Do you need to be zooming?

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

It’s April 2020 and people’s lives in all parts of the world are being affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic.

The short and medium term effects, including changes in how we use technology, are likely to go on for some months.

The long term effects will go on for years.

Video conferencing using Zoom

In our sector, people who never used video conferencing before this pandemic are having to suddenly get their heads around the various platforms in order to have meetings, deliver services, keep helping their beneficiaries.

Zoom, a platform developed for business purposes, for big organisations with IT departments, seems to have become the goto platform. Currently more than 200m people are logging on to use it every day.

Internet evangelist and social videographer John Popham observed about the Zoom phenomenon:

And this is where we come in with some more information about alternatives to Zoom.

Most people will have heard of these others of course, but it might be a good reminder of what they can do, and a chance to reconsider which platform is most suited to our needs.

No IT department?

If you’re not a big organisation with an IT department, other video calling options as alternatives to Zoom are available:

Google hangouts – free group video call with up to 10 people, group chats (typing text) for up to 150 people – here’s a good article about how to use hangouts including how it works if you don’t have a Google account

Skype – free group video call with up to 50 people, available even if you don’t have a Skype account

WhatsApp video – free group video call with up to 4 people, available if everyone has the WhatsApp app on their phone

Regional CVSs and Covid-19

Photo by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

Councils for Voluntary Service

“A Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) is a type of charity in England. CVSs are “the place at which local voluntary and community organisations speak to each other”. They offer a wide variety of services and support for local organisations, for example training, or advice on funding”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_Voluntary_Service

Each CVS in the various parts of the West Midlands has a link to information about the local response to the Covid19 pandemic.

Updates


Some of these pages are updated on a regular basis. Please check back regularly.

CVS on Twitter


Each CVS’s Twitter feed should give you their latest information.

Something missing?


Please let us know if we have missed an area or organisation by emailing me at paulineroche.news@gmail.com 

PlaceAgencyCOVID19 info Twitter
Birmingham Birmingham Voluntary Service Council https://www.bvsc.org/C19SupportBrum https://twitter.com/BVSC
Bromsgrove & RedditchBromsgrove and Redditch Network https://barn.org.uk/covid-19/https://twitter.com/BARNNetwork
Coventry Voluntary Action Coventry http://www.vacoventry.org.uk/https://twitter.com/VACoventry
DudleyDudley Council for Voluntary Service http://dudleycvsreview.org/covid-19-community-action-and-support/https://twitter.com/DudleyCVS
Herefordshire Community First (Herefordshire & Worcestershire)https://www.comfirst.org.uk/community_firstrsquos_response_to_coronavirushttps://twitter.com/comfirst
Malvern Hills Community Action Malvern & District https://www.communityaction.org.uk/stay-connected-help-line/https://twitter.com/CommunityActio1
Sandwell Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations https://www.scvo.info/covid-19/https://twitter.com/SCVOSandwell
Shropshire Shropshire Rural Community Council https://www.shropshire-rcc.org.uk/news/coronavirus-update/?hid=#-anchorhttps://twitter.com/Shropshire_RCC
Solihull Colebridge Trust & Enterprisehttps://colebridge.org/covid-19/latest-notice/https://twitter.com/colebridgetrust
Staffordshire Support Staffordshire (includes Cannock Chase, Lichfield and Tamworth) https://www.supportstaffordshire.org.uk/covid-19-supporthttps://twitter.com/supportstaffs
Stoke on TrentVoluntary Action Stoke On Trent (VAST) https://corona19.vast.org.uk/https://twitter.com/VASTstaffs
Stratford-on-Avon Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon District https://www.vasa.org.uk/corvid-19-update-27th-march/https://twitter.com/vasaorg
Telford & WrekinTelford & Wrekin CVShttps://www.telfordandwrekincvs.org.uk/update-covid-19-coronavirushttps://twitter.com/TelfordVolServe
Walsall One Walsallhttps://onewalsall.org/https://twitter.com/One_Walsall
Warwick & Warwickshire & SolihullWarwickshire Community and Voluntary Action https://www.wcava.org.uk/covid-19https://twitter.com/wcavaorg
Worcester & WorcestershireCommunity First (Herefordshire & Worcestershire) https://www.comfirst.org.uk/community_firstrsquos_response_to_coronavirus https://twitter.com/comfirst 
Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council http://www.wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk/covid19/https://twitter.com/WolvesVSC

Digital WM News: Brum digital meetup

Image from Unsplash

We held our first ever Digital WM News online meetup, a Brum digital meetup, on 15th April 2020, organised by Pauline Roche from RnR Organisation.

