Canadian Charities are Facing Huge Digital Deficits

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The 2021 Digital Skills Survey Results is a new report published by CanadaHelps to understand the ways Canadian charities are currently using technology, as well as assess potential barriers to the adoption of digital technology and advancement of digital skills. The report is the first of its kind in Canada. The following letter is an excerpt of the report which is a letter from CanadaHelps President and CEO, Marina Glogovac.

I’ve been speaking about the need for charities to prioritize digital transformation for years, both in response to demographic shifts and changing donor preferences, and to help charities avoid being left behind during this digital era. The challenges created by profound technology disruptions are all around us, and also offer opportunities not previously thought possible. While there are those in the sector who have understood the urgency, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for many organizations that have been relatively slower to adapt.

Young cheerful woman sitting at a table with a lap top.

Digital transformation is about much more than the use of hardware or software, or acquiring digital talent; it’s fundamentally about organizational culture, mindset and change management. However, for many charities, the starting point is in setting up digital basics for future growth and success. 

This report contains the results of a survey we conducted in early 2021, to assess the degree to which Canadian charities are open, interested, and willing to adopt new digital tools, and to identify barriers to charities adopting such tools. Overall, I’m happy that we finally have Canadian data to make the case for the critical need for investment in these areas within the charitable sector. This data is also critical for governments and funders to understand the ways in which charities need support to thrive; to date, most of the focus on digital transformation has been on the business sector. 

We also conducted the survey for our own selfish purposes. CanadaHelps is an essential infrastructure and educational partner for charities across Canada. We help small charities achieve digital competency and, ultimately, help increase their impact. In order to increase our own impact and support charities more, we need to understand where charities are at in their digital journeys, and what’s holding them back from being successful in this transition. 

The survey and this report will become a baseline for future surveys –to measure distance travelled and gauge charities’ collective success in transitioning. It will help us to work with thousands of charities to fill the gaps in digital training, and to partner with them to access digital technology and best practices in the sector. 

Together, we can build from here.

Head shot of CanadaHelps President and CEO Marina Glogovac.


Marina Glogovac
President and CEO, CanadaHelps



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