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Deloitte opens applications for new cohort of digital skills programme for charities

02 October 2023

Deloitte opens applications for new cohort of digital skills programme for charities

Deloitte has opened applications for up to 40 charities and social enterprises to join the third cohort of Deloitte Digital Connect, a programme that helps charities scale their digital impact.

The programme, which is delivered in partnership with CAST, a charity helping organisations use digital for social good, has supported over 60 charities to deliver innovative tech solutions and transform their digital capabilities. Deloitte has invested over £1m in the programme since it began in 2021 and earlier this year was shortlisted for Corporate Social Responsibility Project of the Year in the 2023 Charity Times Awards.

The successful applicants in the new cohort will benefit from six months of digital training, advice and support. They will be supported to make progress on an existing organisational digital project or challenge. The programme will provide them with one-to-one mentoring, masterclasses and workshops on digital design practices from Deloitte digital experts, as well as peer support and learning opportunities from CAST.

Claire Burton, head of responsible business at Deloitte, said: “I’m proud that Deloitte Digital Connect has already supported over 60 charities on their digital journeys through an investment of £1m in the programme. As we enter its third year, I’m looking forward to the programme continuing to reduce the digital divide in the charity sector, helping charities to support the communities they serve. By supporting charities to develop their digital knowledge, we’re aiming to help them scale up the reach of their services allowing them to help more people in need.”

Deloitte encourages applications from charities and social enterprises that have a project or programme in the UK aligned to education, employment, equality, diversity and inclusion, early years services, financial inclusion, public health, security and justice or climate action.

Jude Williams, CEO at Literacy Pirates, took part in Deloitte Digital Connect in 2022/23. She said; "The idea of creating a digital strategy for our charity previously seemed overwhelming. The Deloitte Digital Connect programme held our hand and supported us to not only create a strategy but also shift the organisational culture to be more digital focused. The programme is a great combination of one-to-one support and group learning."

Dan Sutch, co-founder and director at CAST, said: “We're delighted to be partnering with Deloitte for the third year running, to deliver the Deloitte Digital Connect programme to a new cohort of social impact organisations. Being able to harness the full potential of digital, data and design is critical for charities to deliver the support they provide to individuals and communities - and equally vital to ensure that civil society has an influential voice.

“We've collaborated with Deloitte to understand how previous participants' insights and success stories can be used to finesse the programme in order to provide maximum value, not just to the next cohort of participants and their respective organisations, but to the sector as a whole - and we're really excited about seeing the benefits come to life as this new version is rolled out."

Bridging the digital divide

According to recent research from FutureDotNow, ‘The UK workforce digital skills gap’, 60 per cent of the UK workforce lacks essential digital skills for work.

In addition, the 2023 Charity Digital Skills report found that nearly half (48 per cent) have a strategic approach to digital, which is less than the 56 per cent who had this in 2022.

To date, the Deloitte Digital Connect programme has supported 63 charities through one-on-one mentoring, troubleshooting, workshops, peer support, device donations, and pro bono assistance from over 100 Deloitte volunteers. A total of 350 customised digital resources have been shared with the participants - and many of these have been made available to the wider social sector also.

A survey of the previous cohort reported that 93 per cent found that they had learned the foundations of developing a digital strategy and 96 per cent had learned user-centred design practices. All participants found the one-on-one support from Deloitte mentors useful to gain more skills, knowledge and confidence in making progress on their projects.




Notes to editors

To apply for the programme, charities can complete this short application form by 23 October at 5pm.

A grant of up to £5,000 is available to support participation on the programme, with a focus on supporting organisations where it can have the most significant impact.

More information on Deloitte Digital Connect and eligibility can be found on the website

If you have any questions, please register to join one of our Q&A sessions on Tuesday 10 October or Monday 16 October at 10am or email your queries to

The 2023/24 programme will begin in December 2023 and run until May 2024. It will bring together up to 40 charities, including some of Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures existing charity partners.

The programme is part of Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures social impact goal, which aims to help 5 million people access education and employment by 2030.

About Deloitte 5 Million Futures

5 Million Futures (5MF) is Deloitte’s social impact strategy in the UK and North South Europe (NSE), focused on helping people overcome barriers to education and employment. 5MF mobilises Deloitte professionals through volunteering, fundraising and pro-bono support - working closely with charity and school partners to close the digital skills divide; support under-represented groups into employment; and build strong, sustainable school leadership.

Focused on inclusion and aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development goals, 5MF is part of Deloitte’s Global WorldClass commitment to empower 50 million people by 2030. This is one of the ways we are bringing the firm’s purpose to life by making an impact that matters. Read more about Deloitte's purpose.

About CAST

CAST is a UK charity that helps social impact organisations use digital for social good. Its mission is to create a more responsive, resilient, and digitally enabled social sector. They work to accelerate the agency, presence and influence of social impact organisations in the technologies that affect us all. They do this by supporting charities and other social impact organisations to embed digital and design across their services, strategy and governance - and by working with sector leaders, funders and Government to make this happen. CAST also initiated - and continues to incubate - Catalyst, a network working to collectively realise a digitally enabled and resilient social sector.