The meetup was for Digital WM News subscribers and others in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, to allow social changemakers to check in with each other and share information during the Covid19 lockdown.

Event participants

Participants in 1st Digital WM News online meetup:
Top row: John Dunford, Nivi Morales, Stuart Ashmore, Edward Walden, Pauline Roche; Bottom row: Vicky Kangurs, Claire Bickley

As well as Pauline we had Communications freelancer Vicky Kangurs, Stuart Ashmore from SCVO Sandwell, John Dunford from The Developer Society, Edward Walden from Power to Change, freelance web developer Nivi Morales, and Claire Bickley from Code Your Future.

Updates

Participants updated each other on their latest activity, mainly in the light of responding to the pandemic .

Pauline has been on several CAST / Catalyst / Third Sector Lab video calls and several TechSoup meetups. She has issued one Digital WM News Covid19 Special 1 and is working on a second Special issue. As a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition she has assisted the helpdesk as well as providing some staff support and attending specialist meetups.

Online webinars attended include Donor engagement and Improving membership organisations as well as Net Squared London’s excellent and timely ‘Human connection in a time of social distancing‘ with Deepr colleagues. Another useful webinar was Cybersecurity and WFH. She also found time to pitch and run a ThingsCamp session on Social data.

Vicky shared that she is launching the Birmingham Charity Meetup on 28th Apr at 2pm. Email vicky@tabbytiger.co.uk for information. Speakers are TBC but topics will include wellbeing and working from home. 

Vicky is also organising the next Midlands Charity Comms meeting on 11th June. Topic is ‘comms on a shoestring’ but this may change or become adapted to be more relevant in the coming weeks. Any suggestions for speakers from charities or NFPs who do an excellent job of communicating with stakeholders on little/no budget would be appreciated.

For Sandwell, Stuart says COVID-19 support information is available at www.scvo.info – you just follow the link from front page. Some is Sandwell specific, some more general. A new befriending scheme gas been created – Sandwell Together. General CVS activities are continuing using remote technologies, but also support with things like furlough etc.

John has continued to work with Dev Society’s normal partners, helped coordinate response from social tech orgs, as well as working with CAST, Social Tech Trust and other funders to help connect charities with support.

Edward continues to offer service design and digital skills consultancy to community businesses and other charitable organisations across England.

As a front end developer with special interest on accessibility  / universal design / user center, Nivi has offered tech support for Covid 19 Kenilworth Support . She has come across some free volunteer management software from a company called Team Kinetic.

Claire is supporting 30-35 Code Your Future students studying coding (refugees, asylum seekers, people from disadvantaged background) and looking for volunteers. She shared information about a COVID 19 Charity Preparedness Facebook Group, a Volunteer Pro Insiders Facebook Group and the Charity Comms Midlands Networking Facebook Group which she has found useful.

Future plans

Participants found the meetup useful so we will consider running others, possibly focussing on other locations in the West Midlands region.


Funders and data for good: regional funders network at the first national Data4Good conference

Background

RnR Organisation was delighted to see the involvement of WM Funders Network (WMFN) in the 1st national data4good conference in 2018.

We saw it as a potential opportunity for others attending the conference to influence WMFN members in how they may use data in their own organisations. During the event, some funder representative attendees expressed an increased interest in the uses of data, even if their organisation hasn’t currently got staff resource to engage in such development.

Smaller funders, data and data sharing

Smaller funders do not always see the benefits of data, and data sharing, and WMFN also has members for whom the cost of paying to attend events like this might be an issue. Combining attendance at this important event as part of their annual membership package was a bonus for them.

Engagement opportunities for conference delegates

Access to fifteen local funder representatives meant the opportunity for other conference attendees to, amongst other things:

Expose funders to messages about what conference organising partners and other delegates would like them to do with their data and the data from their beneficiaries
Encourage funders to share their data and demonstrate how to do it
Encourage funders to get charities/groups they fund to share their data
Encourage collaboration (WMFN will continue to support member organisations in the West Midlands, including around data, and other regional funders networks could do likewise)
Impact evidence of including smaller funders

Future steps with funders and data for good

As conference partners and others have written about the merits to the sector of getting more funders to share and explore their data, thus supporting the decision to encourage funders to attend the conference, this decision enabled a wider and better-informed breadth of discussion to take place.

