Italia Non Profit has released the results of its first survey into the relationship between the country’s non-profit organisations and digital.


The online questionnaire surveyed both charity professionals and sector consultants to examine the adoption of digital by Italian non-profits, levels of digital skills, and the associated challenges.


Italia Non Profit found that in general, while there remains a lack of understanding among many charities both of digital’s potential and of the issues, it plays an important role in many non-profit organisations. While 40% said their board does not yet have a clear vision of what digital could do to help them, a further third (34%) said they used digital, but without a strategic approach. Under a quarter (23%) of charity respondents said that their organisations have incorporated digital in everything they do.


The survey also indicates that digital is not the preserve of larger charities with one third of those working in small organisations saying they used digital.


It also found that skills in certain areas, such as social media and email marketing skills are well developed, but that expertise is currently lacking in others, including SEO and cybersecurity. However, the benefits of increasing digital skills were recognised on both sides. For charity employees, 56% said that increasing digital skills has a positive impact on fundraising, and 39% on the development of their network. For consultants, the main benefits of increasing digital skills were seen to be increasing their organisation’s network (53%) and improving their general strategy (37%).


The biggest challenges for both charity professionals and consultants however were not being adequately prepared for digital fundraising, SEO, data management and privacy issues, and how to engage new audiences. Charity professionals cited shortage of funds (40%) and lack of internal skills (37%) as the main barriers for making the most out of digitalisation. For consultants however, the main obstacles were the lack of knowledge (47%) or the perception that other challenges should be prioritised (43%).