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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Digital inclusion being part of ‘the everyday’ can be a culture shift for any organisation. A wholesale mindset shift is often needed. This takes time and there are some key factors that help with this culture shift.

Management, staff and volunteers all need to view it as an opportunity. It can help you to provide a better service and make things easier longer-term. Don't 'sell it' as ‘another thing to add to the to-do list’.

Three key actions

  • Identify your Digital Motivator
  • Get buy-in across the organisation
  • Embed digital inclusion across your service

Get buy-in from senior managers

Leadership and direction must come from the top. This is especially important in organisations with many departments and layers of management.

We use the ‘Digital Motivator’ model. A Digital Motivator is someone in management who leads on digital inclusion work.

They make sure the senior management team understand and support digital inclusion work. They also motivate and support frontline staff.

You could use the Digital Skills Toolkit to gather data to inform management endorsement. This could be for staff, volunteers and service user digital skill levels.

Get buy-in from staff and volunteers

Concerns about losing the human touch or increasing vulnerability are common. Staff and volunteers may not feel confident in their own digital skills so won’t feel confident to assist others.

You will need to help them to understand that digital can be an enabler. It can help to compliment human engagement with other forms of contact. Developing their own digital skills will also help to build their confidence. This can include how to stay safe online to better inform how they support others.

Allow staff and volunteers to shape and inform your digital inclusion activities. They will have a good grasp on user needs and will know how to respond.

Embed in core service delivery

You should weave digital inclusion into existing engagement work. It will have more impact than setting up stand-alone short-term activity. Make it ‘everyday’ to help it to become the ‘norm’ for all staff and volunteers as part of the service they provide.

This may involve using new approaches. Some activities may feel very personal. For example, showing a person how to make video calls. Give staff and volunteers permission to do this work. Remember to set clear boundaries and have processes in place to safeguard everyone.

Celebrate and share

Shout about your quick wins. Share the longer-term impact it's having for those you're supporting and for your organisation. This helps to foster acceptance and drive momentum.



Case Study - Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface

The culture shift to embed Digital Champions to help support their networks with adult learning opportunities


Case Study - Linstone Housing Association

The impact of embedding digital inclusion across their service to help build confidence and connections


Case Study animation - Beyond the Screen by Airdrie CAB

Wonderful animation made by Airdie CAB about how they help their community with innovative, digital tailored advice and support

“Our Chief Executive understands the importance of digital. It’s just that shift in getting everybody to think about digital as their responsibility.”

Louise Orr, Team Leader, Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface
Last modified on 25 July 2022
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