We hope to see an increasing number of funders at future data for good events.

Reading

There is good impact evidence to back up the participation of small funders with information in articles like these:

Exploring the gold mine of funders’ data, 360 Giving 8 Dec 2016

5 ways data can improve your grant-making, NPC, 3 Nov 2016

What does it take for charities to harness the power of data?, Katie Boswell, NPC, 5 June 2017

Exploring Open Data On Charity Funding, David Kane, NCVO, 15 Dec 2015

Grant-making data and small charities, ACF, 22 June 2017

Wasting less and giving more: charities and funders unite with better data, Suraj Vadgama, ODI, 11 Jan 2017

How Funders Reduce “Nonprofit Starvation” with Tech Funding & Data Best Practices, Exponent Partners, Guidestar, 11 Nov 2016

Sharing Data Responsibly – How And Why Do Human Rights Funders Share Data? Tom Walker, The Engine Room, 27 Feb 2018

How philanthropy can support the growth of data for social good, Kendra Schreiner and Jordan Junge, Alliance for social investment and philanthropy worldwide,15 Aug 2018

Five principles for applying data science for social good, Jake Porway, Datakind, 1 Oct 2015

Charities and data in England and Wales

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

Introduction

We’ve been talking about charity data for a few years, working to increase data literacy and data sharing in and around our sector. We were one of the nine partners in the first Data for Good conference in Birmingham in 2018.

The conversation around data and it’s use by charities is developing so we decided to collate some of the resources we have come across and/or used. We’d be pleased to hear about others.

Sources and links to information on data about and for charities

Blogposts

The best data resources for UK charities by Chloe Green, 5th April 2019, Charity Digital

Charities in the UK – Statistics & Facts by Daniel Clark, 17th Jan 2020, Statista

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) FAQs for charities, Information Commissioners Office

Databases/Directories

Charitybase – free, open source database, API and web app which provides public information on the activities, locations and finances of the 168,000 charities registered in England and Wales.

CharityChoice – charity directory, providing detailed information on over 160,000 registered UK charities

Grantnav, 360 Giving – supports organisations to publish their grants data in an open, standardised way and helps people to understand and use the data to support decision-making and learning across the charitable giving sector.

Housing Databank June 2019, Shelter – brings together government data on housing need, supply, affordability and other issues at a local, regional and national level.

UK Civil Society Almanac 2019, NCVO , 2019 – definitive resource on the state of the voluntary sector. The Almanac produces insights on what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteers and the sector’s impact

Organisations

360 Giving – charity which helps UK funders publish open, standardised grants data, and empowers people to use it to improve charitable giving.

Charity Digital – charity which helps other charities accelerate their missions using digital technology

Datakind UK – charity which supports charities and social enterprises large and small to work on and with their data using data science

NCVO – infrastructure organisation which champions the voluntary sector and volunteering

NPC – charity which supports charities, philanthropists, funders and social enterprises to maximise their social impact. 

Operational Research Society – charity which helps inform strategic, tactical and operational decisions as well as assisting in the design of public policy. 

Pro Bono Economics – charity helping charities and social enterprises improve their impact and value

Royal Statistical Society – charity which advocates the key role of statistics and data in society, working to ensure that policy formulation and decision making are informed by evidence for the public good.

Papers/Reports

Charities and the voluntary sector: statistics By Richard Keen & Lukas Audickas, 16th Aug 2017, House of Commons Library

Investment Spotlight report 2019 – examines the investment performance of the UK’s top 5,000 charities in terms of income and assesses the size of the charity investment market over the past 10 years.

Open data and charities: a state of the art review written for Nominet Trust by Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt, Thanassis Tiropanis, Kieron O’Hara and Tim Davies, July 2012

Where are England’s charities? by Dan Corry, 16th Jan 2020, npc – author uses data to ask if the current distribution of charities around the country is what we would want in an ideal world and explores what government, funders and charities could do about it. 

