Principle 2

User Led

Charities should make the needs and behaviours of beneficiaries and other stakeholders the starting point for everything they do digitally.

According to Ofcom, 88% of adults now have internet access at home. Building the charity’s strategy, services and functions around how beneficiaries, supporters, donors and other stakeholders use digital is vital to ensuring the organisation is fit for purpose.

3 quick actions for charities

  • Ask your service users about their tech habits - have they engaged with your service using a specific device? Why did they use that particular piece of technology?
  • Test your digital tools with your service users to identify if the tools could be improved and if there are any gaps
  • Look at an organisation who has a similar service to yours - are there any services which they deliver online? Could you do something similar (e.g. take payments online)

User led: Recommended Practice

With 88% of adults now accessing internet at home (Ofcom) listening to your users' needs is all the more important. You can use these best practice guidelines as a checklist to measure how your organisation is becoming more user led.

We have outlined the best practice based on the size of your charity. We define small charities as those with an annual income of £1 million or under, and larger charities as those which generate over £1 million of income a year.


Case study:

DataKind UK

Find out how DataKind UK is using the Code to increase their impact, work with their senior teams and take practical steps towards digital success.


User insights on a budget

Alex Wells,Training and Events Coordinator at Small Charities Coalition, talks…

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How CLIC Sargent puts users first

Kevin O’Brien, Director of Finance & Corporate Resources at CLIC…

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Six charities with excellent online donation user journeys

“We’re always talking about the ecommerce checkout process here on…

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The Ultimate Guide to UX Design

Learn about the key design principles and tools used by…

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A beginner’s guide to user experience fundamentals

“Many people have heard the term “user experience” but not…

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User Experience Basics by

“User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of…

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Charity website: a UX case study

“Medical Detection Dogs is a charity that trains dogs to…

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The Role of Empathy in Understanding Users

“reat leaders have been able to lead significant social revolutions…

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How to do user research on a budget

“Assuming you can afford the time, a small budget isn’t…

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How and why to create personas for your charity

“Do you know how some adverts totally resonate with you…

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How to Know Your Users’ Real Needs?

A framework to understand the why in user interviews. View…

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Learning about users and their needs

GDS Service Manual. “When designing a government service, always start…

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Four key takeaways from the Institute of Fundraising’s Supporter Journey conference

“Recently I attended the Institute of Fundraising’s Supporter Journey conference…

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Bringing digital into service delivery

“We’ve seen lots of examples of charities using digital to…

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Getting your colleagues thinking digitally

“If you work with websites in the charity sector, you’ve…

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How to understand web users’ needs

“Knowing what people hope to achieve when they come to…

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Users don’t care about your website

“It sounds harsh saying users don’t care about your website,…

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7 things you can do about the Code in 30 minutes a day

“I am thrilled to share with you the new Charity Digital…

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7 things every small charity can do about The Charity Digital Code of Practice

By Zoe Amar, Chair, Charity Digital Code of Practice “There…

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Superhighways Leadership 101

Superhighways has developed a Conversation Starter Pack that can help…

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Trillium guide to the Code

In this article, Trillium’s Head of Strategy, David Spector, summarises…

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Code masterclass

In this module we’ll be: looking at the principles in…

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An Introduction to The Charity Digital Code of Practice

In this module we’re going to give you a quick…

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Using digital to lead

A video from Lara Burns, ex Chief Digital and Technology…

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Next Principle: Culture

Charities’ values should influence the way they work, and if the environment is right it should nurture digital success.

The right culture will develop the confidence and motivation of staff and volunteers in digital, empowering them to collaborate, use data to improve decision making and be more transparent.