A coalition of 28 IT-related charities and associated organisations is trying to secure £9m earmarked by the Home Office for improving the use of IT in the charitable sector.
The group, called the ICT Consortium, has already developed a business plan to forge better links between the charitable and the commercial IT sectors. Work on the plan was funded by a £75,000 Home Office Active Community Unit grant awarded last April as part of the government's ChangeUp programme.
Founder members of the ICT Consortium include AbilityNet, IT4Communities, the London Advice Services Alliance, the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.
The business plan provides a framework for delivering a range of IT services that are particularly relevant to smaller charities and community groups, including:
- Advice for chief executives and charity trustees on strategic IT issues
- Technical advice
- Good practice case studies
- Access to IT volunteers and support for developing local "circuit rider" initiatives
- Support in finding suitable trainers and suppliers
- Advice on accessibility issues.
The ICT Consortium also wants to help IT suppliers gain a better understanding of the charity market and the particular products and services required.
On 14 October the consortium will publish the findings from two pieces of research looking at the take-up and use of IT in the voluntary and community sector and the provision of IT support at a local level.
More information www.ictconsortium.org.uk