Smart Cities: smarter VCSE

Tech and data for good

Technology and the understanding and usage of data can help us in the VCSE sectors. Digital tools and approaches can help us work better, sometimes freeing us up to spend more of our valuable time helping our beneficiaries, sometimes allowing us to make better decisions and work smarter.

The concepts we need to get more familiar with in the sector include digital, data, transformation, ownership, impact, collaboration and sharing.

Work smarter

We all need to work smarter – digital technology and data will help us to do that. We need to increase the digital and data literacy of everyone, but especially those in our sector.

We are not the only ones in society doing the work that we do but there is no shortage of need and time is not on our side. If we do not transform our organisations, there are other organisations, without our understanding of local community needs, who will come into the ‘market’ and say they can do the job better than us.

We need to reclaim our mission and prove the need we serve, using technology and data, including our own, to improve our processes and prove our impact.

Transformation using technology is in the best interests of our beneficiaries and our organisations.

Data

We are constantly having to rely on data produced by the statutory sector. We work to encourage the VCSE sector to understand, value, use and share our own data, amongst ourselves and with trusted allies.

We attended a datadive run by the charity Datakind UK in June 2014 where data scientists gave up a weekend to examine the data of 4 separate charities, eventually producing dashboards or data visualisations which helped each charity show its impact.

Net Squared Midlands, a tech for good group, part of a global network of people interested in using web or mobile technology for social good, organises meetups where VCSE organisations can meet and get support from digital advocates who want to support work in the sector by sharing their technical skills.

Digital skills

The annual Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index tracks digital adoption among small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) and charities.

From the 2018 report:

  • 103,000 (52%) charities have all five skills (up 4% since 2017).

  • 2.4 million (58%) SMEs have all five skills (down 1% since 2017).

  • Less than half (49%) of SMEs in the West Midlands have all five Basic Digital Skills – the lowest of any region.

  • In the third sector, charities from the South West and Wales have the lowest Basic Digital Skill levels (45%) – this is flat year-on-year.

  • 60,000 (30%) charities and 655,000 (16%) SMEs have low digital capability.

  • only 18% of SMEs and 8% of charities have taken the step to optimise their services for mobile use.

  • Since 2014, charities’ growth in digital usage has surpassed that of SMEs. Some of the largest changes include:

    • Nearly one-third (29%) of charities now use Cloud-based IT systems, this is 15 times more than in 2014.

    • Two-thirds (65%) of charities are now accessing Government Digital Services, more than seven times as many as in 2014.

    There are now nearly one million SMEs and charities on ‘the cusp’, with four of the five Basic Digital Skills, up 34% in one year.

Tools and resources

There are many tools, resources, organisations and events to do with technology for non-profits, many of them available to us in the VCSE sector at low or no cost. Many of the tools and resources are designed and maintained by people who believe in tech for good, including volunteers.

We also recommend organisations and events like VCSSCamp, the unconference for voluntary sector infrastructure organisations (CVSs and Volunteer Centres etc) at which you can network with and get support from other organisations in the sector who are also engaged on this same transformation journey.

Allies

We have allies in this work, people who work in the public or private sectors but who also want to ‘give something back’.

Organisations like Datakind UK bring together charities and data scientists to enable the data scientists to examine the charities’ data and help them understand the patterns in the data which will help them do a better job.

Meetups like those organised by Net Squared local organisers attract ‘techies’ who are civic-minded and want to work with us to help us find solutions.

What technology many charities need

As far back as 2015 a national charitable funder ran a pilot programme which was to help charities use technology to create change in the lives of certain groups in society.

The funder was clear that there were a number of things this programme would not cover and these were:

  • Upgrading of internal IT systems

  • Large-scale capital costs

  • Updating of websites and routine social media campaigns

  • Exploration events or hack days

  • Staff or volunteer training

  • Capacity-building to make an organisation more ‘digital ready’

We think this is a handy list of work which does need to be funded by some funder(s) and we continue to work to identify and seek dialogue with, and share information about, funders who will fund these areas.

Resource-saving tools

What are the tasks you need to do? Of these, what are the time-consuming ones which could be automated?

How much time do you spend answering the same queries over and over, organising events, arranging meetings, travelling to meetings, keeping up to date, managing projects, updating documents, finding out what your members think?

How much money do we pay for simple website maintenance and updates?

