Too often in the media, charities can be painted as rigid, traditional organisations who don’t always adopt new, innovative practices. Ourselves and many others who work with charities to use technology for good, however, see a different story.

COVID-19 has stolen control from the hands of charities in the ways they fundraise, communicate, engage, and most importantly, support their service users. And now, how charities have reacted over the past two months — and continue to do so into the future — is key to their survival.

During such a difficult time, it’s important we think differently.

Charities that have their finger on the pulse and know how to respond to what their communities are looking for during this time are paving the way for positive change.

Some charities that have stood out over the past few months…

With charities being set to lose more than £4bn in just three months as a result of COVID-19, the fundraising landscape has changed drastically for the third sector. And it feels like it happened overnight. With digital fundraising hastily climbing its way to the top of the priority list as events are cancelled all over the world, there are platforms out there which charities may have never interacted with before, that are now becoming an essential part of fundraising strategies. One of these platforms is Twitch.

The government’s instructions of a countrywide lockdown means that most of us are at home, all the time. That might be why many of us are spending even more hours visiting other worlds by playing video games. In fact, the great British public are playing more video games than ever before. This, in turn, means that there has never been a better opportunity for charities to raise funds and awareness through gaming. Streaming platforms — which let people share their adventures by streaming them online live — such as Twitch, are the main way charities can turn gaming into fundraising.

Let’s talk about charity funding. More specifically, fundraising for a digital service. It feels like a necessary evil — a part of the process that every charity dreads but without it, often there is no other way the service could exist.

One of the most frustrating situations is when innovations are stuck at MVP stage, because the original funding has run out and there’s no internal budget to fuel further development.

Huge amounts of effort have gone into developing a concept and an MVP but it’s not mature enough to be released to the people that need it. The potential impact? Less young people with chronic illnesses are supported, families in financial need are isolated, older people are suffering with chronic loneliness. We’re missing opportunities to make people’s lives better because the money doesn’t appear to be there.

But with some…

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) might be exciting for gamers, but charities should also be feeling the buzz.

VR allows us to step inside the shoes of someone else’s situation, to learn skills from simulations, and to enter immersive spaces that can provide respite from the real world, if just for a little while.

AR allows us to enrich our experience of the real world. With our everyday devices, we can attach safety or support information to real-life objects or situations. AR means that we can block distracting visuals or even see previews of potential changes to our environment.

VR and AR experiences are a bit of a mixed bag right now. They range from inexpensive gimmicks to…

Drupal 7 will soon reach end of life. You must update your website now. If you fail to do this there’ll be no new security updates, hackers will take over your website, the pictures of your cat will be held to ransom for 8 bitcoins, which — just to top it off — you won’t be able to buy because they’ve nicked your credit card. Life could get tough.

Okay, we’re being dramatic. But it’s definitely worth thinking about how to approach Drupal 7 end of life for your charity’s website. We will run you through some options to ensure the best of life…

Why we love Drupal

We want to break down in plain English, what Drupal end of life means for your charity’s website. But first, why Drupal?

Drupal is an immensely popular CMS in the charity sector. It’s out of the box features and interoperability make it a good fit for charities that have CRMs and other systems that their website integrates with.

Importantly, for charities with tight budget controls…

We want to have a different kind of conversation this year.

Today marks World Mental Health Day. As someone who struggles with mental health on a daily basis, these ‘awareness’ days, as cynical as it sounds, start to get repetitive.

I see the same quotes, presented in the same way, by the same type of person. That is not to say we shouldn’t highlight these experiences. Rather I just wish there was a wider range of stories being told and advice offered.

There’s a problem with our mental health system. Obviously. People feel helpless, and I know that we’re losing…

“Millions of school climate strikers have been leaving their classrooms every Friday. Now they hope that everyone else will join them in action.”

What we are doing

We are closing down the Reason Digital website on the 20th of September in support of the #GlobalClimateStrike.

We’re also giving our staff the option to attend Friday’s protest in Manchester city centre.

Why we are doing it

The planet is burning. We are seeing the effects of climate change now and if we carry on with ‘business as normal’ it is only going to get worse.

At Reason, we are actively working on reducing our carbon footprint on the planet. We prefer transport that is low in carbon, we provide reusable travel flasks to staff, we plant greenery in our local square in Manchester…

When it comes to charities with a healthcare focus, it’s crucial that a new product or service meets actual patient needs. We can’t afford to wait until the end of a project to discover that what we built doesn’t help them.

Reason delivered the below case study and presentation at the patient information forum (PIF) conference.

At Reason Digital, we incorporate an agile ethos when consulting with patients and service users to co-produce solutions collaboratively. One of the ways we can collaborate is through a one-week intensive lean design sprint. WellChild came to us with an idea to create an app to support parents managing the medicine routine for their sick children.

This post looks at why we needed a design sprint and the sort of workshop activities that are included, so hopefully, you’ll know what to expect.

Why did we need a lean design sprint?

Our head of…

Designing for digital products is complicated.

Websites and apps have an increasing responsibility to be easy-to-use on any device, accessible to as many people as possible and a shining beacon of brand authority at a single glance.

From the relatively short time we have been designing for digital interfaces two important truths have begun to stand out:

  • Redesigns are expensive
  • Things always change

Redesigns are expensive

A brand new design is tempting. It promises a fresh start, the opportunity for a more-focused approach and a repaired, finished and modern look to your brand, website or app.

How do you a tackle an often unspoken problem, with technology that’s not viewed as widely used by your target audience? With a collaborative team of experts from a variety of fields and a guy called Wilf.

The ‘F’ word

Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter, Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died November 2016 following a fall at home. He had been fighting leukaemia but it was the fall that resulted in his death. We have an odd habit that starts with deifying our stars, our heroes, and then when bad things happen to them we seem to think, “If it can happen to them it could happen to anyone”. It is as though, before that point there existed an element of doubt that there was ever any risk to us.

Slips, trips and falls are terrifying for a…

Reason Digital

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