On 4 November, London’s technologists will get the chance to change the world. Not by scaling their startups. Not by raising more capital. Not with a hackday.
Instead, they are being invited to join the boards of trustees of some of the UK’s biggest charities.
Connecting the considerable skillsets that exist within the London tech community at a governance level is an incredibly powerful idea. Despite digital channels decimating many traditional forms of communications and fundraising, until recently, the only way for technologists to get involved in scaling a charity’s work was through occasional hackdays or through direct digital fundraising.
2015 is looking like a good year for bridging this gap. In June, Founders Forum for Good launched Founders Pledge – a way for entrepreneurs, primarily in the technology sector, to donate a percentage of their future return in the event of an exit to charity.
Last week, TechCrunch and Wayra partnered up to run TechFugees, bringing technologists in at a moment’s notice to create solutions to the refugee crisis in Europe. Now, GetWired is launching a way to get involved at a strategic level in the future of some of the UK’s most important forces for good.
These skills are needed more than ever. In the past decade, the amount of money raised via digital fundraising has risen by a factor of more than 10. Mobile now accounts for around 50% of traffic to some charity websites. Social media has taken over the bulk of conversations and much of communications. These changes have led to the development of highly-skilled digital fundraising, campaigning and technology roles within most charities’ teams.
Despite these seismic organisational and social shifts, most charity trustee boards remain largely unchanged. There is a massive shortfall in technology-aware board-level strategic leadership and governance in these charities, while just round the corner in and around London’s Tech City a generation of world-class technology leaders are building the products that will shape the future.
A failure to value or develop these skills in trustees will lead to underinvestment in the digital futures of today’s charities. And in today’s volatile social sector climate, a lack of digital future-proofing is something few can afford.
GetWired has given us all an opportunity to change this, to get involved, and to help shape the future of good in the UK. As a technologist with a burning desire to help scale the good in this world, I’ll be there. See you there too.
To register interest or find out more visit the GetWired website.