisation. If there are any social media accounts that are not used or managed, delete them too.
It also makes sense to search for any photos, videos or other digital assets of the charity and find how they have been stored. Gather your team to work together on retrieving images and create a centralised library containing all your digital assets.