We have struggled to groom our digital journalists for leadership, in part, because we don’t fully know how to use their skills.

It’s critically important to have traditional journalists involved in crafting and implementing our digital strategy. But having so many of these [digital leadership] posts filled by traditional journalists deprives us of deep expertise to push our digital efforts to the next level.Leaked New York Times Newsroom Innovation report


To succeed, organisations need to respond to the market, which is increasingly Digital.
Often there is a lack of clarity on how Digital contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of an organisation.

This report identifies the state of Digital in the UK not-for-profit sector in four main areas of strategy development:

  • Structure
  • Planning
  • Evaluation
  • Systems

The report includes:
1) Insight from the ECF Digital Leadership Forum 2014 held in Oxford 10-11 April 2014
2) Findings of a two-part The State of Digital Leadership in the not-for-profit sector 2014 survey developed to help identify trends in how Digital is organised in the UK not-for-profit sector


What digital roles have organisations invested in and where are they in the organisational hierarchy?

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How integrated are digital teams in the organisation-wide planning?

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How are digital operations evaluated? Is the organisational hierarchy aware of the contribution digital operations make towards achieving organisational objectives?

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Are digital teams involved in discussions around data flow and management, given that this is usually at the heart of most not-for-profit organisations?

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It is hard to leap into the digital age, and retain digital talent, when the top jobs go to those with traditional, inky-fingered backgroundsLeaked New York Times Newsroom Innovation report

Summary of main conclusions

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51 organisations took part in the survey and Digital Leadership Forum combined.

The survey responses overwhelmingly come from the UK (80%) with a few responses from US, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland and India. Respondents include a good spread of international development, animal welfare, environmental and health organisations with an equal focus on fundraising and campaigning as well as a good spread of organisations of different size measured by income.