Tools like Eventbrite, Doodle, Skype/Hangouts, Google alerts, Trello, Google Drive and Survey Monkey can save us time and money in times like these and we should be using them more. Links to these and other tools can be found in Charity Catalogue, a curated list of useful resources for UK charities brought to you by a committed group of volunteers and the SCVO Digital Team

Voluntary sector and smart cities

In a blogpost written by us in September 2012, when Birmingham was establishing its Smart City Commission, we said:

“The voluntary and community sector (VCS) has accommodated the move from early computers to flat screens, to laptops, blackberries, smartphones, iPads etc etc. We have accommodated changes in programme applications – online, monitoring through prescribed databases and spreadsheets, and reporting on pre-set and template programmes. Smart/digital systems, big/open data, ‘Smart Cities’ programmes are all processes and programmes that will benefit the sector in developing, delivering, monitoring and reporting services.

The question for the VCS is not about whether, or how, we engage in ‘digital by default’ [see Government Digital Service], but how do we proactively lead/shape our involvement within the ‘technological journey’.

While the public sector is planning reforms and changes based on technological developments, there are growing concerns over our sector’s ability to take part in and respond to the continued changes”.

Future articles

In the other articles in this series we look at the strategic and operational processes we in the sector need to be aware of and implementing if we want to achieve the transformation to ‘digital by default’ that is so badly needed.

Events

Some events relevant to this topic:

What next?

If you or your organisation wants some strategic help to take any of these ideas forward, please contact us for a discussion about how we might work together.

 

OTHER ARTICLES IN SERIES:

Digital governance

How do you review your digital footprint?

Mapping charities in the West Midlands

The map shows all 13,653 charities that were registered with the Charity Commission in September 2016, and had registered with a postcode that falls within the West Midlands.

The layers tab on the right allows for filtering by category of activity (proportional by income), the search function on the left searches by charity name.

The layers are ordered by frequency of type (with 82 umbrella bodies and 2383 religious orgs).

James Bowles made this map following a suggestion by Pauline Roche from RnR Organisation.

Pauline recognised how useful such a map would be, not only for all the charities on the map, but also for existing and potential funders, including individuals who might want to support a charity in their area.

James posted details of how he made the map here

What are your charity’s digital identity needs?

How could digital identification help UK charities to more effectively collect information about people using their services?

Do charities need to prove who people are, ensure that they are legally eligible for services or to record and recall information about them? If they do, what worries them about the process?

Could Yoti Keys help people to take ownership of their background information and how they share it when accessing multiple, or repeat, services?

In 2018 Yoti commissioned Nissa Ramsay of Think Social Tech, and Pauline Roche of RnR Organisation, to find answers to these all important questions.

Nissa and I explored the most effective use cases for the Yoti app (which verifies legal identities or key personal details, like age) among UK charities.

We also explored the use cases for Yoti Keys, Yoti’s offline solution, which is a product in development that enables charities to register and subsequently identify people accessing their services without needing a smartphone, documentation or connectivity.

You can find more information about Yoti’s social purpose here.

How charities got involved

We told people who worked for charities based and working in the UK that we’d love to hear from them.

We were particularly interested in hearing from them if they had a need to legally identify people.

We also wanted to hear from people who could potentially use the offline Key to help prevent people from having to tell their story every time they access a service, or to help their organisation better manage and monitor people’s interactions with their service .

What happened next

The research ended in late September 2018, with a first look at our findings coming out later that year.

Nissa’s insights from the research were published here.

Yoti continues to work towards delivering the best possible products and services for UK charities. More about their social purpose here

Civil Society Strategy 2018 – commentaries etc

Civil Society Strategy: Building A Future That Works For Everyone, Cabinet Office, Aug 2018 [123pp, PDF]

 

ARTICLES

Charities react to the Civil Society Strategy: ‘Good start, could do more’, Kirsty Weakley, Civil Society, Aug 9 2018

Civil Society Strategy: 7 things social entrepreneurs need to know, Laura Kekuti, UnLtd, Aug 9

Civil Society Strategy – A Closer Look, Will Downs, Clinks, Aug 21 2018

The Civil Society Strategy – good ideas, no execution, David Ainsworth, Civil Society, Aug 10

Civil Society Strategy is only the beginning, sector says, Liam Kay, Third Sector, Aug 9

