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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Where to find pro bono support on CRMs and data

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Photo by Gabriel Bassino on Unsplash

Where else can charities secure expert support and advice on how to manage and make the most of their fundraising data? And at no charge?

Here are a few services and organisations that are worth exploring.


Sainsburys Data Philanthropy

CSR and philanthropy consultancy The Giving Department worked with Sainsbury’s Nectar Analytics team to develop a way to share their skills with charities. The result was Data Philanthropy, which has resulted in over 400 volunteers support in over 100 charities, through a series of hackathon events, skills sharing workshops and ongoing mentoring. 

The programme has received a Guardian Sustainable Business Award, a Lord Mayors Dragon Award and an award at the International CSR Awards.


DataAid logo

DataAid unites the analytical skills and expertise of PhD students in the Data Intensive – CDT and Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing (AILMLAC) Centres for Doctoral Training with charities in need of data support to generate valuable new insights and perspectives on the data they hold. 

Each two-day hackathon event is setup to have up to three charity partners, who will be selected based on the merit of their questions and the potential to make a social impact by addressing them. 

The first DataAid event took place in January 2021.

Digital Candle

Digital Candle - free digital advice for charities

Digital Candle is “a free service for charities who want a one hour call with a digital expert. Charities can get advice on any aspect of digital or digital marketing, from digital strategy to Google Ads and from remote service delivery to social media.”

In October 2021 it had 443 experts available.

It was originally created by digital marketing agency Platypus Digital, and it is now supported and co-run by Catalyst.

DataKind UK

DataKind - the power of a decade. Map of the world in green and yellow, DataKind's orange logo, and its 10th anniversary logo.
Image: DataKind

DataKind UK was founded in 2013, the UK chapter of DataKind (in the USA) which had been founded in a year earlier. It is “the most experienced provider of charity data science support in the UK”.

Its ethos is that “the same algorithms and techniques that companies use to boost profits can be leveraged by mission-driven organisations to improve the world”. It was founded with the recognition that “most social change organisations don’t have the budget or staff to take full advantage of this data revolution and most data scientists don’t realise just how valuable their skills can be.”

It works to “harness the power of pro bono data scientists to support the sector”. As such it has run DataDive® and DataCorps® projects with more than 80 charities.

Which other pro bono organisations and services have we missed? Let us know.

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