Creating new cross-sector partnerships to support digital transformation

100% Digital Leeds is working with Voluntary Action Leeds and Leeds Community Foundation to explore how businesses in Leeds can support the digital skills and capacity of the city’s third sector.

Community organisations have expressed the need for help with capacity to support digital inclusion, and specialist tech skills to support the sector’s digital transformation. Businesses in the city’s digital and tech sector have expressed an interest in volunteering and doing pro-bono work to support community organisations.

In response 100% Digital Leeds, Leeds Community Foundation, and Voluntary Action Leeds partnered to host a roundtable event in June, bringing together representatives from across the tech and voluntary sector. We explored an integrated approach for brokering and delivering effective digital volunteer partnerships. As well as discussing barriers and potential solutions to forming and maintaining meaningful cross-sector partnerships, some organisations, such as Burmantofts Senior Action and Infinity Works, formed partnerships after meeting at the event.

Burmantofts Senior Action formed a partnership with Infinity Works

To continue the momentum, this September we will host a face-to-face networking event for community organisations looking for support with digital inclusion and digital transformation, and tech companies offering pro-bono support with skills and capacity.

Forming partnerships between businesses and community organisations

This event will create an informal space to have open and honest discussions about what good CSR and pro bono looks like and how it can build resilient communities, connecting those that have capacity and expertise with those that need it the most. The event will bring together third sector community organisations looking for support, as well as tech companies willing to offer voluntary and pro bono support. We want attendees to come away having made meaningful matches, leading to mutually beneficial partnerships.

“At VAL we know that there is so much energy and good will in both the private and VCSE sectors to make positive change for communities. Events like this bring people together to explore shared goals and forge the new relationships that will deliver that change.”

Rich Warrington, Social Action Manager at Voluntary Action Leeds

At the event we will explore issues such as:

  • Skills and capacity to deliver digital inclusion support for people and communities.
  • Scoping and developing digital infrastructure, web design, apps and other technical solutions, use of data analytics.
  • Developing digital strategies or planning for implementation of new software.
  • Help with technical or regulation requirements, compliance or transformation.

Next steps

100% Digital Leeds, Leeds Community Foundation, and Voluntary Action Leeds will form a steering group chaired by a representative from Leeds’ tech sector to further explore this issue. As well as hosting the roundtable event and networking event, we are collating a series of case studies sharing good practice from successful partnerships. Organisations that attended the roundtable event will form a focus group to feedback on suggested actions. For more information, or to offer your support, contact us.