Many UK charities are not fit enough for the digital era, according to a new report.

The Advanced Trends Report 2017 found that 65 per cent of charities use cloud-based tech, yet more than one in four (26 per cent) do not have access to real-time data and 40 per cent do not have the right tools to do their job effectively.

Berkshire-headquartered software and services company Advanced, which has bases around the UK, believes charities will be held back if they don’t embrace the cloud at the heart of their operations and use it to run core functions such as donor interactions and financial management.

“Charities are under immense pressure – they need to be communicating closely with donors, efficiently and effectively, to maintain and grow revenues,” said Advanced’s MD for the commercial and third sector Mark Dewell.

“This is coupled with the challenges of having the right digital technology so that staff can streamline administrative tasks, to save costs and allow them to invest more time in the people that matter – supporters, members and stakeholders.

“But the reality is that charities need to have the confidence to embrace cloud technology fully, to ensure they can transform into digital-first organisations.

“This will ensure they are fit for the future, ready for real and present challenges around GDPR and better prepared to address threats such as cyber security.”

Advanced has introduced CloudDonor, an intuitive donor relationship management system, to help charities process fundraising income, build marketing campaigns and manage merchandising and Gift Aid.

Its web-based portals provide information for both staff and donors which is accessible at all times, from one source.

Allen Reid, director of client projects at Hart Square – an independent not-for-profit consultancy – concludes: “It’s fair to say that charities know the time is ripe for transformation as the digital era impacts every aspect of life – for members, supporters and stake-holders, as well as staff.

“But not-for-profits want to be confident they are making the right technology choices. Getting on board with cloud technology is without doubt the right choice for many charities wanting to harness the value of their data to drive engagement whilst ensuring the change process is successful – we’re definitely big advocates for moving to the cloud.”