Civil Society Strategy: Localgiving’s Response, Aug 9 2018

Civil Society Strategy: Much to welcome, tempered by the broader context, ACF, Aug 9 2018

Civil Society Strategy – Our Thoughts, London Funders

Civil Society Strategy Special [podcast], CAF, Aug 23 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Digital, Lisa Horning, NCVO, Aug 30 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Funding And Finance, James Clarke, NCVO, Aug 14 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Impact And Evaluation, Alex Farrow, NCVO, Aug 20 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Local Infrastructure, Lev Pedro, NCVO, Aug 30 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Public Services, Rebecca Young, NCVO, Aug 14 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Regulation, Douglas Dowell, NCVO, Aug 16 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What It Says About Volunteering, Shaun Delaney, NCVO, Aug 15 2018

The Civil Society Strategy: What You Need To Know, Elizabeth Chamberlain, NCVO, Aug 9 2018

The Civil Society Strategy won’t feed the sector, Mark Freeman, CCVS,  Aug 16 2018

Does the Civil Society Strategy deliver for charities? Richard Sagar, Charity Finance Group, 16 Aug 2018

The future is collaborative commissioning, Community Southwark, Aug 14

Government aims to build digital in civil society, Mark Say, UK Authority, Aug 10 2018

Government and charities don’t do enough to give people power, Julia Unwin, Civil Society, Aug 14 2018

Inclusive Democracy and Participation, Roz Davies, Good Things Foundation, Aug 12 2018

Julia Unwin: Government and charities don’t do enough to give people power, Julia Unwin, Civil Society, Aug 14 2018

New Civil Society Strategy – too many roadblocks on the way to success left untouched, Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde, DSC, Aug 23 2018

NYA CEO Leigh’s thoughts on the Civil Society Strategy, Alex Winterton, National Youth Agency, Aug 14 2018

Our response to the Civil Society Strategy, SSE, Aug 10 2018

Paul Streets: The devil of the Civil Society Strategy lies in the delivery, Paul Streets, Third Sector, Aug 10 2018

Plotting the path: David Robinson responds to the government’s Civil Society Strategy, David Robinson, Community Links, Aug 21 2018

Revitalising trusts to support local communities, Community Foundation for Surrey, Aug 10

Strengthening Civil Society, Miriam Brittenden, CUF, Aug 28 2018

UKCF Chief Executive Welcomes The Civil Society Strategy, Fabian French

What charities should expect from the new Civil Society Strategy, Oliver White, nfpsynergy, Aug 16 2018

What Links Netflix, Assistive Technology And The Civil Society Strategy? Ian Burbidge, RSA, Aug 21 2018

LETTERS

The ‘civil society strategy’ can’t rely on charities with no funding, Guardian, Aug 12 2018

PRESS RELEASES

Government outlines vision to empower and invest in society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & SportOffice for Civil Society, and Tracey Crouch MP, Aug 8 2018

“We now need to see Government driving action on the ground” – Our response to the new Civil Society Strategy, Paul Streets, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Aug 9 2018

Net Squared Midlands helping charities do good better

Net Squared Midlands is relaunching on September 20th 2018 with a new development plan for bi-monthly meetups.

Net Squared Midlands, organised by Pauline Roche and Ted Ryan from RnR Organisation, is a tech for social good group with regular free events for people interested in using the web or mobile technology for social good. It’s part of a global NetSquared movement of innovators in more than 70 cities around the world, including Birmingham.

Ted said: “In developing Net Squared Midlands, we aim to build a sector that knows how to use technology more efficiently in order to help their beneficiaries, explore the specific issues and activities not financed through many tech for good funding streams, increase the efficiency and productivity of our sector e.g. automate repetitive tasks, and to build a creative and collaborative digital mindset in the sector”

Sam Reader, of new tech startup Wondr, who has recently become a member of Net Squared Midlands, said: “I think what RnR Organisation is doing, to help charities and non-profits is a great approach and very meaningful. Our team are also passionate about connecting people with others, to share useful information for positive action so I look forward to being involved with Net Squared Midlands.”

Net Squared Midlands is one of 4 themed areas of work undertaken by RnR Organisation, under the Tech for Good and Data for Good banners. They also publish a free monthly e-bulletin (Digital WM News), organise the unconference for voluntary sector infrastructure organisations (VCSSCamp), and Pauline chairs the regional funders network (WM Funders Network).