Media Trust works in partnership with the media and creative industries to give charities, marginalised groups and young people a stronger voice, by encouraging industry volunteers to share their time and expertise. By connecting charities with the media and creative industry, Media Trust helps non-profits develop skills, create powerful content, and amplify their voices and impact to connect better with their audiences so that society benefits more from their work.
Media Trust launched a digital skills training programme in partnership with Google Digital Garage, comprising of masterclasses, mentoring, and an online resource hub, to build the UK charity sector’s digital communications capabilities.
We worked with Media Trust to develop a theory of change (TOC) for their digital skills training programme. This involved unpicking what makes Media Trust’s offer distinctive and likely to achieve lasting impact. The TOC focuses on the individuals and organisations it works with directly, but also captures outcomes for policymakers and the media and creative industry. By building the skills and digital confidence of charity employees, Media Trust seeks to drive engagement with digital communications so charities use more digital tools and platforms, implement digital strategies and engage with digital mentors. These outcomes will lead to policy makers engaging more with the need for digital skills for charities, and the media industry developing more digital solutions for the third sector. The TOC revealed that wider audiences are fundamental to achieving the programme’s goals.
Sustainability and collaboration are key components. The masterclasses, mentoring and resource hub are intended to complement and reinforce each other. Further learning and development for participants are an important outcome. Media Trust expect increased demand for training to drive further collaboration with the industry. Collaboration across the sector will increase efficiency and impact, as organisations share learning on mutual challenges. Collaboration will also enable Media Trust itself to deliver more and better services.
From the TOC, Media Trust prioritised outcomes relating to confidence, motivation, knowledge, skills, and use of digital tools and platforms. These form the basis of a framework for impact measurement. Media Trust have subsequently used the TOC and data collected to demonstrate the need for and impact of free, accessible and tailored digital communications skills programmes for the charity sector. They used this to secure further funding for a Digital Leadership Programme, focusing on building civil society leaders’ digital communications strategy. They launched two new digital solutions with Facebook, including an e-learning pathway and Facebook for Social Good Masterclass for charities. A key learning was the importance of expert mentoring and local partnerships in supporting charities to embed and implement learning in their organisations. Based on this, Media Trust is now seeking funding to grow their digital volunteering programme, matching local digital volunteers with charities post training.
It gave us a really strong framework and foundation from which to evaluate our work—not only the impact on individual programme participants and their skillsets and confidence but also how the programme is contributing to the wider UK charity sector’s digital capabilities.